What I Do and Don't Want to Hear as a Person With Chronic Illness
Please stop telling me what I should do to “cure” myself. Stop providing unsolicited medical advice. Stop telling me I am too young to be so ill. Stop telling me I don’t “look” sick. Stop telling me if I changed my attitude, I would feel better. Stop telling me it could be worse, or I should just be thankful I do not have A, B or C illness.
Do tell me you do not understand what it is like to be chronically ill, but you are there for me to lean on, scream to vent to and cry to. Do tell me you hope I have more good days than bad. Do tell me I am strong, and we will win this fight together. Do tell me my frequent cancellations, inability to attend or leaving from events is OK. Do tell me that despite everything, you will stand by me, through friendship or family, and will support me.
Do tell me you understand that what I do not say is often more important than what I do say. Do tell me my silence roars. Do tell me I should never give up.
Do tell me you believe me. Do tell me you may not grasp the pain I hide so well behind a veil every day, but you are still rooting for me.
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Thinkstock photo via nathings.