Intimacy With Chronic Illness

Intimacy
[in-tuh-muh-see] 

What is it according to you?

Have you ever REALLY been intimate with someone?

EDITORS NOTE:

Intimacy is scary shit.

It is being honestly connected in an emotional way. Like he/she can read your mind. Your soul is just so clear to that person. It is having faith in, and courage to, trust others by expressing your true thoughts and feelings without fear.

Doesn’t it scares you a bit? It does me!

TWB

Intimacy Is Largely Missing From Many Personal Relationships.

This is especially true in relationships living with chronic illness. According to the dictionary, Intimacy is “close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.” But, I believe Intimacy is best described as a state of “comfort, trust, and warmth,” It can be towards friends, partners, pets, and others.

There are 8 types of intimacy:

  • Physical (sexual): self-explanatory
  • Physical (non-sexual): hugs, petting animals, etc.
  • Proximal: being in the same place together, near each other
  • Recreational: having fun together
  • Occupational: talking about work or school, working together
  • Intellectual: discussing world issues, etc.
  • Emotional: coming to each other in times of crisis, sharing feelings and memories
  • Spiritual: talking about beliefs, the “big questions”

[Tweet “The intimacy of bodies is common. The intimacy of souls is something very rare.“]

Thinking About Emotional Intimacy

When I think of intimacy, I am mostly thinking about emotional intimacy, as opposed to sexual intimacy. This is the intimacy most people with chronic illness crave. Getting to know someone better, in depth, wanting to know what makes them tick, and wanting to know makes their heart pound. Giving them the ability to live vicariously through your experiences and expecting the same in return.

Maintaining Intimacy

Maintaining intimacy is particularly hard with chronic illness. The hardest to find and maintain is our inability to consistently engage with others. Those without chronic illnesses find it hard to understand why you can’t return a text message or why you can’t go visit with them and have coffee, or why you don’t want to go see a movie with them. People with Fibromyalgia, CFS, and the other chronic illnesses can’ adequately express to others the fatigue and pain they live with every day.

Express Your True Self

People go to workshops all over the world to experience just a single weekend of intimacy. But you don’t need a weekend retreat to be intimate. Just get in touch with your heart, embrace the reality of your circumstances, express your true self, and educate those with whom you are intimate as to your limitations.

Then follow where it leads you…

 

 

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20 Things Life Is Too Short To Tolerate

You don’t have to settle, it’s simply a choice you make every day.  If you feel like you’re running in place there’s a good chance you’re tolerating things you shouldn’t be.  It’s time to reclaim your life.

Starting now, stop tolerating…

  1. People who bring you down. – Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and like-minded.
  2. A work environment or career field you hate. – Don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in.  Keep searching.  Eventually you will find work you love to do.  If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
  3. Your own negativity. – Be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.  Start listening to your thoughts.  If you hear negative thoughts, stop and replace them with positive thoughts.
  4. Unnecessary miscommunication. – Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Speak clearly.  Ask questions.  Clarify things until you understand them.
  5. A disorganized living and working space. – Clear the clutter.  Get rid of stuff you don’t use.
  6. Your own tardiness. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man.  That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.
  7. Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Oftentimes, the only reason others want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.  Don’t conform.  Be you, because that’s the only person you can be.
  8. An unhealthy body. – Your health is your life.  Don’t let it go.  Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up.
  9. Fear of change. – Life is change.  Every day is different.  Every day is a new beginning and a new ending.  Embrace it and make the best of it.
  10. All work and no play. – Enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.  If you’re smiling, you’re doing something right.
  11. People or beauty ads that make you feel inadequate. – Good looks attract the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  You are already beautiful.
  12. Not getting enough sleep. – A tired mind is rarely productive.
  13. Doing the same thing over and over. – You are the sum of your life experiences.  The more you experience, the more interesting your life story gets.
  14. Personal greed. – Don’t let greed and deceit get the best of you.  Greed will bury even the lucky eventually.
  15. A mounting pile of debt. – Always live well below your means.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.  Always sleep on big purchases.  Create a budget and savings plan and stick to them.
  16. Dishonesty. – Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.  Period.  Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
  17. Infidelity. – Intimate relationships are a sacred bond – a circle of trust.  If both parties aren’t 100% onboard the relationship isn’t worth fighting for.
  18. An unsafe home. – If you don’t feel safe at home you’ll never feel safe anywhere.  Build a loving household in a safe area that you are proud to call ‘home.’
  19. Being unprepared. – Life is unpredictable.  And there’s a big difference between being scared and being prepared.  Always be prepared.
  20. Inaction. – Either you’re going to take action and seize new opportunities or someone else will.  You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it.

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Love Is An Action Word

Sometimes, when we are in relationships, it is easy to become complacent and “let things be.” We start to really let our guards down (which is great!) but that can also mean becoming a bit lazy within the relationship. Maybe we don’t text each other during the day as much. Maybe we don’t ask if they want us to pick them up dinner on the way home from work or school. Maybe we throw our clothes all over the bedroom and shrug when they can’t find the bed.

Whatever our reasons are for getting too comfortable, it is important to be aware of the fact that showing each other respect and love is a daily ritual, one that never gets old. Here are some easy ways to show the one you care about that you actually care about them.

Compliment Your Lover

Sounds simple, right? But how often do you actually do this? It is much easier to make fun of their bed head or laugh at their expense than it is to give the one we care about the most some praise and positive reinforcement. The next time you see your partner do something nice, or look nice or say something sweet, recognize it and let them know that you are lucky to be with someone as awesome as they are. A little positivity can brighten up someone’s day exponentially!

Leave Them a Love Note

No, I don’t mean a text message or any other form of electronic communication. I mean a real note. Put it inside their wallet, in their purse, on the bathroom mirror or somewhere else where they are sure to see it. There is nothing as sweet or as wonderful as a handwritten love note.

Make Space

Yes, we are all very busy. Too busy, sometimes, to take note that maybe our partner is feeling a little neglected. It is easy to take someone you care about for granted, especially if the relationship is easy-going. But, when we clear a day or even a few hours just for them, just to show them that they are a priority and that they do matter…wow…can you imagine the positive impact you will have on your love? Amazing!

Make Love More Often

Sounds like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you actually made love? Not “had sex” but truly had an intimate experience with one another? I am not even talking about intercourse (although there is nothing wrong with that!) I am talking about two souls connecting on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. Maybe having a deep discussing while in bed together, or kissing and caressing all night long isn’t something you normally do, but why not give it a try? Reconnecting on a deeper level will increase your intimacy.

Be a Better Listener

It is easy to passively listen to your partner speak, but have you tried to be more active? Active listeners are more engaged with their partner and will make their significant other feel as though they are being heard. When one is being heard, there is a respect and trust that forms, which will only deepen your bond.

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