|My dad and I at my wedding in 1989 - I miss him every day!|
|My cousins and I 1978 (I'm 2nd from the left)|
|My cousins and I yesterday (7 of the 9 of us)|
Bottom line is that family is SO important. It's easy to become isolated when we live with chronic illness, not by choice but by necessity. You may not be able to attend family functions any more or go to large gatherings like weddings and funerals. Or, you may have purposely distanced yourself from family members who don't understand your illness.
So, I thought I would once again share some of my own experiences. This blog post, Helping Family to Understand ME/CFS, describes my own very painful experiences with my family in the early years of my illness and how I finally improved things. It's still not perfect - there are people in my family who will NEVER understand - but I am glad to have repaired things enough that I am able to enjoy my family.
This article I wrote for ProHealth, Managing Family Relationships - Holidays and Beyond, is particularly important at this time of year, with holiday gatherings approaching. It provides some tips on how to enjoy the time you spend with your extended family, whether they understand your illness or not.
And if you are homebound and not able to attend family gatherings, then this article might help. It's another one I wrote just recently for ProHealth: Staying Connected with Friends While Ill. While the article focuses on friendships, the tips apply just as well to family relationships, too, with ideas for staying in touch even if you can't leave home.
I hope those blog posts and articles help you to get closer to your family and/or enjoy your time with them more. Today, I am very grateful for my family.