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The 13 Things I Feel When Chronic Illness Makes Me Cancel Plans

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Oh, the things we do with the English language, and being a creative with a degree in English, it often downright delights me. Some of our current linguistic trends, carried by the cool kids, include saying “feels” rather than “feelings” and furthermore calling it a place. That hit me in the feels. Us cool kids (yeah, I’ll go ahead and claim it) also like to tack “all the” in front of things in lieu of “many,” “much,” “a lot of,” etc. I shall eat all the puddings.

Combine these, and you replace “a lot of emotions” with “all the feels.”

I set this up to say that when I have to cancel plans because of my chronic illnessit gives me all the feels.

Specifically, though, I can list 13 different emotions I experience when I have to cancel:

  1. Scared. About my future quality of life.
  2. Guilty. Like I’m making an excuse or lying, even though I’m not.
  3. Remorseful. Like I’m letting you down.
  4. Frustrated. That I don’t have control.
  5. Angry. That I’m sick.
  6. Sad. That I’m missing out.
  7. Anxious. About rescheduling and not overpacking my calendar.
  8. Worried. That you’ll think I’m flaky, lazy, selfish, or passing you up for something “better.”
  9. Nervous. That you won’t invite me anymore.
  10. Self-conscious. About what you might think of me when I do feel better, which could be as soon as the same day, and end up doing some activity and you find out about it.
  11. Ashamed. About not “contributing,” feeling that I have no value.
  12. Jealous. That you still can.
  13. Embarrassed. That this is a thing I do.

I understand with my brain that it’s not my fault, and I truly am doing my best, but it’s still a battle to fend off all these negative emotions, every time. I just wanted you to know.

P.S. Check out my system for talking about our chronic illnesses.

Getty image by Dimitri Otis.

Originally published: January 24, 2022
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