It’s OK to Talk About Bad Chronic Illness Days on Social Media
I had a really unfortunate situation happen to me today. I won’t get into specifics, but someone was upset with me for how much I share my personal health struggles on my social media pages. For years, I’ve struggled with endometriosis, PCOS, IBS and chronic pelvic pain. My diagnosis list continues to grow, much to my surprise and disdain, adding in an awful digestive condition called gastroparesis and a few we haven’t quite been able to identify yet. It’s almost as if every time we find a solution, another issue pops up. I go through a never-ending cycle of medical tests, referrals and waiting for answers that never seem to come.
At this point in my life, I’m pretty open with sharing the medical problems and issues I deal with on a day-to-day basis with friends and on social media. I’m part of a lot of online groups dedicated to chronic illnesses, and I’ve never hesitated to share my struggles right along with them. Why does there have to be shame in sharing my issues? Why does it make someone uncomfortable to see a post saying I’m having a bad day due to a flare-up, or maybe an updated status after a doctor’s visit?
Social media is a platform for everyone to share their voices and be heard. We all share our daily lives, our hobbies, our dinners, our nights with friends, so why is it any different when we talk about the not-so-good days? There is this stigma around being vulnerable, around showing your raw, authentic self. Why? Because we’re afraid of how others will perceive us? How others will respond?
We all want to show our best selves, and I think that’s perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s great! Please show me all the pictures of your little ones, your furbabies, your family reunions, and your nights out with friends. Tell me all about your date night, the movie you just saw, or what made your day so fantastic! But also tell me when you’re just having a down day or things just don’t seem to be working in your favor.
We all have bad days, and I think we’re so used to seeing everyone’s “picture-perfect” social media life we start to feel like we’re the only ones struggling, and it becomes this need to be kept a secret, to show we aren’t weak. Let’s face it, we’re humans, so by nature we’re flawed anyway. Perfection does not exist, so why do we always pretend?
It’s OK to talk about your bad days on social media! Your true friends will support you no matter what, and it’s always nice to have someone to talk to. And to be honest, if anyone has a problem with what you post or talk about, the unfriend option is a wonderful feature and I highly recommend it. We just don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives right now. So please, never be embarrassed, because deep down, we’re all struggling with something.
Getty image by Tommaso79.