Fat Thigh-roid Woes: Steadfast Solitude
An ex boyfriend from over a year ago sent me a text asking if I’d like to get together sometime soon for a drink. This is someone that I dumped while I was in the midst of Graves – not only because I was crazy, but because I was fed up with dealing with such a prick. My actual reply back to his text was…
“For reals? Are you in some kind of 12 step program or something?”
I assumed he was on his round of amends, but no, turns out he just thought things ended strangely and it’s always bothered him. He says he’s in a good enough place to meet up and chat. My response was…”I haven’t really entertained the thought…maybe sometime soon…hope you’re doing great!”
Not to seem callous and uncaring, but I callously don’t care. I was never that hung up on this dude, nor was I in love (I feel to be in love I need to be shown that I’m loved) but I might end up meeting him for a drink sometime in the near future. Why? If there is anything you should know about me at this point in our Dear Thyroid love affair, it’s that I do many things JUST FOR A STORY. I love stories, and I love the means in which I find these stories.
At a restaurant, who sends a group of cops sitting at the next table a round of waters “on me”? I DO. Why? Because it’s a funny story to tell, and to see a group of confused cops makes me giggle.
When asked “so…what do you do for a living?” while out at various LA locations, who replies with “I compose music for workout videos, and I still use a Casio keyboard”. I DO. Why? Because said with a straight face, you’re most definitely taken seriously – and that makes for a good story. I mean, SOMEONE has to compose music for workout videos, right? Why can’t it be me?
Who goes to Glamour Shots and takes “Glamourous 80s style photos” while posing all sexy and growling at the camera? I DO. Why? Because I like to spend my money on bullshit that will make people laugh.
Ahh, but I digress. The reason I’m bringing up this ex boyfriend story is because it relates to my topic o’ the week, which is Solitude. Something I’ve explored for my health, and something I’m asking you to explore if you’re willing and able.
I’m not referring to how “Alone” we feel when sick, I’m referring to self-imposed Solitude one must use to heal thy SOUL.
I’ve been practicing Solitude in bits and pieces this week with my working out at the butt-crack of dawn, and it’s given me peace. Everything is so frackin’ loud here all the time, it was nice to walk down the street with the minimum amount of city noise blaring into my ears.
And now BACK to the ex-boyf story. I’m going to share “Graves Dating Experiences” with you…
I unknowingly used this person as an escape from my disease. As a means to not deal with it. As a way to escape the severity of my symptoms. Some people think the cure-all to any disease or ailment is to take on a relationship because almost everyone I know is TERRIFIED of being alone. I’m here to tell you that if you’re single and are severely ill with thyroid disease, DON’T take on a relationship if you can avoid it. Naturally, it’s your life do whatcha want…but damn, had I known then what I’ve come to realize now.
Obviously, if you’re already in a great relationship it’s an entirely different story because –
1. You might be with the most amazing and understanding person on the planet – don’t take it for granted!
2. This person will be more likely to help you out and care about what you’re going through.
3. Why end a good relationship because of illness for the sake of dealing with it alone? Only end it if it’s gone to shit.
My experience with dating while sick as a dog wasn’t awesome. I made bad choices, and really off calls that I would have never made while I was healthy. Having Graves made me damn near psychotic, and I started to blame myself for EVERY SINGLE BAD THING THAT HAPPENED IN THIS RELATIONSHIP and in all my relationships. Self-analyzing is a difficult task when we’re mentally clear and calm, but self-analyzing while dealing with a toxic thyroid should be called “self-annihilation”. Relationships fuck with our brains enough, add that to Graves and well…you get the point.
I supposedly was in a relationship with someone who said they wanted to understand what I was going through, but figure this – if people I’d known and been friends with for years were telling me I was a nightmare, there was no way for me to keep a brand new relationship floating amazingly along past the three month novelty mark.
After the fun first months wore off, he started to blame me (via my disease) for every thing that went wrong in the relationship. Yes, I did make some mistakes, and yeah, I was sick – so maybe I am the fucked up one? It got to a point where If I had a problem with something he’d done and wanted to talk about it, the conversation would end with him having turned the tables and deflected. Telling me I was being ridiculous. Telling me I was going off the deep end. Telling me I was hypersensitive. Graves Nicole started to believe it because she was sick and confused.
Don’t get me wrong, this guy had his good moments and wasn’t a terrible monster – but at the same time, he was extremely selfish. Wanted to call all the shots, do everything on his own time, and actually got upset I didn’t tell him how amazing he was on a more regular basis. Not kidding. He wanted to be praised for the art he produced, and was upset that I didn’t do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I like to call this disorder that afflicts many “men” I meet the “Mommy Clearly Raised A God” syndrome. I can only pump an inflated ego so much. In any event, it got to the point where every argument was turned around onto me and my disease.
I started to doubt myself and my sanity because EVERYONE was blaming me for things. How does one draw the line?
In case you’re in the same situation, trust that NOT EVERY SINGLE THING THAT GOES WRONG IS YOUR FAULT. Even if you’re deathly ill and are a mess, the weight of your failing relationships does not fall to you 100% of the time. Two people are involved, and that doesn’t mean the other person is the saint and you’re the fucking sinner.
Towards the end of this ill-fated relationship I started to realize all this nastiness. We’re very vulnerable when sick, some of us more than others, and it can lead to bullying on the part of the other person involved. People exploit your weakness to hide their own. People turn the mirror away from themselves because they don’t want to deal, and you become an easy target because you’re ill.
If you’re where I was, listen to your gut. My gut was the one thing that spoke reason while my mind was in shambles. Don’t stick around with someone who is getting annoyed with you and your disease and bullies you because of it. Don’t profusely apologize and start crying when he/she tries to turn the tables on you. Stand your ground, and ditch them so you can put all the energy you have ON YOURSELF, instead of wasting it on someone else. Don’t settle for a dysfunctional relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. Savor the Solitude.
Solitude while sick doesn’t have to be the lonely place you’re afraid to enter. Solitude is where we go to gather our energy and find the way to health and happiness. Trust me, you will be stronger through the experience of your disease, along with standing up to boyfriends/girlfriends that point the finger to you.
**Of course, I might be excluding those that are in picture perfect relationships even while sick…but this is only cause I’m speaking from my own experience. I’m sure every awesome relationship still goes through its ups and downs when one person has to live with thyroid disease, and for that I believe Solitude still is essential as a step to healing ourselves.
***On that note, does anyone wanna set me up with a hot, successful, and wonderful dude in the Los Angeles area?
Tags: Alone, Blame, Boyfriends, Dysfunction, Girlfriends, Graves disease column, Graves disease community, graves disease support, graves disease symptoms, graves' disease, Heal, healing from graves disease, Relationships, Sickness, Solitude