Feeling jealous and alone

I know that jealousy is a useless emotion. I’m already working to change what I can, and a lot is out of my control, so there’s no point in being jealous. Yet I am.

You’d think I’d be jealous of my healthy friends’ good health, but I’m not. Ok, I am a little bit, but for the most part I’m past that. I know that I can’t have that, so I’ve let it go. Sure, I get jealous of their good relationships with their spouses, their kids, their pets – all things I could have but don’t. But what I’m really jealous of is my friend L’s situation.

You see, L also has chronic illnesses. She has chronic pain and other symptoms, so we can really relate to each other. What I’m jealous of is that she’s never had to handle her illness or it’s results alone. She moved in with her then-boyfriend (now-husband) as a teenager, and he’s always been there to take care of her. I, on the other hand, have been alone for the worst of my health problems. My parents were very supportive when I lived with them, and then I had tough years where I could manage alone. And now? Well, now I could move in with my parents if I had to, but for many reasons I’d rather not do that.

I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky. I’m able to live on my own, and that’s huge. And I’ve been able to go to college and work, which L never did because she was much younger when she became disabled. But still, I’m jealous that she has someone to help her out. Her husband earns a very good salary, so she can afford to have someone else do her laundry, to get medical treatments that aren’t covered by insurance like acupuncture and naturopathy, and to get massages, all without worrying about the cost. I either can’t do these things, or I pull money out of savings for them and then stress over them. She gets to have pets. She freely admits that she couldn’t care for them herself, and in addition to loving them, she talks about how much they help her. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check any search engine and you’ll see the many articles that talk about the physical ย and emotional benefits of having pets. I know they’d help me, but I can’t afford them or take care of them. Beyond the money, L has help and support at home. Her husband helps with the chores and does all of the cooking. He comforts her when she feels especially sick. He helps her make decisions about her health. Oh, what I would give to have that.

I was thinking about this today on the way home from the grocery store. I managed to do the shopping ok, but as we all know, it doesn’t end there. I was wondering how I’d manage to get the groceries into the house, and I thought about L, and how her husband carries in the groceries. And after buying everything, I was tired and needed to rest, but dinner still had to be cooked, and I thought about how L’s husband does their cooking. And I thought about how on days like today, when I don’t see anyone else except at the store, and other days when I don’t see anyone at all, it would be so nice to have a spouse come home and have a conversation with me, and give me a hug.

Everyone’s life is different. I know that. I know that I have a lot of things that L doesn’t have. I know I have a lot of things that many other people don’t have. Still, some days I get jealous, and today is one of those days. Some days, I just wish I had someone else to help me through the tough days and celebrate the good days so I wouldn’t feel so responsible for everything, and so alone.

10 Responses to Feeling jealous and alone

  1. Karen J says:

    Oh! I am sooo right there with you, CR!

    I miss “partner-ing” so much, so often – my situation may not technically be “any better” if he was still here, or even if someone else was here now, but it would surely feel better, because I wouldn’t have to fret about phone-minutes or batteries; and, oh, baby, “Hugs on request” is a priceless resource!!

    Blessings to you, my friend across the country!

    • chronicrants says:

      Thanks Karen, for your ending sentiment and for reminding me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. You know what I miss? Cuddling. Boy, would I love to have someone to cuddle with. I hope you find someone for hugs on request ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Karen J says:

        Thank YOU! {{{CR}}}
        And, yaknow, within 5 minutes of me posting that^^^, I got an incredible phone call from a dear moral-support friend.
        She’s not nearby, but I was reminded again that “If I’m open to It, the Universe *is* on my side” – as long as I’m also “helping myself” as much as I can.

      • chronicrants says:

        She sounds like a fantastic friend. I hope you tell her how great she is – we all need friends like her in our corners.

  2. run4joy59 says:

    I also live alone and deal with everything by myself. Sometimes I like it that way…you know, when I come home from work exhausted I don’t have to worry about doing all the things you have to do when you share your home with someone else. But there’s also no one around when I feel awful…no one to share the load.
    I guess all we can do is our best…

  3. Lorna says:

    When I read this. The first thing that went through my mind is guilt and sadness for your situation. I felt guilty because even though I am ill, I have a husband and son(doesn’t live with us now). So I have support all the time. I have the safety net of someone always there. Even if he is a grumpy old goat some days. My friend is in a similar situation to you. She has two grown up sons but would love to have a body to love her and be there. I don’t know how you are supposed to meet a keeper when you don’t go far. I would love for the world to be fair so there was someone for you and her. I think you are so open and have so much to give that we chronically ill can still love and cherish. If only the world could see it.
    So maybe our jealousy and guilt can cancel each other out.
    Lorna x

    • chronicrants says:

      Thanks for your support Lorna, but instead of feeling guilty, I hope you’ll learn to feel grateful. The truth is, I don’t begrudge anyone else their supportive family members, I just wish I had my own. So be grateful for yours. And in the meantime, if you happen to know anyone single in the Boston area…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. beciairene says:

    I understand the jealousy very well. I’m there myself currently…I’m jealous of those who can just get up and go on a whim, who can drive, who can ride a bike, who can walk up the stairs and do a load of laundry, walk downstairs to the basement for fun.
    I left my family after having a heart surgery they were refusing to let me heal from. It’s always been Becia to the rescue, Becia takes care of Mom and the kids, and I can go do whatever I want. I was working myself to the bone and farther, essentially killing myself because I’ve never been the one in the house who could be sick. When my friends offered to let me stay in their guest room, to get my life back on track, I never realized that my life would take the turn it did.
    Three weeks later, i was passed out in the bathroom doorway, and my friend Dave had to pick me up off the ground. A few days later, we discovered my heart wasn’t pumping blood to the rest of me right, causing me to pass out extremely easily, another surgery, and then several hospital stays for a diagnosis of POTS.
    At the time if this writing, these people have become my family, but I’m still an outsider sometimes. I can’t do my laundry because I stand for more than a minute, and I pass out, and the machines are up the stairs. More than I can count, they’ve picked me up off the floor, held me gently while I had seizure upon seizure, cried with me with every stupid Iv poke in the hospital and ers. I’m so grateful for their help, but I’m so jealous that I can’t just pick up and go with them places or activities. I have to plan things, make sure my meds are timed, have my “supplies” for whatever we might run into (earplugs for sounds, glasses and hoodie for lights and activity around me, wheelchair, sometimes with feet if we need to go places and they push me because of time and energy).
    One thing that really has a sore spot with me is biking. I used to bike race and ride before all this went down… Dave actually sold me my current bike. It’s currently sitting in the garage, while his gets use, he’s running like I was training to do… The entire family is so active and beautiful, and I’m just like the fat, tired ugly duckling that was forgotten as they all poured out the door to the car. But when I do get to go out, the time and effort in having to deal with me, I’m sure it’s crazy, even though they say all the time it’s not.
    I’m jealous of people who have relationships, who get kisses and hugs in a regular basis. No one dates girls like me. I’m lonely, have no family now, as they don’t really talk to me anymore, no way of getting out and about as I still haven’t been cleared to drive since July. I get out for doctors appointments, church, maybe lunch after church, and that is it.
    Someday I will be better, and I won’t have to be jealous. But right now, I really wish was normal again. Or at least able to stand for more than a minute. I miss my life. I miss being able to bike, drive, run, stand. Stupid illness.

    • chronicrants says:

      That sounds really tough. I hope you can find a way to get some balance, so you’re able to get at least some of the things you want, even if you can’t get all of them. Good luck!

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