When you have a chronic illness you tend to hear the same responses over and over again. Some of these responses come from people who have good intentions, some come from people who just don’t think. Either way they are hard to hear repeatedly.
- I know what you deal with now because I’ve had (insert minor ailment here) this week
No, no you don’t. Having the flu or a minor surgery is not the same as having a chronic illness. Here’s the big difference, you get better from those things and chronic illness never goes away. Also, people care when you have a short term illness or surgery, no one cares when you have a chronic illness. While I appreciate the attempt to relate to me, you are trivializing my illness. Just stop. Until you’ve been sick day in and day out for years upon years you do not know what you are talking about.
2. Maybe if you did this (insert crazy diet or expensive product here) you would get better
You don’t think I want to get better? You don’t think I’ve tried a million different things to see if anything makes even an iota of difference? Guess what, I’ve tried lots of different things and the only thing I have to show for it is less money. I’m not a millionaire and there are an infinite amount of “cures” out there for my condition. If they actually worked more people would know about them. So please stop taking advantage of sick people by claiming your organic goats milk from Timbuktu that costs $399 a month (for 3,000 months) is a cure.
3. You probably need to exercise more, exercise always makes me feel better
Most exercise does not work for me, all it does is increase my pain level and make me more miserable. I walk two miles a day four days a week and it accomplishes nothing. It actually negatively impacts my health, but doctors could care less about that and I have to do what they want to get their assistance. It would be much better for my body to just do yoga, but what works best for my body isn’t the priority for anyone else.
4. Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia aren’t real
How nice for you, I’m so glad you have the luxury of pretending that these diseases are not real. I hope nothing bad ever happens to convince you otherwise. You currently have the luxury of convincing yourself that you are right, someday you may not have that luxury. It’s also not my job to prove to you my disease is real so if you want to pretend I’m crazy go ahead, but I will not be dealing with you any longer.
5. You can do anything you can set your mind to
I’m so glad you’ve been able to accomplish everything you’ve ever desired, but that is able bodied privilege. All your successes are based on the privilege you have of a working body. Having a working body is not a guarantee in life, there are many who are limited by what their body can do. I’m glad your body works like it’s supposed to, but mine doesn’t. I can’t do whatever I feel like because my body will stop me if I don’t treat it a certain way. I can push through to a certain degree, but because my body doesn’t work right. The more I push the more damage I do.
6. You just need a positive attitude
I don’t disagree that a positive attitude can get you a long way, but a good attitude can not fix something that is broken. A positive attitude helps me to cope with my illnesses but it is not a cure. I cannot wish my health problems away with my attitude.
7. You’re just being lazy
You’re right. I just love sitting around and missing out on all the fun. I love sitting on the couch in pain and misery, it’s always been my life goal and now I’ve achieved it! Who needs friends or a social life when you can sit at home by yourself.