Having an illness makes you vulnerable to all kinds of comments. I’ve collected the top 8 things that other people have taught me about my chronic illness.
1. It inconveniences them
2. I should try harder
3. If I had just used essential oils, I wouldn’t have this problem
4. A positive attitude fixes everything
5. My disease is made up
6. I should just exercise more
7. People who are sick just didn’t take care of themselves
8. God is punishing me
Did I miss anything?
Obviously these things are less than helpful, and yet I have learned from each of them. Every snide comment made or magic cure pedaled has taught me an important lesson, even if it wasn’t what the person intended.
1. Inconveniencing other people is part of illness and it’s not my fault.
2. Trying harder isn’t always going to make things better, especially when it comes to my health.
3. There are a lot of “magic cures” out there that are anything but magic.
4. Sometimes it’s okay to be sad.
5. Medical science is very complicated and there are so many things we don’t know yet about the human body.
6. I should only exercise as much as my body will allow otherwise I will just cause further injury to myself.
7. There is no use in thinking of the “what ifs,” because it won’t make me healthier. I need to focus on the future and what I can control.
8. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Having health problems is not a punishment, it is just a circumstance of life.
I do wish people would mind their own business and not judge me or my health. However, I’m grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned through their sometimes harsh treatment of me. I have learned to be a more thoughtful and compassionate person, and I like the person I have become. I would rather be compassionate and sick then judgmental and healthy.