We are getting near the end of wedding season. Weekend after weekend, you see your family, friends, or people you just met marry their special someone and enter the beautiful sacrament of marriage.
I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to watch sometimes. Of course, you are beyond thrilled and truly happy for the couple entering marriage, but it does sting a little bit when all you want is the same thing.
People with chronic illness face a different type of sting. One that brings many different levels of pain. Finding someone to not only love and protect you, but willing to take on a role they would know ahead of time is down right petrifying.
Before officially getting diagnosed at 23, dating actually seemed more approachable and less intimidating(even though dating is always hard). I never had to worry about when and how I should share my realty of living with CHD. Being a single 28 year old congenital heart defect survivor, I’m learning everyday how to do this(if there is even a right way).
I remember in high school and college, having no idea about my condition or what my future would consist of, and worrying about the tiniest things when it came to dating. Like we all do! Had I know what was coming in my life, I wouldn’t have worried or obsessed so much. I’ll admit, I miss the times when dating(although didn’t see it that way at the time) was simple. When my biggest fear was if I had the perfect hair and makeup look. Now, my biggest fear is what if he doesn’t want to deal with someone who has an invisible chronic disease? It’s a real fear and I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it.
I think now, more than ever, it is so important to surround yourselves with a community that has walked in your shoes. Everyone can be happy for someone else’s happiness. I believe that because there is so much good in this world. However, being human, the craving to love and be loved stings a little deeper as you get older when you have a chronic illness. And the fear of someone not wanting you because of your illness and everything that surrounds it, becomes more and more real as time goes on.
Sharing the realities and hardships of getting through life events with people that have been in your shoes, helps more than you might know. If you are struggling with dating as a CHDer or just simple life events that make it more challenging than what most people have to do, know that you are not alone! First and foremost, turn to faith. If you give up hope, then you’ve given up on pursuing the desires of your heart.