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The Top 10 Things Every Person With Chronic Illness Understands

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As someone who is constantly sick, my life can be incredibly different from those who are healthy. Here are 10 things I’ve noticed since I became sick. I think you can probably relate!

1. Your social life is either nonexistent or mostly online.

I mean, most people socialize over the internet these days, but when you’re constantly sick and having to stay in bed, you might see your friends less and less and go online more and more. On the plus side, you probably have an awesome role-playing game character!

2. People sometimes suggest “cures.”

When people tell me about that chicken soup their aunt swears will cure anything, I believe they have the best intentions. But believe me when I say that if doctors can’t find a working cure, then I don’t think their aunt’s chicken soup is likely to help!

3. “Maybe you should exercise more…”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, chances are I would have enough money to support a scientific study to find a cure instead, of explaining that I try very hard to exercise but that just isn’t how my illness works.

4. When you want to study but you literally just can’t.

University is already hard enough on its own, but when you have a condition that causes you to physically lose focus and be in constant pain? You may begin to think maybe you are in the ninth circle of hell.

5. You do so much medical research that you think you should be a doctor.

With all those hours you stack up on sites like WebMD and your country’s Ministry of Health website, you could totally be spending that time becoming a real doctor… except you don’t have the energy… or the money.

6. Finding a job can be way harder.

Being an unqualified college student already makes finding a job hard enough, but when you can’t even stand for long periods of time or do heavy lifting? Welp, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do a traditional job so I might have to go look for odd jobs on Craigslist.

7. Unless you have something like crutches or a wheelchair, many people don’t believe you’re sick.

Whether or not someone believes you’re sick doesn’t affect how sick you are or aren’t, but it definitely doesn’t make things any easier — especially if friends think you’re making it up to get out of seeing them or your teachers think you’re making it up to get out of doing any work. We want to see you and do tons of homework, but our bodies may not let us!

8. When you hear that someone else is in pain, you instantly panic…

…but you’re also lowkey excited that someone else could have the same illness you have — but that’s also why you panic because you would never wish that upon anyone (except maybe that one ex who constantly made you feel guilty for having that illness).

9. Tattoos don’t hurt me that much.

I mean, I’m constantly in pain anyway, so how much worse can it get? Instead of the agonizing pain people describe for their first tattoos, to me it just feels more like I’m having leg hairs pulled out — no big deal!

10. You’re basically a superhero!

Well yeah, being sick and in pain all the time is quite a lousy superpower, but how many people can say that they power through even when their bodies are telling them they are dying? Not many — and you’re one of them!

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Follow this journey on Under Porcelain Skies.

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Originally published: May 10, 2016
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