Without the Darkness, We Wouldn’t See the Light
In Chinese philosophy, the concepts of yin and yang represent two opposing forces that come together in synergy to complement each other and create a perfect balance. Their symbols are interconnected black and white halves of a circle, each with a dot of the opposite half’s color.
It perfectly illustrates the common saying, “Without darkness, there can be no light.” I often think about this in the context of chronic illness because it’s relevant to my situation with my husband, Jared, who lives with hemophilia and a seizure disorder.
Jared and I typically go through ups and downs, or brief periods of darkness between lengthy bursts of light, depending on his state of health. Whenever he has an active bleed, for instance, time seems to slow down, and the energy of our home turns melancholic, especially if he’s in pain.
I’ll admit, Jared’s bleeding episodes can be disappointing. Sometimes, I can’t help but wish that I had the power to speed up time and fast-forward to his recovery. But life doesn’t work like that.
I recently spoke with someone who’s facing relationship issues, which prompted me to reflect on what other married couples go through. I don’t wish to compare experiences, because I know each marriage is unique. Yet I can’t help but consider the many ways chronic illness affects a marriage.
Chronic illness can feel like an unwanted third party in our marriage. Jared and I are monogamous and like it that way. An uninvited presence butting its head into our marital affairs is extremely annoying.
Most couples must consider the other person’s desires and learn to compromise to maintain a healthy relationship. But in our case, we not only have to consider each other’s preferences and quirks, but we must also avoid triggering Jared’s hemophilia and seizures, lest we enter another dark period in our lives.
I’m slowly learning to appreciate these dark moments, though. They make me even more grateful for the good things Jared and I get to enjoy in our marriage, such as bonding moments, birthday celebrations, family trips, and holidays.
Waiting for him to get better again trains me in patience. Jared’s sick days also push me to demonstrate care and concern to the man I married.
I don’t mean to romanticize chronic illness. The truth is that it sucks most of the time, and sometimes there are no silver linings. Still, illness can lead to valuable lessons and realizations.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.