Jealousy. What does that word mean to you? I am sure we all could have a story about jealousy. A story of jealousy amongst family members. A jealousy amongst friends. A jealousy amongst coworkers. How come we are able to look at others and wish we had what they had while all along missing out on our own fortune? I have witnessed people torn apart by jealousy and it is a sad thing to endure. I myself have been affected by jealous people. I myself am not a jealous person and I never really have been. I find that when someone gets something, is promoted, has a child or grandchild, etc, that I feel a huge sense of happiness in my heart for them. I could care less about all the stuff others get as I am able to be happy with what I have. I have no idea why I am like this. Maybe my parents instilled in me that having all the stuff of the world isn't/wasn't important or maybe it is because we never had the money to have all the stuff. I never ever remember my parents being jealous of anyone only doing good for others. I am thankful for that lesson.
What the heck does jealousy have to do with chronic illness? Truthfully I almost hate hearing that word, jealousy, more than likely because of the fact that I don't understand it. I think I may have felt a little pang of jealousy this past weekend as Rich and I did our usual Christmas shopping. We have always done this together so this year was no different. I would never be able to go out for a whole day shopping without him, and by whole day I mean 4-5 hours. We don't buy lots of stuff for our family just a few little items but now with little ones around it adds a little more time on to our shopping day. I was in Meijer looking at the toys for the kids when I about had a panic attack. A little girl was singing Christmas carols up and down the isles, another lady was standing behind me literally breathing down my neck invading my space, and all I wanted to do was run and get to the car as fast as I could. I have a terrible time at Christmas with all this Christmas cheer mostly because I don't understand why people cannot have that cheer all year long. I was waiting, more like longing, for Rich to return to me as he was at the other end of the store picking something else up. There I stood like a child waiting for my parent to save me from the chaos that surrounded me at that moment. You see when you don't get out much and with pain and fatigue all I wanted to do is run in and run out and be done! The real world for me is different than it is for most people. I feel like I am an outcast and have no place in it anymore. I live in a different world than most and it takes a lot to admit that.
Later that afternoon when we got home I was tired but very happy to be home, in my safe haven. The one place where I can rest if I need to. The place I can be myself, so to speak. The place I don't have to be someone I'm not. If I am weak or in pain I can let it out. Rich is use to it but the real world? Not so much. I'm pretty sure if I sat down in the middle of the Meijer toy isle I would have gotten some pretty awkward stares from people, from the "normal" people, who have no idea. We finished and headed home.
As soon as we had all the stuff, let me rephrase that, as soon as Rich had all the stuff in the house I said to him, "Is five o'clock too early to go take my bath?" His answer, "Of course not, go and I will take are of everything down here." I went and he did, as usual. I laid in the hot bath relaxing all the painful joints and muscles thinking to myself about the day. It doesn't happen often but when it does it does, and I began to cry. Jealous? Maybe just a little. Sad? For sure! I thought about being able to shop like I use to and getting excited about Christmas like I use to. Now it is just a major chore and a whole lot of work that exhausts me to the core. Don't get me wrong I love it when it is happening but all the preparation is absolutely exhausting for a person who is chronically ill and I never know what it is going to do to me after the fact. Jealous I can't have a "normal" Christmas. Somewhat.
I got out of the tub after my pity party and went down stairs. Rich had no idea how I was feeling until I sat on the couch and started to tell him how hard the day was for me. He is so chipper. Smiling and saying, "Oh come on that is why you have me. God knew what he was doing when he put us together." Then I really started to cry and told him I knew all that and then I asked him what would I do without him. If something ever happened to him? Yes, when you are ill you wonder about things like this. In his usual fashion he said, "Nothing is going to happen I'm not going anywhere." For some reason he thinks he is immune to this death thing because God knows I need him to take care of me. He comes over and kneels down and puts his arms around me and reminds me of his love, but most of all about his understanding, he gets illness better than anyone because he lives with with me it all the time. He makes my jealousy go away. The jealousy of having no medical issues to deal with, the not being able to shop without thinking about the pay off. He reminds me how truly blessed I am. I feel better and return to my un-jealous self real fast!