I can’t remember how many times I have seen people either describe their relationship this way or tick that box on their personal status. But it can evoke a great deal of confusion and usually means that the person prefers not to explain, or it may be difficult to explain, their relationship.
I started to think to myself “aren’t all relationships?” I know mine is. All my relationships can be described that way, even though some are extremely rewarding and precious.
Illness can also make relationships complicated, in many different ways. Sometimes in ways I have not known how to prepare for or to handle.
A friend recently changed their Facebook status to ‘its complicated’ and I felt like it described my entire life. I didn’t want to interfere, so I decided to wait until she felt comfortable in sharing more details, in the end we only want our friends and loved ones to be happy, and only they know what their happiness will look like.
I then began to think about complicated relationships and I realized that by far the most complicated and complex relationship I have ever had is with myself.
It has had many ups and downs. Highs and lows. It has been incredibly challenging and I always hope that it can, and will, be better.
One of the hardest part about this relationship for me is the idea of self worth and value.
Having not grown up with encouragement and validation, or spent a lot of time around people who encouraged feelings of self worth and value, it has fallen on me to try to forge and piece together a notion of self esteem and self worth from what I have read, what I have witnessed in others, and what I hoped might be possible for myself.
I also got some help building a sense of self worth through some very painful experiences and people who tried to make me question my value. They are also sometimes the most memorable and profound ways to learn.
When someone tries to make you feel worthless, inferior or if they are behave coldly or cruel towards you that’s when a healthy and strong sense of self worth usually kicks in, lifts you and reminds you they shouldn’t be able to break you. A healthy sense of self worth and self esteem is that guiding light that always guides us back to safer, kinder shores… if it is working.
Trying to build such things alone is like single handedly building the pyramids… Only harder.
Trying to build a healthy self esteem later in life and whilst being chronically ill is … indescribable. Unfathomable.
But it still needs to be done. The rest of my life depends on it so I will do my best. Always.