Are you afraid of complaining? Are there times you hold back because you are worried about what the other person will think?
I don’t talk much about my health problems often, not even to my spouse. In fact he complains about his health more than I do and he’s perfectly healthy. When he was complaining the other day about how much he hurt after playing basketball I realized how ridiculous it was that he feels he can complain about pain and I who feel horrible pain at all times say nothing. The fact that I don’t feel I can complain is my fault though, not his. I am afraid of complaining. I use the “everything is awesome” strategy and it isn’t working for me.
Why are sick people so afraid of complaining? Because we have chronic health problems we are used to not being taken seriously. We know that most people don’t care about our chronic conditions, and yet we are supposed to care about them when they get sick. I for one am tired of not being socially allowed to acknowledge how miserable I feel on a regular basis. Normal healthy people complain all the time about their health, but those who have chronic illnesses are just expected to never talk about it? That is backwards. Sure none of us want to be around that person, the person who is always complaining about how hard their life is, but surely there is a balance between the two.
Too often I hold back because I don’t want to burden the other person, but no one holds back in fear of placing the burden on me. I’m done with that. There is nothing wrong with the chronically ill saying “I am not doing very well. I am hurting and I am exhausted.” Just because that is true more often then it is in a healthy person doesn’t invalidate the complaint. My goal from now on is to let myself share how I feel instead of pretending everything is awesome all the time.