When I became ill I was not in a relationship. Now I can’t see how it will ever be possible to start a relationship.
I’m in pain every minute of every day. That’s not exactly conducive to fulfilling my carnal or emotional needs or responding to those of another person. But to get those needs fulfilled I’d first have to have desires. I have none. I don’t think about being with anyone. Not kissing. Not touching. Not having sex.
I spend my days trying to focus on doing the most basic activities – showering, dressing, taking medication, eating, sleeping – so thoughts of intimacy rarely make it to the front of my mind. If they do, they are in the form of longings about what used to be; with a resigned acceptance that I may never experience the comforts and pleasures of a relationship again.
My friends try to reassure me that my illness doesn’t have to rob me of a full life that includes being close to and sharing my life with someone else. I’ve also been told that I need to expand my definition of what sex is to include more than intercourse. But the issue isn’t just the act of sex. I’m in so much pain all the time I can’t imagine someone touching me or getting close to me with physical intimacy being the goal. Besides, I’m taking so much pain medication I don’t know if I could think clearly long enough to get to know someone sufficiently to decide if I would want to be in a relationship with them.
So what do I do? How do I pursue intimacy knowing that I might not be able to make my body follow the will of my mind? And worse still, what happens if the pain never gives me a break so I can think, talk, and act on behalf of my desires when they show up?
U2 – Desire