Meeting "the one" and maintaining a relationship is difficult for most people at the best of times, let alone when you have the added challenges of living with a chronic condition.
There have been times in my life that I thought I'd never meet someone who would be able to accept the challenges of my health as well as having the qualities I require from a partner.
That's not to say I haven't met some decent guys in my time, but unfortunately they just didn't tick enough boxes for me. In addition to that, I also had my own internal battle with not feeling good enough because of my conditions, the many ways in which they impacted my life and other events which had affected my self worth.
However, once I accepted myself, my body and historical traumatic experiences, it opened up my world and my heart.
For the past two years+ I have been blessed with a supportive, patient and understanding partner and I’ve increasingly found myself thinking about the impact my health has on him; from how it might affect us both on an emotional or intimate level, to practical things like household chores and travelling.
Although we're the ones who go through the physical and emotional pain, discomfort and disappointments, living with chronic conditions is not just about me or you. Those who care about us are impacted also in some way.
As I continue to engage with the online chronic illness community, I notice I don’t see as much recognition or support for the partners of those with chronic illnesses as I personally think there should be.
I do understand however, that when experiencing the pain and challenges each condition brings, it might be hard to consider the impact on others.
A few months ago I carried out a survey for partners of people with chronic illnesses and I had an overwhelming response. I asked some of them if they'd like to be a guest on my podcast and many said yes, including my own!
The message I want to put out there is that chronic illness affects everyone in a person’s life, not just the person experiencing those symptoms.
I believe partners should also have a platform to share, be heard and be cheered; so that's exactly what I intend to do during my podcast journey.
As you've guessed, this month's podcast topic is Chronic Warrior Partners and I have two great guests lined up for you!
Look out for the first dose this Sunday.