Here’s to the Chronic and Single

This was just sitting in my drafts, but why not publish it on the day people love to hate – Valentine’s Day? My current date is a stomach bug (thanks travelling) – and I’m about to spend a long weekend with strangers in a hostel, wish my belly luck!

I was reading a lovely article about chronic illness and relationships in which the writer mentioned that they once had to answer the question: Where would we be without our partners?

She wrote: “I have a very simple answer to that question. Lost, lonely and in a permanent residential care facility.”

I clicked on the article knowing full well it would be in praise of a husband helping his chronically ill wife. Admittedly I enjoy reading these, although I insist I’m a cynic and dead on the inside, because they are cute stories.

But this little bit I maybe didn’t enjoy to read. When you’re single and with a chronic illness, dating is not so easy. You worry it may be a deal breaker, and sometimes it is. And if you have not so great experiences of dates dealing with your chronic illness, it can be easier to put dating at the back of your mind and focus on yourself.

And then sometimes, you struggle to get out of bed. To make food. To clean, to work, to study, to socialise. Some days you spend alone in your room, because on those days that’s all you can do.

So, here’s to the people who have to make their own cups of tea.

Who sit alone in waiting rooms.

Who wonder if the next date will see illness as a deal breaker, a broken bird to fix, or as something to admire.

Who curl up to Netflix by themselves, or with a pet.

Who don’t need to worry about kids *yet*

Who tell themselves they look pretty even with unwashed hair, zero make up, and in leggings and jumpers.

Who have plans for making it through ‘bad days’ alone.

Who can toss and turn during painsomnia without feeling guilty.

Who have to drag themselves to the shops for food when they can barely drag themselves to the bathroom.

Who rolls their eyes at how illness and relationships is portrayed in films, because you don’t need someone else to show you how beautiful life is.

Whether you’re single or committed; life with a chronic illness ain’t easy. Sometimes the best thing to do is administer some self-love, and remind yourself of how awesome you are.

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