Partners, Friendships, Chronic Pain and Illness

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Celeste Cooper
 
Since February is the love month, I have concentrated my writing towards fortifying friendships and reclaiming romance in the lives of those of us who live with chronic pain and/or chronic illness.
 

friendship 
the emotions or conduct of friends;
the state of being friends.
 

We have all sorts of relationships. For instance, we have relationships with co-workers, our doctors, our barber or hairdresser, and sometimes even with our grocery checker or the person who delivers our mail. But, none is as necessary to our emotional well-being as our relationships with family, life partners, and friends.
 
We know the effects of toxic relationships, and family, life partners and friends are not exempt. But, the friendships that prevail are those that make us feel safe. They allow us to share in problem solving and lift us up in joy and celebration. These particular relationships nurture our love, trust, forgiveness, and support. They deserve our attention and our time during the month that celebrates love.

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My Personal Testimony
 
I can testify that just a few changes on my part have made a huge difference in the way others react to me and my disabilities. My friends say that previously they were afraid to share things with me because of my health problems and their unpredictability. Because I have learned how to share my experiences and how to keep the lines of effective communication open, they are no longer intimidated by me. I learned that my behavior and reactions to others only hampered smooth interactions with friends and family. 

Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
(Cooper and Miller, 2010, Healing Arts Press)

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Friendships play a key role in our happiness. So, plan to send a message of gratitude to your special people this Valentine's Month. 
 

Walking with a friend in the dark is 
better than walking alone in the light.
~Helen Keller

 
I hope you will follow along during the love month. Check out the slideshow written exclusively for Health Central, 8 Ways to Reclaim Romance this Valentine’s Dayand  the article just released by ProHealth, 10 Things that Sustain Fibro Friendships. (Updated, 2/13/2017). Also coming this month is my Sharepost for Health Central, Love, Relationships and Chronic Pain. Check out my website on relationships, communication, and other coping strategies. I hope you find them helpful for renewing current and past relationships and finding new ones.
 
In healing, Celeste
 

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."
 
~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN, is a frequent contributor to ProHealth.  She is an advocate, writer and published author, and a person living with chronic pain. Celeste is lead author of Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain and Broken Body, Wounded Spirit, and Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain (a four book series). She spends her time enjoying her family and the rewards she receives from interacting with nature through her writing and photography. You can learn more about Celeste’s writing, advocacy work, helpful tips, and social network connections at CelesteCooper.com.

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