So despite the fact that I’m not a social butterfly by nature, it does not mean that endometriosis and chronic illness have not had an impact on my social life. True, I love my alone time but being bedridden in pain is not the same thing as alone time and it hardly counts as relaxing.
I am not sure if being an introvert and being Type A are related but being both, I like being able to plan for social engagements (you know since my calendar stays so full and all). I am very much a scheduler and list keeper but since my diagnosis and as my illness has progressed I have had to learn to let go of some of these tendencies. I have had to learn to say no and that sometimes I will have to cancel a night out because of a flare and that it is okay to do so.
The problem I am having as a result, however, is two-fold. First, I have the tendency to beat myself up and feel guilty that I may be letting someone down. Second, I have the fear of trying to plan anything because I don’t know how I will feel a week or even a few days from now and the guilt from canceling hits me in advance so I am scared to even commit in the first place.
This has been equally frustrating on my husband’s part. He wants to be sweet and romantic and plan date nights out for the two of us but doesn’t want to put added pressure on me if I’m not feeling well and can’t go out. He feels guilty for not being romantic enough and I feel guilty for him feeling guilty when I know he has no reason to feel guilty in the first place. My husband is the sweetest, caring, and compassionate person I know and does such an amazing job being a husband, father, and caregiver (although I doubt he thought he would have to take on that role so young).
There are some major life changes are on the horizon but in the meantime, I am trying to learn how to balance. While I am very much the textbook introvert, my husband is a classic extrovert and it is important that we find ways to meet in the middle and enjoy a social life together as a family and especially as a couple. Date nights may not be as exciting as they once were (as in late nights out on the town) but may involve a simple dinner out or a trip to the local coffee shop where we can talk and laugh.
Trying to reclaim a social life with chronic illness can be a challenge but I believe it is crucial in maintaining your total health and in helping you keep the mentality that you are so much more than your illness.
How has illness impacted your social life and what are things you have done to stay socially active despite it?
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2 comments on “Blogging for Endometriosis: Social Impact (Week 3 Link-Up)”
I probably handle it the wrong way. I’m an extrovert so when I feel good I do as many activities as I can before I get sick again. Probably push myself too much and it drives my husband crazy.
I do my best to enjoy “down time” when I’m sick but more than once my husband has taken my phone away so I’ll stop talking, emailing, or texting and rest.
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