I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of love. I know what you’re thinking; here comes some SAPPY OVER-EMOTIONAL NONSENSE. Well FYI, yes I have PMS, and yes when I remember that one day my dog will die I openly sob my eyes drier than the Sahara, and YES I almost cried today because I failed to successfully complete a captcha 3 times in close succession, but that DOES NOT MEAN you should assume I am going to bore you senseless with hearts and flowers. OK?!
When I mention that immortal word I’m not necessarily referring only to love of the romantic variety, before all my single readers switch off while doing a Mexican eye-roll across the globe. Love comes from many outlets; a romantic partner, parents, siblings, friends, pets. I've not often stopped to consider how much of an impact love has in our relationships. But since my diagnosis my already sappy persona has gone into overdrive. Where once I cried at the drop of a hat, now I cry at the mere idea of someone's hat dropping. I mean, imagine it’s an old man’s hat? His head will freeze!! What if he hurts his already arthritic back trying to pick it up?! What if the hat was given to him by his inevitably dead wife?! Oh god it just doesn't bear thinking about.
Look I’m not saying chronic illness turns us all into emotional wrecks, but for many it certainly makes us appreciate our own mortality to a much greater extent, and value what support we have along for our sickly ride. Love is trying and beautiful. When I fell in love with my partner it was overwhelming and exhilarating and terrifying, like all good romance should be. It’s different now, but just as lovely, if not more so; now it feels safe and comforting. Now it feels like home.
With an incurable illness that stability might not sound massively thrilling, but it is so important. Knowing we have people we can rely on is a massive relief for so many reasons. The people we love tether our ship to shore when it feels like we are losing control. They remind us we are loved in return and show that love in their concern, their cuddles, their ‘checking in’ with us.
So love for me is a huge, sappy, emotional BIG DEAL because it’s one of the few things in my life with solid foundations. It’s something I can work to maintain, work to improve and strengthen when it feels that I’m often incapable of doing the same for my body. I can appreciate the people who show me love and aim to return it tenfold. I can accept the ebb and flow of relationships and understand that when they get difficult the love doesn’t cease; it just might mean a little more inward-looking or communication is required.
So trust in the people who show you love and believe that they are by your side for nothing more than selflessness. Love endures, and so my love, must you xo