I realize that as spoonies, we do a lot of talking about what we need from the people around us to thrive. I really wanted to take a look at what it is like for those who love us to try and meet those needs. It’s not easy being a spoonie, but it’s also not always easy to take care of one.
I’m so excited to feature this guest post from Mr. Autoimmune Mess, describing how loving a spoonie has helped him grow in his own life.
Mr. Autoimmune Mess is an amazing man. I was diagnosed while we first started dating and he never let that scare him away from loving me. He has stuck by me through all of the physical ups and downs of a chronic illness. He has held my hand as I was rushed into a few emergency surgeries and made sure I took the time to rest, even on good days. He is by far my biggest spoon, advocate, and supporter. I am so grateful he took the time to share this post.
What I Learned
Loving A Spoonie
By Mr. AutoimmuneMess
They Call Me “Mister Spoonie Mess”.
I am not a patient person.
I am the guy standing in line who, although he doesn’t voice anything verbally, tells the world through body language that he just can’t stand still for one more minute. At the bank, the grocery store, or just about anywhere else I pray daily for the patience to stand in line, or wait in traffic and not climb the walls.
So, how did God answer my prayer for increased patience?
By putting me a relationship with a wonderful, beautiful woman whose spoon limitations have forced me to re-evaluate my idiotic impatience!
It ain’t easy. Self-examination is not that hard. Honest self-evaluation, however, is a challenge to the very soul.
As I began dating Mrs. Autoimmune Mess, she was much less limited in her daily spoon allowance than she is now. Over time, her limitations have gradually and steadily increased. Activities we always did together became much more difficult and require great perseverance on her part.
For my part, I was forced to examine my impatience problem. I knew she was still giving her best at any given activity, but it was no longer at the same level we enjoyed and shared previously. I had to learn to balance encouraging her to be her best while understanding and empathizing with her increasing limitations.
This balance that I strived to strike was one of the most important growth experiences in my life.
Motivated by love, I realized that Mrs. AutoimmuneMess needed me to wait for her at times while still encouraging and cheering her on. I am learning to apply this lesson to other areas of my life: with my children, my friends, in lines, and in traffic.
I realized that I don’t always know what the other person is facing in their life, either in their everyday life or maybe something rotten that just happened five minutes before we crossed paths.
Jesus Christ calls me to be a servant, with a servant’s heart. God used a relationship with a wonderful woman with limited spoons to help me grow.
I am reminded of two adages in backpacking and hiking:
1) you are only as fast as the slowest member in your group, and
2) never split up the group.
In a relationship, this means patience, understanding, and self-sacrifice.
The rewards of these important areas of growth are increased understanding, cohesiveness, communication, and intimacy.
I see now that God gave me an Autoimmune Mess to love to help me clean up my own messes.