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14 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Be Unable to Work Due to Illness

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For many of those in the chronic illness/disability community, health conditions prevent them from being able to work. While it can absolutely be challenging to hold down a job while battling an illness (or several), not working can also come with its own set of difficulties, ranging from emotional to social to financial.

A lack of understanding about what it’s really like to be sick/disabled and unemployed has unfortunately led to many harmful misconceptions: Some may see the unemployment as a “vacation,” while others accuse folks who receive government assistance of trying to get a “free ride.” This is not just inaccurate, but hurtful.

The reality is that many of those who are unemployed due to health issues may struggle to make ends meet financially (the cost of appointments, medications and treatments can quickly add up), and this can lead to a great deal of stress and worry. People may also struggle with a loss of identity, purpose or sense of accomplishment – all of which a job can provide. Socially, it can be difficult to not work with or be around others each day. Staying home by yourself all day may be nice for a day or two, but it can easily become lonely or boring. Not to mention all the physical symptoms you have to cope with every day!

It can be incredibly hard to lose the ability to work. But if you find yourself in this boat, know you’re not the only one. If humor helps you cope with the challenges of not working due to chronic illness, these memes are for you. Hopefully some of these will bring a smile to your face or, at the very least, remind you that you’re not alone.

1. When people thinking not working and staying in bed constantly is fun:

"I'm so happy I got this debilitating illness so I can stay in bed for the rest of my life instead of participating in society and making a difference," said no sick person ever.

2. When no job means one less reason to leave the house:

"where have you been? I haven't seen you in ages." (four pictures of a woman sleeping)
via @supportforspoonies Instagram

3. When you’re home sick but everyone you know is at work/school:

pablo escobar sitting alone
via @Oh_heyDre Twitter

4. When there’s nothing “relaxing” about being chronically ill:

person: I'd love to stay home all day and relax like you do! me: ....
via @chronic_illness_humor Instagram

5. When chronic illness becomes your full-time job:

being chronically ill is like having a ft job from hell. with no pay or benefits, and you can't quit.
via @supportforspoonies Instagram

6. When you can sleep all day without having to call in sick to work:

can't be caught sleeping at work if you don't work

7. When not having a job makes medical bills even more daunting:

looking at medical bills
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram

8. When you miss being able to socialize at work:

the only company I'm currently employed by is loneliness
via amyofdoom Tumblr

9. When people think being unable to work is a vacation:

"you are so lucky to be in bed all day!"
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram

10. When you no longer need to wear work-appropriate clothing:

how I dressed before vs. how I dress now
via @chronicles_of_my_broken_body Instagram

11. When people think you’re resting peacefully at home but it’s actually more like:

current mood
via @spondymemes Instagram

12. When you try to create some routine in your days at home:

cartoon of a person in bed: eat, sleep, netflix, repeat
via @banana.endo Instagram

13. When you’re just so awesome it would be unfair of you to work full-time:

being sick is just your body's way of saying you're way too awesome and you need to slow down so everyone else can catch up

14. When no one really understands what the chronic life is like:

chronic illness: what my family, society, and i think I do. and what I really do.
via @daisy_thehedgehog_ Instagram
Originally published: May 21, 2018
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