After living back at home now for nearly two years, I have decided the time is right to move on and in with my partner. I have been well looked after by my amazing family whilst back at home and so grateful that I had their help through the darkest times of my illness. They took me in when I had nowhere else to turn, asking for nothing and I love them so much for that.
It feels like I’m back all those years ago preparing to leave home for the first time when I started university. There is a hint of anxiety as well as excitement as I cannot help but remember living away from home before, when my illness started. I have never wanted to feel that lonely again and leaving home reminds me of that. I will no longer have the company of my mum pottering around, endlessly helping me with things like washing, cooking etc. I will be starting my life as an adult again, gaining back some of the independence I lost two years ago. I am prepared to tackle adult life again; I know it won’t be easy. You always take the things your family do for you for granted when you’re at home.
What frightens me the most is anticipating another huge flare, where I cannot cope and have to rely on my partner for support. That is the main reason I returned home in the first place as it got too much for us both to cope with. I know things have changed, I am more aware of my limitations and my partner is more understanding and knowledgeable of my condition but I still can’t help dreading that it may all get too much for us both again.
I suppose what I have learnt is to take one day at a time. You can’t predict or be scared of the future because you just never know what will happen. Unfortunately, what will be will be. The only way I can prevent things getting as bad as before is by accepting when I need help (and asking for it), not doing too much so that I get tired and stressed which causes friction in a relationship anyway and communicating how I am feeling. For so long before, I locked myself away from the company of my partner because I was ashamed that I was no longer good enough for him, he deserved better, blah blah. I didn’t want to ask or accept help, I didn’t want to talk, I just wanted to pretend that it would go away and things would get back to normal.
Whilst it was devastating when we were apart, I know now that it was the best thing for us as we wouldn’t be as understanding of each other as we are today. My partner accepts me because I accept myself (if you get my drift). You can’t be in a relationship when you aren’t comfortable with your own situation as all those feelings of anxiety rub off on the other person. I am stronger than I ever have been before (mentally I mean!) and I am going to give this a bloody good go. After all, if you choose to hold back all your life because you are afraid you will never get anywhere right?I still cannot believe that only a year ago I thought my life was as good as over. I was bed ridden, very poorly, jobless, boyfriendless, homeless (if it weren’t for my family) oh and let’s not forget penniless! But for all those who might be going through this now, please take something from my story that even though it takes time (often longer than you want it to) you will move on. Things will get better, perhaps even better than before.