Kaisha Holloway

@kaisha-holloway | contributor
It’s about time our voices are heard and what better platform to talk about illnesses we face, than with Mighty. I also write on my own blog; The Writing Garnet (http://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com)
Community Voices

My illnesses may be invisible but I am not.

Who knew that having an ‘invisible’ illness (or illnesses in my case), would render the sufferer invisible themselves? I mean, what sort of trickery is that? Eat your heart out David Blane, we can make ourselves invisible without even trying! Isn’t that amazing?

No.

No, it is not.

In fact, it’s so far from amazing, I would be surprised if it didn’t have it’s postal code.

If you’re sitting there wondering what planet I am on, I shall explain what my sarcasm is all about:

I am the owner of eight chronic illnesses (hypothyroidsim, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, hypermobile-EDS, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and recently, ME (also known as CFS) ). Because I’m not walking around with any of my limbs in casts, no brightly lit sign shouting the fact that I am chronically ill, or no other obvious thing pointing that out, to the untrained eye I am fine. Absolutely fine. But I’m not, and I don’t blame people for thinking otherwise, they’re only human. Of course I could rattle on about the UGH phrase of ‘but you don’t look sick,’ however that would be a completely new article in itself and even though it frustrates me something rotten, it’s not my issue here.

What my issue is, is that my invisible illnesses seemed to have rendered me an invisible human being, and its actually quite upsetting. I’ll give you an example; several people I know were all meeting up somewhere not too far from where I live and, instead of asking me to go with them, that notion was completely ignored. Now, before anyone comments saying, ‘people are entitled to do things without inviting you,’ I get that, I totally do. People are allowed to make plans with other people without inviting everyone in their phone book to join them – I GET IT! What I don’t get is when they come to you with ‘oh we must make plans!’, and then are always seen making plans with other people. I have even spoken to those concerned regarding how I felt and the response has always been ‘but we didn’t think you would want to come’ or ‘I know you’re not well’.

I get the sentiment of the last one, I really do but I, AM NEVER GOING TO GET BETTER! Surely that’s my decision whether I feel well enough on that day to go somewhere? As for the ‘we didn’t think you would want to come,’ again, why not ask me? Why not let me make that decision myself? Why take that decision away from me?

Yes, there will be times where I cannot physically go to meet ups and may have to cancel, and whilst I’m not expecting everyone to drop everything and include me in their goings on, I would like to be involved every now and then, even if I do say no. I get it, I’m not always a nice person to be around, who is? I get that people may not enjoy my company which is absolutely fine. However, if you’re a friend to me who knows my situation then you should understand that inclusion something that chronically ill people wish for. Don’t leave us out and make us feel like we need to beg people to meet up with us. Even if you think that we may turn you down for a meet up, please do invite us anyway rather than simply assume and make us feel even worse than we do already.

Invisible illnesses don’t care whether it’s Christmas, birthdays, planned days out, or even just a usual day. If we’re going to hurt, we will hurt wherever we go, whatever we do. It simply does not care. I can’t do as much as I used to do, nowhere near, yet I still want to be a part of things without someone else deciding for me whether I will be able to do it or not. Sitting down hurts, yet I would rather sit down in pain somewhere other than the four walls of my house if I am able to.

My illnesses may be invisible, but I, Kaisha, certainly am not and neither are my feelings.

4 people are talking about this

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina

The Difference in Being Tired When You're Healthy vs. When You're Sick

When being “tired” is more than just feeling tired… Don’t you just hate it when people try to get one up on you, by always striving to be worse off than yourself? Don’t you just hate it when people assume that tiredness is the same for every single person on this planet? Don’t you also hate it when, despite knowing how badly you struggle with fatigue, someone who doesn’t is always delighted to tell you, “Yeah, I’m tired too?” Me too, and I’ll explain why: I fully understand that everyone is entitled to feel tired, it’s a way of life. I also understand that everyone has different levels when it comes to how much tiredness their body can take. However, if you’re a person who is tired because they went to bed two hours before their alarm, or a person who is tired because they were binge-watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for two days solid without going to bed (I salute your dedication by the way, just saying!), then your tiredness level and my tiredness level aren’t really the same now, are they? In my opinion, people who sit there claiming that their tiredness from burning the candle at both ends is the same as tiredness from illness are pretty much insulting every single chronically ill person out there. Obviously with strangers, it’s slightly different as we can’t expect them to carry their crystal balls with them everywhere they go. But, when it comes to our loved ones who know our situations and who know how tiredness affects our minds and bodies, that’s when, personally, it makes my feelings seem less worthy. So, how is chronic illness tiredness different than “regular tiredness?” Well, seeing as everyone responds different to tiredness in general, I will answer that question based on my own personal experience. Tiredness due to my multiple chronic illnesses is a level of fatigue which involves me sitting on the toilet crying my eyes out because I am so tired. It’s when I have hardly been able to move around my house due to lack of energy, yet I’m still sitting on the sofa yawning my head off, with tears streaming down my face and an extreme bout of nausea because I am just so tired. It’s being unable to have a conversation because tiredness has sucked all of the energy out of my body; therefore opening my mouth would use up a lot of the limited supply of energy I currently have to work with because, you guessed it, I am just so tired. Getting an early night doesn’t fix my problem. Doing less activity doesn’t fix my problem. Getting more sleep at nighttime doesn’t fix my problem (and that’s if I can even get to sleep!). Despite being absolutely mentally and physically exhausted, I can’t sleep, even though I would love to (and nearly do) fall asleep wherever my head lands. It’s debilitating. It’s exhausting. It comes with the territory of multiple chronic illnesses (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.). So the next time you’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching 90s shows on Netflix, or re-watching every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and staying up until lunch time the following day – please don’t then tell a chronically ill person that you feel tired too. People like us would love to be able to binge-watch our favorite programs, but seeing as doing that would take up vital amounts of energy we just cannot spare, we have to choose activities which will keep us alive – like eating. Remind me again: Are you tired, too? Because I am exhausted. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Image by Juliia Tochilina