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My Invisible Illness Hasn't Made Me More Understanding. And That's Not OK.

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I know my illness should push me to be more of an understanding and caring person, but to be honest, it doesn’t.

I understand having an invisible illness should open my eyes to realize there’s a world full of people who are also struggling on the inside.

I know how difficult it is to live with an invisible illness. I know people don’t always believe you, and that it can take a toll on not only on your body, but your entire life.

But that still doesn’t make me a better person. In fact, I feel like I’m quite the opposite actually. Instead of feeling empathy for others or thinking they may have a condition similar to mine, I tend to think the opposite.

I tend to find more favor in myself and accept less excuses from others. I get upset when I hear people complain about a cold or how they are tired and want to go home from work. I can’t stand it when others complain about how hungry they are or how they don’t have any money. When I hear these things, I stay silent, but all I can think about is how great they have it, yet they take so much for granted.

Now don’t get me wrong, I take a lot for granted, too, sometimes, but my health was definitely at the top of that list, and I never realized that until I got sick. I want to shout out how I feel around these people, but I can’t help but to retain all of my anger inside and let it build up day after day.

I refuse to complain and be the irritable person that no one wants to be around. I know that staying silent isn’t always the answer, but I honestly don’t know what else to do sometimes. I’d rather do that than say something hurtful or rude. I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, so I don’t talk about how bad I feel daily.

Instead, I just bottle things up inside and reel in all of the complaining I hear from others around me. I basically sit in frustration, push things to the side and try my best to forget about them.

I want to be a more understanding person — I do. I just don’t know how to get there. I know I should have more empathy and care for others like I’d want a friend to do for me, but it’s just a lot harder than it seems.

It takes baby steps, and it may take a while. But I know I will get there, and I will be the friend I’ve always wanted to be. 

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Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 14, 2016
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