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To the Person Feeling Guilty for Venting About Their Illness

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In the chronic illness community, I see it again and again: people having a little vent about their current situation who feel horribly guilty for complaining. I want to tell them something.

You are fighting a hard battle every single day. You have the right to complain. If having a little vent on Instagram or Facebook makes you feel even a tiny bit better, go for it. If ranting to someone close to you feels good, then do it. Pain is relative and everyone feels every situation differently. No one has a right to judge your pain. Life with chronic illness is anything but easy. And truth be told, most of the time, you probably don’t voice even a quarter of the pain you’re actually feeling.

You may be worried that someone will think you’re an attention-seeker or a negative person. I’m going to tell you a rule that I have personally chosen to live by: If someone has a negative or mean response to your true, raw suffering, they are definitely not worth knowing or having in your life. The people who are worth your time and feelings won’t judge. They will support you. They will love you. They will care. They will know that you only complain when things get really bad. They will know that we’re only seeing a blip in time of the real struggle you are going through.

So to the person feeling guilty for complaining, I see you. I see you going through absolute hell and handling it with grace. I see you making the best of things. I see you trying your best. I see you doing everything you can. I see your pain. But I also see your courage.

You are going through something that many could not handle. You keep on going every day even though it might hurt. You are fierce. So please, don’t feel weak for speaking your feelings. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you real, and it makes you strong. You deserve to be heard.

Originally published: August 22, 2016
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