Why a Person With Chronic Illness May Decline That Invite

When you have a chronic illness you sometimes have to pick and choose what activities you can do. Even though we may want to say yes to every little event we are asked to, we know sometimes we just have to say no.

It’s not that we want to decline. It really is a matter of what our bodies are capable of handling in a week, or even a day. We know our limitations, and sometimes we do push the boundaries of those limits, but we will likely pay for it in the next handful of days. Our bodies may make us take rest, because they ache and just are too physically exhausted to take on whatever task we might want to force them to endure.

I am a mother of two boys. A feisty toddler who thinks he is too big for his britches, and a kindergartener who loves extracurricular activities. From church responsibilities, 4-H meetings, entertaining a 2-year-old, and whatever youth sport my 5-year-old wants to participate in, I am a busy person. Did I mention I also work? My weeks are jam-packed.

Sometimes I have to decline your offer to go out on a weekend, to a family function, or a volunteer opportunity. I want to push myself to partake in these moments that you have so graciously asked me to be apart of, but it’s just not worth it. I know if if I overload my body my chronic illness will put the hammer down. It will constrain my activities until I take proper care of myself and let myself recharge.

I’ve had people be offended because I was a no-show to their affair, or cancelled last-minute. It’s my disorder that can limit me at times, but it’s a hard idea to convey to others when I decline their offer. Yes, I can look fully rested and have a big fat smile on my face. Truth is, I am counting down the hours until I can take a nap and hopefully wake to a semi-rested body. To a body who isn’t aching.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be asked to participate. I know my chronic illness better then anyone else. I want to be apart of whatever I can, but understand that I might decline.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

Sad woman sitting on floor near wall

When Asking for Help Seems Like Too Hard a Task

Asking for help is hard. Really hard. People say they understand that. When someone is brave enough to ask for help when they are in a desperate situation they are congratulated on recognizing they can’t do it on their own. But do people really understand what it takes? It’s common for people not to ask [...]
Young adult woman listening music with headphones in bed.

A Playlist to Help You Through the Stages of Hospital Admission

Hospital admissions aren’t welcome at the best of times. When you’re chronically ill they take on a whole different meaning. We don’t go in and come out better — it can last a few days or months at a time of tests, surgeries, you name it. Not only is it exhausting physically, it takes a [...]
man standing against the milky way above silhouetted trees,night sky,scenery illustration

32 Habits That Can Cause Chronic Illness Fighters to Lose Hope

Do you ever talk to yourself? I know I do. I talk to myself all the time, and most of the time I am beating myself up. I believe one of the biggest issues we face with chronic illness is letting ourselves fall into a cycle of self-doubt. We begin to form a wide variety [...]
Get Well Soon Flowers

Please Don't Tell Me to 'Get Well Soon.' Say This Instead.

There is often no “getting well” when you are chronically ill. I know you mean well when you say this and your intentions aren’t to make me feel bad… but it makes me feel sad. I wish I could get well, and I keep trying to figure out something that will magically cure me of [...]