Support Systems - Like The Trunks To Your Trees



If there is one thing I have learned in the last week, one thing that I alread knew but had reinforced in a big bad way, its that you need a support system when you get a big health diagnosis. Be it Fibromyalgia or anything else that means you are going to need to take on some big health changes in your life. I am lucky. I already had a pretty substantial system of people in my life that keep me sane. I have a solid foundation of family. We are small but we are mighty. Dysfunctional, yes. But if you mess with one of us you mess with all of us and you should know that messing with a dysfuncional family is a messy thing and will not end well for you. My mom is my rock. She she will do anything for me and I love her so much. I also have a GREAT group of friends. Amazing ladies that keep me sane.
My son is my rock in the world. he grounds me. His smile lights up my entire universe and his very presence changes the atmosphere for me. He changed me when he came into the world. He made me a better person and gave me a reason to live. He gives me a reason to live every single day. He makes me strive to be a good human. A better human than I was yesterday. He is an amazing soul. I can't say enough about him. I'm his mom and any mom knows that love you have for your child is indescribeable. But he lights up my life.
Then there is my Eric.
No relationship is easy. None that are worth it. Ours has been a lesson is growth. Personally, spiritually, emotionally. We have had to look at ourselves inside and out. Map ourselves out to really understand who we are, and we are still going through it all the time. Then we had to hold our maps up next to one anothers to better understand how we get to one another's destinations so we could finally go OHHHHH YEAAAAH! THATS how you get there! It's a process. We are still learning.
Did you ever sit down and look at your past and wonder how the hell you got through it unscathed? Like, really look at it. Devour it with your mind. Take it apart like the most intricate Lego battleship, lay out all the pieces in teeny tiny obsessive compulsive little piles and stare at them until they are memorized and you are sure you undertand them better than anyone ever could. Did you ever do that with your life up to this point? Put it in little piles of memories and life lessons, glimpses of yourself and who you wish you were and could have been?
I have done that with mine. And I came to a conclusion when I did. I realized that had I not gone through the fires of hell that I did, the tumbles, the falls, the stumbles, the brushes with poison and all that could have surely done me in had I not narrowly avoided the dangers...I would not have been able to really appreciate the man that I finally found. I am not saying everyone I knew prior to Eric was a broken damaged specimen and a bad person. But they were not the missing piece for me. And what they did was hellp me to appreciate the person that he is and the way he has helped me at this stage in my life. Had I been alone or with someone else and been diagnosed...I don't know that I would be coping quite so well right now.
Like I said, our relationship has not been an easy one, but I think that had it been one it would have been over by now. There would have been nothing to fight for. I had a couple easy ones. They were over fast. Eric didn't have any easy go of things in his life. He drives me crazy in the best and the worst ways. But on my best and my worst days he is there to lift me up somehow. He makes my dinner, he rubs my sore feet, he helps me to make sense of a really weird world. We find a way to laugh when other people would probably be smothered in confusion and sadness. We laugh a lot. It gets us through tough times.
But beyond that, he is a good soul. A tattered but constantly evolving soul that has spent a lifetime already in the shadow of the disease that I was just diagnosed with. I know that can't be easy. Through all my doctor appointments and medications and crying fits in frustration in not knowing what in the world was happeing to my body, I have been fortunate enough to have someone next to me who vowed not to run no matter how scary things got. We didn't know what the results were going to come back with.
He has stuck by me. My tree trunk. Making sure my son was fed and his homework was done on the nights when my knees were riddled with ache and my back so sore I could barely stand. Taking out the garbage. Bringing me dinner in bed. Doing the dishes. Feeding the dog and the cats. Being Mr. Mom without the flannel shirt and bad beard (I love Michael Keaton!). Then getting up and going to work. This is my Eric. I am incredibly thankful for him. I probably don't tell him that enough.
Sometimes I find myself watching Roseanne reruns on Saturday afternoons. The early ones where Dan gets all the good one-liners. Dan and Roseanne Remind me of Eric and I. I laugh. I have not decided if this is a good thing or not... Whether it was sitting in the emergency room with me all night (twice), or the doctor's office with me all day, or shoveling snow by himself for me for hours while I slept (though I eventually got up and helped even though he yelled at me) just so I could go to work during a state of emergency to a job I don't care for anyway, or running to get painkillers for me in the middle of the night, or taking day work and selling his guitars during a layoff just so I could get medicine I needed, he has had my back. He has stuck by me.
There are a lot of people right now dealing with a chronic illness. A synrome. A disease that debilitates or makes every day life a little challenging, and a support system is key. I hope that you are as lucky as I am to have a great support system. Even more, I hope you have a tree trunk like my Eric. 


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