Continued Struggles

It seems like the only thing I do here is continually list the things that challenge me. But, it seems like maybe if I am able to write them down, then it becomes possible to deal with them and make them go away. This is the theory, anyway.

This week I decided that I am going to go to the gym in the mornings (at 5 am) and work out. My mind is always clearer and I'm better able to handle stress when I regularly work out. That said, I've been lax lately and haven't gone in two weeks. So, this morning my alarm rings at 4:50 am, an obscenely early hour. I hit snooze, something I strive never to do.

Then the bed suddenly thumped. I thought about it a minute and decided the thump must have come from K. I peered over. I wasn't wearing my glasses and I am cursed with exceptionally poor vision. As far as I could tell, she was scowling at me. I quickly withdrew my head.

My assumption was that she had another miserable night, since she frequently has problems sleeping. I began preparing myself for the news that she wouldn't get up at 6 am to go to work. But, I also decided if she was in that bad a mood, I should head out to the gym. Not that she ever is bad or particularly irritable with me, but still, do you really want to be around someone who's angry with themselves?

I dragged myself out of bed, stumbled on a few dog toys that the dog had decided were necessary to haul into the bedroom for the night. She has probably carried them downstairs to bond with them for the day. And I trotted off to the gym to lift weights for 40 minutes. Yesterday, I did cardio, so that's on tomorrow's schedule again.

When I arrived home an hour later, I was pleasantly surprised to find K out of bed and sitting at the dining room table. Turns out, she had no recollection of either the thump or the scowl and were probably part of a dream.

What disturbed me about this was my initial reaction was that K had a bad night and I didn't exactly worry, but it bothered me throughout my workout. If she needed to stay home from work that's fine. I'm not going to pressure her, but the thought that she had a bad night was niggling away at me. I'm trying to be better about letting that stuff go and reminding myself that she is a responsible adult.

It's the changing roles brought on by the illness, which can challenge any relationship. Suddenly, instead of partners, one partner may have to make decisions for the other. And, those decisions may be ones that the ill partner doesn't like. I've been fortunate in that I haven't had to make any really bad decisions, such as involuntary committal (is that right?). But still, it puts the power balance of relationships into the spotlight. And even continual small decisions can change the relationship.

K and I are at the next stage. We are working on restoring the relationship from the ill/healthy model to one of healthy/healthy. No big problems, but I do catch myself and try to stop excessive worrying on my part. She's capable of taking care of herself and she needs to do it and is doing it. That is for her sake as well as my own.


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