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 this horrible monster that has overtaken my body, but nothing seems to work. I’ve seen every doctor, every specialist, taken every test, tried multiple medications and supplements, changed my diet… you name it! It’s very frustrating.

The last time I saw my neurologist he looked me right in the eyes and said: “You need to stop trying to fix this. Instead, focus on managing it with the least toxic route.”

Hearing this made my brain scream, “No! I will find a cure!” But after a while it really sank in and actually gave me a little relief. I was focusing so much of my energy on trying to fix my illness and get back to where I was before all of this happened… when I was “well.” What I should have been doing was focusing my energy on self-care and relaxation. I was causing so much unneeded stress for myself.

Since I’ve been able to take my focus off finding a cure and “getting well” I have had so much more peace of mind. But when someone says to me, “Get well soon,” it just brings my mind back to the place it was in and stresses me out.

There are other things you could say that aren’t as triggering and are more validating to someone who is chronically ill…

1. I know how hard this is for you.

2. I’m here for you.

3. Take care of yourself, and let me know what I can do.

4. I can see you’re struggling, and I want to help.

5. You must be strong to have battled this every day.

6. I’m sorry you’re hurting.

7. I know this sucks, but you totally got this.

8. I believe in you.

9. You can always count on me when you’re feeling your worst.

10. Do you want to talk about it?

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

Stock image by Photodisc


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


Related to Chronic Illness

young woman laying in bed holding her stomach

When Staying in Bed Is Not a 'Break'

One of the worst phrases I have ever heard about my illness is, “It must be nice to stay in bed all day.” I know this is something someone probably says in passing after they had a long day. It is a phrase that makes sense to someone who always recovers from their sickness – be [...]
illustration of woman's eyes and dark hair

5 Reasons People May Not Talk About Their Chronic Illness

Getting sick is normal. Everyone catches the occasional cold or virus and eventually recovers, but being chronically ill is different. It’s like one day you caught the flu and never recovered. After a while, it becomes difficult to talk about: either you feel ashamed because you may not be the same person anymore, or you [...]
woman with her head in her hands

What Chronic Fatigue Really Feels Like

Chronic fatigue is one of the hardest things for a healthy, energetic and normal person to understand, so how best to describe how it actually feels? Perhaps the most effective way would be to compare it to some more relatable everyday scenarios. So here it goes: Imagine you’re midway through an atrocious bout of the flu. No, not [...]
Woman sleeping in bed, high angle view

What Sleeping Is Like When You Have a Chronic Health Condition

For people battling chronic disease, sleep is a complicated thing. On one hand, we often don’t get much of it on an average basis. Or, at least, not quality sleep. On the other hand, there are folks with conditions like depression, or those on medications that cause drowsiness, who sleep a lot. Our relationship with sleep [...]