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What You Should Understand Before Expressing Pity for My Illness

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The difference between pity and empathy when it comes to my illness, as I understand it, is that pity is a sense of sadness regarding someone’s unfortunate situation. Empathy is being able to relate emotionally to someone and feel what they feel.

I have had people who mean the world to me, look at me with pity. They ask me how I am. I usually don’t tell most people how I am really feeling, but even so, they say, “oh, you poor thing, it must be horrible to feel like that all the time, I cannot imagine it, I feel so sorry for you.” That is heartbreaking to me. I don’t want anyone’s pity – I want understanding and love. I do not pity myself, so why would I want someone’s pity?

It seems to me that those who have gone through or are going through any type of illness or pain are the most compassionate people in the world. The most empathetic. The most forgiving. We don’t pity each other, we support each other. Because we know. Because we feel more.

I am an empath. I am a human sponge. I absorb most emotions around me, both positive and negative. This can affect my fibromyalgia, as well as my emotions, if I allow it.

It took me a long time to embrace my fibro, to accept that I have a lifelong illness, and I do not feel sorry for myself. It has led me to some amazing discoveries about myself, like strength, determination, acceptance, resilience, etc. I have chosen to eat healthier, think healthier and be around people who are not negative. It has led me to some amazing people, who are my inspiration.

Getty Image by kameshkova

Originally published: June 5, 2018
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