themighty logo

How Chronic Pain Is Teaching Me to Be OK With Depending on Someone


Early in my life I learned I could not rely on anyone to be there for me. I spent most of my adult life proving to myself that I was independent and could conquer anything I set my mind to.

I still felt this way when I married my current husband. For the first few years of our marriage I had a career and I was an adjunct professor at a local university. I felt like I had it all: a husband, family, career.

As my pain slowly took over, I denied I was losing control. I continued doing everything through the pain — until my body finally won the battle and I gave in to the pain. I left my work. I left teaching. I even left being a mother and a wife in spirit. I slowly went into a black hole (mentally), and I just dealt with the pain. As time went on, I became more dependent on my husband to be there for me — to help me get through the pain, to help me get things done around the house, to help me get out to see people and do the few things I can still do.

He did it again this week. He took me out of town to my cousin’s funeral. She was 41 and had a husband and four children. She died from complications caused by cancer treatment. This has been a very sad time for me and for all who knew her. I wouldn’t have been able to go or handle it if my husband weren’t with me.

As I write this blog post, I realize how privileged I am to have a wonderful husband who cares enough about me to take me to the important things in life so I don’t miss out. He puts up with a lot, and my illness has caused him to miss out on a lot. I think what he misses most is not being able to take off and go fishing like he used to. I try to encourage he do so, but his spirit has taken a blow too and he just doesn’t seem to have the interest he used to.

But, all in all, we have been humbled, and we have each other. We appreciate each other. And although in my younger years I vowed to never depend on a man, I’m so glad I have this man to depend on.

Follow this journey on What’s So Atypical?

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.