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Why a Person With Chronic Illness May Decline That Invite

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When you have a chronic illness you sometimes have to pick and choose what activities you can do. Even though we may want to say yes to every little event we are asked to, we know sometimes we just have to say no.

It’s not that we want to decline. It really is a matter of what our bodies are capable of handling in a week, or even a day. We know our limitations, and sometimes we do push the boundaries of those limits, but we will likely pay for it in the next handful of days. Our bodies may make us take rest, because they ache and just are too physically exhausted to take on whatever task we might want to force them to endure.

I am a mother of two boys. A feisty toddler who thinks he is too big for his britches, and a kindergartener who loves extracurricular activities. From church responsibilities, 4-H meetings, entertaining a 2-year-old, and whatever youth sport my 5-year-old wants to participate in, I am a busy person. Did I mention I also work? My weeks are jam-packed.

Sometimes I have to decline your offer to go out on a weekend, to a family function, or a volunteer opportunity. I want to push myself to partake in these moments that you have so graciously asked me to be apart of, but it’s just not worth it. I know if if I overload my body my chronic illness will put the hammer down. It will constrain my activities until I take proper care of myself and let myself recharge.

I’ve had people be offended because I was a no-show to their affair, or cancelled last-minute. It’s my disorder that can limit me at times, but it’s a hard idea to convey to others when I decline their offer. Yes, I can look fully rested and have a big fat smile on my face. Truth is, I am counting down the hours until I can take a nap and hopefully wake to a semi-rested body. To a body who isn’t aching.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be asked to participate. I know my chronic illness better then anyone else. I want to be apart of whatever I can, but understand that I might decline.

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Photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: October 30, 2016
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