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Gratitude - Appreciation

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40 Days of Gratitude through the lens of disability - The love, patience, and unconditional support of my husband and its hand in my healing.

What is something about someone else that you're grateful for?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I brag on Hubby. A LOT. And with good reason. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but he is the world to me.

Patience

I've shared the hairy story how our marriage survived. I've shared the story of my own personal evolution. I've shared, over and over, the challenges I've faced with my various health problems.

What underlines all these changes, is a change that occurred back when our marriage was facing death. Despite everything else, Hubby made a shift in his own mind that became a game-changer in our relationship.

When I decided to trust him instead of bail on our marriage, he decided to be patient.

Granted, I gave him a lot of opportunities to practice this trait  Those early months were a roller coaster ride of doubt, suspicion, trial, and error. 

...and then I got sick.

Just as we were starting to get our marriage on track, I got sick. I had to give up my job, which put us in a financial panic. He wasn't working, and I wasn't healthy enough to be home alone with our then-3-year-old.

I got worse.

My anxiety attacks were constant - if I was awake (and frequently when I wasn't), I was exhausted all the time. I was moody and forgetful. Worst of all, I was in pain. All. The. Time.

Imagine being exhausted and happily falling into your bed after a long day homeschooling your hyper 6-year-old. You've been functioning with a migraine all day. The training session with your 5 month-old soon-to-be-service-dog went south when he got a case of diarrhea in the middle of the pet store's fish department. You are done for the day.

You. Are. Done.

You slip off into a restless sleep because you never sleep well anymore. Nightmares and worse sneak up and you frequently wake up pinned to the bed because Hubby is concerned you might hurt yourself with all the flailing around. For a change, you're peaceful, if not deeply, sleeping when you wake up feeling like someone is wringing the long bones of your arms and legs like a washcloth. 

Not fun.

And Hubby has his own battles to fight, especially when sleep is involved.

He could have quit.

At any time in the seven years since I developed Fibromyalgia (or even before, when my anxiety and depression alone were killing me), he could have given up. But he didn't. He stuck it out, keeping the reason we got married in the first place at the forefront of his mind.

He reminded me frequently that he didn't marry the "healthy" me, or the "skinny" me. He married ME.

For better or worse.

Richer or poorer.

In. Sickness. and in Health.

That man has supported me through a number of insane ideas, plans, hospital stays, medical tests, and some serious health scares.

Even now, when I push myself harder on my keto plan, fast longer than usual, or push myself harder physically toward my goals, he stops me and asks:

"You remember that I don't need you to be skinny to love you, right? You know that I love you just the way you are, even if you never lost another pound?"

I'll be honest with you. Sometimes, I have forgotten that. Sometimes, the old programming that's residual from an abusive first marriage and an abusive teen period in my life, overrides what I know is absolutely true.

My husband loves me just as I am.

Unconditionally.

He appreciates the work I do to get our family to financial security, even when I fall behind or what I plan and budget doesn't quite work. He has faith in my ability to figure it out, says "thank you" frequently, and loves to spoil me.

Every day since our marriage nearly died, he's told me he loves me. He lets me know he appreciates my presence in his life. He reminds me that I am unique, special, talented and that my rough spots don't define me. He sees beyond my illnesses, challenges, guilt, shame, blame, and self-abuse, and loves me. Patiently. Completely. 

Unconditionally.

40 Days of Gratitude through the lens of disability - The love, patience, and unconditional support of my husband and its hand in my healing.

It's a lesson that I find myself coming back to over and over - learning how to be that kind of patient and practicing that kind of unconditional love.

The world needs more of it.

We're nearing the end of this series, with just a few posts left. But I'd love to hear from you. What is something about someone else in your journey that you are grateful for?

Related posts:

Gratitude - Story

100 Days - It Starts Now

5 Things Chronic Illness Patients Wish Their Significant Other Understood


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1 comment

  • You and your husband are both amazingly strong people! I’m so happy you and he were able to turn things around into a system of support and unconditional love.

    My husband has also played a key role in helping me overcome anxiety and depression. It wasn’t easy when the panic attacks started and the depression got worse. It was a learning process for both of us about what worked best and what should be avoided. I’ve made such progress with him there to support me and I am SO grateful for his steadfast presence in my life.

    I admire your strength so much!

    Brittany

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