One of the recurring themes at the monthly WomenHeart Support Group meetings that I provide, is that each of us in the group is struggling with having better communication outside the group itself. Although the time spent during group sessions are both helpful and informative, not to mention that we’ve been able to attain a unique camaraderie in our group, the issue of trying to get our spouse, family or friends to open up and have a discussion about what we’re going through, what our emotional needs are, is harder than sticking that camel-through-the-eye-of-the-needle quote in the Bible!
How are we supposed to reach our community, our state, our country, in regard to what we as women go through when it comes to heart disease, when we can’t even reach those individuals who are the closest to us – spouse, family and friends?
Is it the age-old issue of “denial,” or is it that we just live in such a fast-paced lifestyle today that our family and friends don’t have time to deal with it?
Our support group only meets once a month…but we see our family, for the most part, every day, and our friends frequently. What I, and the women in not only my support group, but women everywhere living with heart disease, is that we need YOU, our family and friends, to reach out to us more…ask how we’re feeling? ask if there is something you can do to help? ask if we need a shoulder to cry on, and/or a pair of ears to listen?
It has been proven that women with heart disease, who do have that emotional family and friend support, have a much better quality of life and a prolonged life.
Don’t let the fear of what you might not want to hear keep you from listening. We, women living with heart disease, need to know that you care…our lives depend on it!!!