I made a huge change in my life recently. Huge. I separated from my husband.
The hard part is that I love the kids, but they won’t be staying with me. Biologically they’re his from a previous relationship. I’ve been raising them as my own for 6 1/2 years. They call me Mama and they are my babies. We are working on staying connected and I will still have them in my life.
But here is my truth – as hard as this is I have to do it for my health and sanity. I can’t continue to care for others at the expense of my self. No, at the expense of my health. You see, my husband has serious issues that he will not deal with on top of the fact that he just won’t care for his health like he should. He stopped taking his meds and felt like pain medicine was all he needed. So, I have been dragging around an adult who has serious health issues but is acting like a child.
It’s like I have had three children to care for on top of my health issues. I had a toxic person dragging me down and adding to my stress.
Stress is actually what this blog is about. We could talk about stress from work, stress from money, stress from pain, stress from bills and about meds. As chronic life patients we know all these stressors. But what I’ve discovered is that intimate relationships have the most profound effect on my symptoms. If I have someone who doesn’t understand or who takes advantage of me, like my husband did, then the stress is jacked up like the tide rolling in and dragging me out to sea.
How do I know? When he moved out, my stress went down. I ached for my babies and felt the loss deeply. But I woke up happier in the morning. I started walking my dog – a feat I hadn’t been able to do in years. I listened to my body and rested when I needed. I had no fear of falling asleep at night. I could actually rest mentally and emotionally. The house was quiet when I needed it and I wasn’t being drawn and quartered by the demand of being a single mother while taking care of an addict.
I have lived like a single mother for so long – caring for and protecting his children in a way he never has all while dealing with his issues.
And I hit my wall. For me, that means it’s done. I don’t falter and I don’t waiver. I have given and hoped and loved all I can. Without someone who sees his own problems I have stymied in the mire of extra pain. But, no more.
I am in shock how much better I’m doing without that life suck. My pain is down and my physical ability is up. My brain is clearer and my choices are better. I am not as distracted as I once was. I am seeing a therapist who is helping me deal with this loss and the stress of my health. And I am finally getting help with anxiety attacks I have regularly, but didn’t see before.
It isn’t like this for everyone. Not everyone feels the freedom I do, especially if it wasn’t their choice. But I do want to say to those reading this – life is short. Don’t deny who you are and don’t destroy your body just to keep a toxic person in your life that pulls you down in a way you wouldn’t otherwise have happen.
Having an autoimmune disease, even a few of them, is hard enough without the stress of that person who uses you or makes your life harder. Be good to yourself first – you deserve it.