We've recently had some columns about people who have experienced traumatic illnesses and been let down by their partners. I'm thinking of Lana, whose husband accused her of having surgery to avoid having sex with him, and Iris, whose boyfriend kicked her out of their home when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Today we hear from Jordan. She says:
"I just wanted to chime in with my story, which is thankfully different from Lana's and Iris'.
"Back in 2008, I was the President/CEO of a medium-sized insurance company. It was my first CEO gig, and I was learning the ropes. I didn't really like the job -- too many audits and human resources and compliance issues. It just wasn't a good fit. Still, I plugged away because I knew I was lucky to have the job.
"After a while, the stress really got to me. I wasn't sleeping, I was worried and anxious all the time. I had to fire people, which I hated to do, but it had to be done. Like I said, not a good fit.
"It finally took a toll on me, and I ended up in the hospital. When I got out, I went back to the job, but it was killing me. The irony was that I wasn't making that much more money than I was at my old job, but here I was with all this responsibility, and my vice president didn't really have my back. I finally quit, but I didn't have another job lined up.
"My husband was so supportive. I found another job but didn't like that one either. I ended up in the hospital again. I stayed at that job for two years and was then out of work for 10 months. All the while, he had my back.
"I'm doing much better now. I don't love my job -- I have a 60-mile daily commute through awful traffic -- but I stay because it's not stressing me out and I have a great boss. I also have a great medical team, including an internist and a psychiatrist, to watch over me so I feel well-cared for.
"I have a great support network with my girlfriends and sorority sisters, women I've known and loved me since I was 17 years old. I'm thinking about getting my MBA at the ripe old age of 53! So I guess the moral to the story is, even in your darkest days, if you're surrounded by loved ones who have your back, this, too, shall pass. Believe me, I had really dark days, but life is much better now."
-- How did your partner respond to your illness? How did you respond to theirs? Send your tale, along with your questions and rants to email@example.com. And check out my e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."