Love, Family and Community
You all must be wondering what in the world is Spiro talking about with a title like Love, Family and Community and what in the world does it have to do with gout? It’s the psychological and emotional support that we all need as human beings, that there is someone there for us, to love us, listen to us and simply be there for us when faced with challenges in life and setbacks like gout. As they say in wedding vows “for better or for worse”! My point is, that we as human beings all need a mate to be our best friend, to be there for us like no one else can, I personally think of my wife as my partner and we are a team since we married, meaning we live together and both contribute equally to our lives. For example, she takes care of cooking and I take care of the cleaning, she does the laundry and I do the home improvements, we both earn an income that we split the bills and savings for our future. Basically, we are building a life together and since the birth of our son last month, it has changed both of our lives forever. It’s amazing to see how a child can make you reflect on life and how precious it is, how short it is cause it really passes by so fast, the days, the weeks, months, the years just pass so fast. The love you feel for your child and how you want to provide for it and be there for your child, forces myself to eat healthier, exercise and live a healthier life. Why? Because I want to be on alive till at least 100 to be there for my son, watch my grand-children grow up, I don’t want to die before my time cause this flesh body is fully capable of lasting us 100 years if we properly take care of it and eat the proper foods with diet and exercise. The formula to great health is not complicated but many out there do complicate it with contradicting beliefs and diet fads, it seems every year there’s some new research that disproves another study or last year’s fad, the old way of doing things is no longer good, the new way is better blablablabla and all we have is confusion at the end.
What is love as it pertains to your psychological health?
So love is your mate including your children, then comes family; our parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. Yes they are all very important to your mental health, they are there to keep us company as well help us just like my mom and mother-in-law helps my family with delicious home-cooked meals when my wife and I are too busy to cook and don’t have anything to eat, your mom is always there to the rescue. Family is key in supporting you with fighting your disease, maybe it’s helping you, by driving you to a doctor’s appointment since you can’t walk or buying some groceries for you since you are too busy. Maybe you feel a little down and only a certain family member can cheer you up. Family is the foundation of your life which includes the loves of your life, in your mate and children. There would be so much less mental illness today if the family unit was much stronger, we see everywhere rampant divorce rates, children leaving their parents at an early age and parents who just don’t have the skills to raise their children properly causing havoc to society, since we all have to deal with mental illness as a society. All that those people who are diagnosed with mental illnesses really need is human kindness in the form of love, family support and socially through friendships which studies have proven over and over again, that the more friends, the more social you are, the happier you are in life.
Which brings us to community. We as human beings all like to be a part of a community whether in our country, city, religious groups/associations, political affiliations or within our neighborhood, we all like to be part of a bigger group with similar values like ourselves, seeking friendships is very important for your overall mental health and psychological makeup. I personally have many friends that keep my weekends always busy, going out to restaurants, events or simply gathering at a friend’s house to watch a game on TV. The more you reach out socially with family and friends, the happier you will be! They too are an important source of support for your mental and psychological health. Studies have shown that people who are lonely or live alone usually die earlier than they are supposed to, depression being a disease that can affect your mental as well as your physical well being. Many studies also have proven that people are happier in poorer nations than richer ones since community plays a big role in their lives, in other words they don’t have money but they do have each other. My philosophy on life is that love (your mate and children), family and community (friends) are your “cake” and money is only the “icing” on top, money is good if you have it, it affords more liberty/freedom than somebody who doesn’t have it; if you choose to spend it wisely but can create many headaches also. Just look at all the rich and famous who commit suicide every year cause they were unhappy in their lives although they had so much material wealth! Remember material wealth cannot communicate with you, keep you company, only other human beings can. Memories and experiences can only be created with other human beings whether it’s your mate, son,daughter, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, cousin and friends. Time to plan that big family reunion?
My advice to you
So my advice to you fellow gout sufferer, is go out there, make yourself visible, join a group, organization, association and make new friends. Keep your family ties, give your mom a call once in a while, we all lead busy lives but make the time, make the effort to communicate with your family members, don’t let too much time go away that creates distance between you and your family members, you will one day need them, to lean on their shoulder, or even cry in it. For those of you who are single, the internet offers so many opportunities for you to find a mate and eventually to procreate and start a family. Remember, one day you will be old and in need of help from your children and you don’t want to be spending Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners alone either. So get up and take action, there is no excuse for you to not connect with people from all over the globe with all the technology we now have at our disposal. For those who can’t afford the technology (computer/mobile phone), just get up and walk around your local community and see what social clubs, organizations, churches, associations, clubs you can join. Be active in your community and have fun, enjoy life, life was meant to be enjoyed with others! At the end this will help you in your battle with gout, all that support and empathy from friends and family will motivate you to beat this disease, you are a winner, act like one. You don’t have to be alone but you can’t be stubborn either, maintaining relationships is a give and take process, you must give in order to receive. You must be fair in all of your relationships and empathy plays a key role in maintaining long standing friendships. We all need somebody to talk to at the end of the day, to get stuff off of our chests, that will make us feel better and keep us going, cause life ain’t easy, that’s for sure!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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