Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In Sickness and in Health

I was reminded by a friend today that marriage vows are for better and for worse.   I didn't hesitate when I gave my vows to my husband.   But, somehow, I had thought that the challenge would be (if it came) HIS sickness.   I had thought about it and knew that I would stand by him no matter what befell him.   And, to be honest, over 16 years I haven't had too much difficulty keeping to that.

What I hadn't considered was how hard it would be to accept him standing by me in MY illness.   He's working a full-time job and moonlighting while I sit on the couch trying to put my life into order.   I feel so guilty.

I hadn't counted on being the helpless one-the dependent one.   There are times when I don't know why he stays.   I'm a burden. I don't contribute much to the household. Wouldn't his life be easier without me weighing him down?   The irony is that I know that I wouldn't contemplate leaving if our situations were reversed.   But there's still a part of me that really doesn't understand why  he stays.

Jill (my psychiatrist) once suggested to me that letting someone else help me is a form of generosity.   On one hand, when I think of how frustrating it is to try to help my mother, I understand exactly what she's saying.   But when it comes to accepting help myself... that's not so easy.

Dear Lord, please give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.


  1. I know that this is so much easier to say than to do, but here it is anyway: try to let go of your self-loathing. You will never get where you want to be while carrying this guilt and frustration inside of you. Everyone is born human, with different physical, mental, and emotional limits. Be honest and patient with yourself about where yours are, even if you don't like where that is at the moment. Find a good, harmless temporary escape, too; sometimes reality just hurts too much to bear, and a strategic retreat is in order. From there you can regroup and come back to things with a clearer head. But most of all, try to keep your chin up as much as you can. Someday, you may be able to look back and see how what you're suffering now ultimately led to greater good in your life. Best wishes, and I'll certainly keep you in my prayers.

  2. From my heart, I thank you. I will (am) trying to let it go.