To the Person Who Doesn’t Invite Me Because of My Chronic Illness

Certain things might happen with my health, which then have an effect on other parts of my life, specifically in the way people might see or treat me.

I wanted to be honest and open about this, because these “situations” I find myself in irritate and upset me.

Last year, I was at an event. I had been feeling fine all day and was excited to see and celebrate what my friends had achieved. I got ready and left my house early, which meant I was there a little before to help out with a few bits. There were lots of people, good food and good vibes. As everyone sat down for dinner, I started to feel a little funny. I didn’t feel hungry, which is unlike me, and I started to feel cold and dizzy.

Yep, chronic illness always knows when to be my hot date. (Joke!) The truth is, I was simply unwell with a tummy infection. It was the wrong place, wrong time and I ended up in an ambulance, because as I was leaving (yes, leaving), I collapsed in front of everyone. Such a kerfuffle!

Everyone helped me. I mean, they went above and beyond. The following morning I was mortified and felt that I had ruined an event. I guarantee you that’s a worse feeling than any hangover.

That’s what I mean about being honest. Being 19 years old and feeling like you have let your friends down totally bites. Especially now that I’m older, I’m confident in what is important to me; I don’t want to miss out. No apology is ever going to repair damages that are out of my control.

Sometimes people will say or text me the phrase, “You shouldn’t have come.” Accepting that I can be seen as a liability has been especially hard this past year. So I ask, then what? This could have happened to me anywhere, at anytime. I didn’t come to your event so I could be unwell. I appreciate all the love and help, of course I do. Yet, I notice a change in attitude toward me, and it makes me feel rubbish.

That wasn’t the first time it’s happened, and it definitely won’t be the last. The truth is, I’m actually no longer invited to your events. Instead I sit home, watching your event unfold. I sit and watch while you post your “great time” or “girls’ night” on Instagram and Facebook.

You see, when that happens, it’s most likely a one-off. My body just wasn’t in the mood to behave. So please invite me to your next event. Don’t be over-protective the next time you see me. Don’t ask me a million times if I’m OK or if I need to sit down. If I’m with you or attending one of your events, please just treat me like you would anyone else.

Don’t question why I came. Tell me how glad you are that I came.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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