“It took a long time for me to realize that people love differently.”
One of the biggest issues people face when struggling with chronic pain is a loss of relationships. I lost many close friends during my battles with pain and it truly affected me for a very long time. I wanted to be loved and I needed a lot of love because I was not loving myself. The ways I chose to manage my chronic pain where not always smart or healthy but after ten years of looking for relief I just gave up on myself. I wanted people to love me and care for me in a way that I was not able to care for myself. I knew if it was one of my close friends I would hold them, hug them, and let them cry and cry for as long as he or she needed to. I would bring cards and do the things I wanted my loved ones to do for me. Since many people did not do these things, I felt they did not love me. However, now at the age of thirty two I realize that people just show their love differently.
So many relationships are ruined because we do not realize that people love differently. Chronic pain or no chronic pain, relationships are very difficult. However, once we realize that people show their love differently our relationships can become quite more simple and less stressful. For instance I show my close friends and family members that I love them by affection and tiny little notes or cards to express my gratitude and love for them. I have always been the hugging friend. I love hugging someone I love because that to me is very important. I like hand written cards more than presents because it is more sentimental in my eyes than something more expensive. That is how I show love and for my whole adult life I expected others to love me the same way. If they did not show their love the way I showed mine I truly believed they did not love me. Talk about a recipe for arguments, frustration, and loss. One of my best friends shows her love by buying me presents she knows I will enjoy. My husband shows his love by making sure our bills our paid and taking care of things that he would only do if he loved me. For instance, he knows I need to have a few cavities filled (something I neglect because I am very focused on my pain management and forget about my eyes and ears and teeth) so he is taking it upon himself to make me an appointment to make sure my teeth are healthy. This is one of his ways of showing love.
In a perfect world I wish my loved ones showed their love for me as I show it for them but we all love differently and there is only one Jessica. We need to remember that just because someone does not show their love the way you share your love does not mean the love is not there. I always expect so much from the people I love because of how much I give but sometimes my expectations are just too high. We are all individuals and we all deserve love. So much heartache and fighting can be ended once we see that people just love differently. People with chronic pain have a hard enough time managing their every day life and relationships. We do not need the added stress of wondering if our loved ones truly love us. They do: they just show it differently.