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To the People Who Only See Me on My Bad Days

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Recently, I’ve noticed how my pain has made me such a negative and bitter person, and that’s the last thing I want to be. Sometimes, I’m not aware of my attitude because I’m more focused on how severe my pain is at the moment.

My good days aren’t as frequent as the bad ones, but they do come eventually. I try my best to participate in every activity my friends invite me to, but I feel guilty for feeling exhausted in the first 15 minutes of being there. It’s easier to decline an invitation than to be the “party pooper” of the evening. But I promise I have good days, too.

Here are a few things you should know about me:

1. My health isn’t at the same level as yours, so I don’t have the energy or physical strength that you do.

Please forgive me if I need to sit down and rest for a while. Showing up at an event is as hard as it is and participating is even more difficult. Being social is also exhausting, so doing all three takes a whole lot more out of me than you think.  

2. Please don’t take offense if I’m not in the best mood all of the time.

I like to push myself to do as much as I can, which drains my energy. I tend to overlook my illness when I have to get things done. Unfortunately, this makes me seem like I’m upset, but really, I’m just exhausted. If I’m not talking that much, it’s not because I’m upset, it’s because I have used one too many spoons for the day!

3. Asking me how I feel means more to me than you know.

Whether I like it or not, my life revolves around my illness. My body is affected by it every minute of every day, and it’s on my mind 99 percent of the time. Asking me if I’m OK shows me you care about what I’m going through. It’s frustrating when people don’t remember I’m sick because I have an invisible illness. I know you’re more likely to ask someone whose illness is visually apparent how they’re doing, but it makes me feel really important when you remember my challenges.

I really try my best to push through every day until I am completely out of spoons (and most of the time, tomorrow’s spoons, too). I try my best to hide my pain and keep going when I’m completely exhausted. The thing is, I want my husband to have a good time, and I want to interact with my friends, so I go out and I try to fit in as much I can. But sometimes, it’s just too much.

I promise you I will enjoy as many good days as my body allows, and I will do my best to keep a smile on my face as much as I can. I will accept invitations if I’m feeling good, but don’t be offended if I end up having a bad day and tell you I can’t go.

I do have bad days, but I have good days, too. Please don’t push me away if all you see is the bad, I believe God is working through me to see the good during the bad days. 

Follow this journey on Chronically Ill & Eternally Filled.

Originally published: July 26, 2016
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