COPD and Its Devastating Effects on People's Lives
This article explores the theme of maintaining emotional health in the context of COPD. My COPD journey has been a long one, and I was under the distinct impression that my life was good. I was so sure about my relationships and completely unaware that all was not well. I'm sure it happens all the time and it can be extremely unexpected and hurtful. But I've been soul-searching and hoping to come up with some new ways to deal with my situation. I came up with a few ideas.
I'd like to be more emotionally invested in my relationships. For example, I can better communicate that I don't expect everyone to walk on eggshells around me just because I'm having a bad breathing day. I can show my family that I'm a capable part of the community by being more independent. I'd like to show more affection even if I'm having a rough time and not taking out my frustrations on everyone. I think I've been doing this a lot lately, without even realizing it.
Effects of physical limitations
Not being physically active with Nathan has become quite challenging lately, as we are still both fairly young and actually in our prime. It's been much harder for Nathan to come to terms with than me, purely because I'm so focused on my health I've forgotten that he needs me just as much as I need him.
I think this has all been highlighted by the rest of the family and their relationships and how they behave around us. He needs more affection and I need to work out how to be there for him. I didn't realize how selfish I've been and I need to fix things or else I may lose my soulmate. This includes getting out of the house and being more involved with social activities.
Learning about myself
I've discovered that I can survive anything as long as I have the support of my family. When the world seems to close in on me, I am only as strong as the belief I have in myself. I am a positive person and will fight to hold onto the people that mean everything to me.
I know I'm supposed to write about things that can help other COPD sufferers navigate their illness in a positive way, but sometimes it can get too much. I refuse to pretend that my life is always happy and that I don't feel lost at times. No one wants to hear all the negatives about having this debilitating disease, but my life is very real and so are all the challenges I face daily.
After this really rough time, I know what I have to do to help myself and my family. It won't be easy, because I've lived in this comfort zone for so long. I have to relearn how to be more intimate and available. What I will take away from this whole experience is my will to keep my family together. That means everything to me.
Do you have questions about your COPD diagnosis?