Please Don't Scroll Past Your Friends' Posts About Chronic Illness

“It’s the height of privilege to be able to look away from pain, whoever’s pain it is. And so while the world says, this is almost too heartbreaking to bear, patients say, you don’t know the half of it.” – Jennifer Brea of “Unrest”

Fighting a chronic illness is a battle that has to be fought minute by minute. We do our best to advocate for ourselves; we share links on our social media, pictures of us in the hospital, at doctor appointments, in bed or getting infusions. We share pictures and graphics that break our debilitating illnesses down to one or two sentences in hopes that someone will read, notice, see, share and care, because we know most people won’t read more than a couple of sentences these days.

We share in hopes that on the days we are too weak to do anything but lay in our beds and sleep, that someone will carry that advocacy torch for us, that they will become our voice and continue fighting for awareness and research funds, because quite literally, our lives depend on it!

I understand that there is so much negativity in the world today and the last thing people want to see or think of is illness or pain, but those of us who are struggling and fighting, we don’t get that option. We have to think of it even though I’m sure most of us wish we were able to say “Eh, not really in the mood to deal with that today!”

So sometimes the best we can do is share those pictures on social media, share those links to articles that sum it all up, write a status saying “I’m just so tired, this is hard to get through,” and trust me, even those things most people think are simple and trivial, they are oftentimes the biggest mountain we are going to climb that day.

I’m writing all of this to ask people to just stop for a second and try to see that when you see those posts on your timelines or on your Instagram feed, know the patient behind that post, whether that be your friend, family, acquaintance or some random person, they are fighting for their lives. While it might be easy for you to scroll past those posts and not even think twice, know the person behind it doesn’t get that privilege.

All we ask is for five seconds of your time to look, see and hear. The point is, if you’re friends with someone on Facebook or other social media platforms, why wouldn’t you want to read the posts? Why wouldn’t you want to share and raise awareness? How can it be so easy to look away at those who are suffering and in pain and say, “eh, not my problem,” or “I don’t feel like hearing about that today?”

All I ask is that you look, hear, care and share.

All I ask is that you become a part of our fight, join us and advocate for us.

All I ask is that you see.

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