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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5 Steps to an Effective Apology UPDATED

The Japanese have a word “Gomenasai” that is roughly equivalent to the English word “sorry”. It’s used to apologize when you harm or offend someone. The word implies humility (Sorry to disturb you…Sorry for coming into your house), but it’s also used as a way to avoid guilt. Someone will say sorry just seconds before they ram the back of your legs with a shopping trolley. Another will mouth the word as they rudely cut you off with their car. This is how people use apologies every day, except perhaps more blatant.

How can apologies be so valuable but so misused?

Genuine apology is an unfashionable concept. With humility and one way service it’s among the least popular traits in our advanced culture. Nonetheless, it’s a vital part of life that’s indispensable in building strong relationships.

What then, is an apology? In its simplest form, an apology is taking responsibility for a disturbance in a relationship. These insincere apologies imply nothing about your attitude towards the disturbance you are taking responsibility for. A useful apology always acknowledges that you regret your part in the disturbance and are trying to stop or reverse its occurrence.

An apology is not just a tool to make peace. It’s not another way of saying “Get off my back”. It’s not a way of introducing harm, “sorry but I am going to have to divorce you”. It’s not a tool to manipulate others.

When should you apologize? Whenever there is a break in a relationship. No matter what the issue, there will usually be a part, even a small part, that was your responsibility. For this you should apologize. Realizing that a disturbance is your responsibility is a giant step towards emotional maturity.

But WHEN should you apologize? As soon as possible. Depending on the relationship this may be immediately or when you’ve cooled off after a few days

It is our responsibility to take the initiative to apologize. If you wait for the other party to come to you, you may be waiting forever. It takes boldness and integrity to make the first step. Never let an apology swing on timidness or lack of confidence.

A genuine apology is not a habitual apologetic mannerism. It is a deliberate effort to solve a relational problem that you have contributed to. This requires of discipline. Believe me because I know from experience.

I struggle with apologies as much as the next person. I find it’s usually the hardest when the relationship is particularly important to me, like my direct family. When I’m in the wrong, I will try anything I can think of, short of apologizing, to try and solve the problem.

Sooner or later, though, I have to swallow my pride and apologize. It should be no surprise but usually my apology contributes to healing a damaged relationship. Often the relationship ends up stronger than ever. Apology is one of the toughest but most productive habits that I am trying to adopt. We all need to sharpen up our apology sense.

There was, and still is, an Australian Prime Minister who refused to say sorry to the Australian Aboriginal people for crimes against them in the past. This isn’t a political article so I won’t go into details, but it seems the main reason that he wouldn’t publicly apologize was that he was afraid of the backlash. He feared an apology would mean admitting guilt and that this would fuel the disturbance and not remedy it.

This sort of attitude is all too prevalent in our society. We no longer trust each other. We realize that if we apologize, we’re admitting guilt. If we admit guilt it can be used against us. This may be true in a legal sense — I have held car insurance policies that are void if I admit guilt or apologize at the scene of a potential accident — but it is totally wrong in a relational sense.

We have to get past the paranoia that makes us believe that everyone will try to use an apology against us. There will be times when an apology is abused, but more often than not, a genuine apology will be well received and will go a long way towards solving a disturbance between two people.

How to apologize:

  1. Make it genuine – Anyone can spot a false apology and it will do more harm than good. A genuine apology is aimed solely at taking responsibility and overcoming a disturbance. There are no hidden obligations or expectations attached.
  2. Don’t justify your actions – If you are busy explaining why you did what you did, it will start to sound like you aren’t apologizing at all, that you aren’t ready to take responsibility. A brief explanation may help understanding, while a justification may just fuel the disturbance.
  3. Make a commitment to change – If you can’t confirm that you mean to improve, then you aren’t committed to an apology. If you aren’t committed to changing your habit of getting home late, don’t say “Sorry I am home late”. This will be a hollow and ineffective apology. You are better off thanking the other person, “Thanks for putting up with me coming home so late. I appreciate it” and taking it from there.
  4. Phrased you apology carefully – Make sure the other person knows why you are apologizing. “I was passing by so I thought I’d drop in and say sorry” is a lot different to “I wanted to come and apologize because I really do care about this relationship”. Don’t fake it. If you have a good reason to keep the relationship alive the other person will want to hear it.
  5. Be ready for an awkward conclusion – While sometimes an apology is followed straight away by a counter apology and peace and flowers and little birds carrying banners of love through the air, not everyone reacts this way. Some people will behave indifferently, some will behave coldly, and some will react in a downright hostile way. This is out of your control. You have made the step to apologize. Doing it in a productive way is the best you can do. Maybe the other person will appreciate it now, later, or never. No matter what, you have done your bit and you can relax. The rest is up to them.

Who do you need to apologize to today?

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Rikki Speaks – Upgrades for All! What About You?

In today’s world, it has become imperative to upgrade. Society has placed a high regard on updating your phones, your television, your computers and even your home. In a time where advancing everything that is held dear, riddle yourself this: have you remembered to upgrade yourself? Grab the tools because, for everyone, it is far overdue.

Taking the time to “upgrade yourself” is the far least monetarily taxing thing you can do. It can also become the most arduous of tasks. Is it simpler to deliver a computer to the shop than it is to look within and find what needs to be fixed? Is it easier to pay the repairman, for adding memory, when you need to work on your own? Do you allow yourself the same consideration you do your own inanimate objects? If you answered “no”, then ask yourself why.

Make it a goal to acknowledge your own faults, at least weekly. Name a day of the week that will be used to take ten minutes out of your busy schedule and stick to it. Forget the computer for a moment, and actually put a pen to paper and write a life changing goal to work on for the week. Don’t cheat yourself, as it would be like telling the repairman “it only crashes once in a while”, when it is a constant issue. Challenge yourself with provoking the truth. The following week, do the same, and compile it to the previous week’s goal. Don’t just write about it. Put a full aim into becoming the person it is your duty to be.

Continue in this way until you have a full upgrade of your sense of self and the newly acquired skills become your nature. When you have run out of ideas, enlist the help of someone who knows you best. Accept the constructive criticism graciously, after all, you wish to fix what’s wrong right?

Don’t become discouraged when you find a lot more than you expected. Everyone has faults inside themselves. The question is, do you have the strength to do a full upgrade where it really counts?

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Life 101

I decided to write some lessons I have learned and want to pass on .  Wisdom from experience cannot be taught in a classroom, but it should still be passed on when possible.  Here goes:

I want to tell you the main lessons I have learned in life and I would be curious to know how many of them you have learned so far. Some of these were instilled in me by my mother and father and other things I have learned on my own.

Always be honest and truthful. If you are, you won’t have to have a good memory, like you do if you chose to lie. Lies and being dishonest destroy people’s trust and confidence in you. Once a trust is broken, and it only takes a second, it will take a very long time, if ever. to rebuild.  Surround yourself with honest, genuine people, so you will not be hurt.

If you love someone, tell them. Life is short, tragedies happen, and you never know if you will see or talk to someone you love again. You should never be afraid to say those three little words when you have the chance. You will never regret saying them too often, but you may regret not saying them when you had the chance.

Get a good education. That is something you should instill in your children from the moment they can understand you. You should never stop learning. Even though you may need a break from school after graduating college, you should consider going back and advancing to the next level at some point.

Always do your best, whatever you do. Anything you do, you should give it your all. If you do things half way, you will be perceived as someone who performs in a mediocre way, and then that becomes part of who you are and what people expect of you.

Don’t take loved ones for granted. None of us knows how long we will have the people we love in our lives. It will be easier to accept their leaving if we know we did not take them for granted when we had the opportunity to tell them and show them how much we appreciate them as often as possible.

Spend time with your children and, if you can, be a stay at home mom/dad or work part-time. Children grow up in the blink of an eye. You don’t want to miss out on their milestones or their first few years. You want to be the one to raise them and teach them, hug them and kiss them, make memories with them.

Say “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” when you are. You will feel better and it will prevent any situation from getting worse and stop hurt feelings and anger from festering. Do it as soon as possible. It makes you the bigger person and you can stop dwelling on the issue and move on.

Don’t rush into marriage. You want to make sure that whoever you meet is compatible with you and will treat you right and respect you. You need to get to know their family because when you marry someone you marry into their family. Don’t overlook red flags. If something is troubling you then you should not overlook it, but think about it and be aware of it. The time to bring it up is before you get serious not after you get married. Make sure you are on the same page about children, how many to have, where to live, finances, and other important issues that become a “couple’s” decision. Get premarital counseling and a prenuptial agreement if you have a lot more money than the person you are marrying.

Make time for yourself and the things that make you happy. You should do this to keep yourself from getting burned out with work or the kids or stress. It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can do all the things that are expected of you and you need to do.

Be true to yourself. Do what you know is right for you, don’t go along with what other people think is best for you, If something is important to you, it will be important to those who really love you too.

Don’t worry about what others think of you. You just have to be happy with who you are and people should love you for who you are. Do not settle for anything in life. You can have whatever you set your mind to.

Marry someone who is not only your mate but your best friend. It will be easier to get through life situations if you can talk things through with your spouse and have someone who will understand and care about how you feel.

Never lend anyone money.  Money issues can ruin relationships. If you lend friends money you are likely to lose both the friend and the money. Just say you don’t have any to lend and keep your finances to yourself. If people know you have money they will ask you for it and you will feel bad to say no.

Save your money and pay off your credit cards. Don’t put yourself into debt and add stress to your life. Either had the money to pay for something or don’t buy it. Real Estate is a good investment, location is sometimes the most important reason for property values to go up. A beautiful house in a lousy area will not go up much, but a run down house in a good area will get you more than its worth.

Don’t say mean or hurtful things in the heat of the moment in an argument. Words hurt and once they are out, there they are there forever. You can’t take them back and you don’t want to regret saying something and feeling guilty about it afterwards.

When someone confides in you and needs compassion, listen with your heart. Everyone needs support at one time or another. Be there for your friends and they may be there for you when you need them.  Always stay close and care for one another. You can be sure you can depend on each other, when other people can be unreliable.

When someone hugs you, never be the first to let go. Affection is very important. Express affection with your spouse, your children and others. Hugs and kisses are very important for happiness.

And, life lesson #1, always put the toilet paper on the roll the right way, over is right, under is wrong (see diagram below)!

 You Are Now Ready For Life!!!

 

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