Dealing with negative feedback about your illness

Yes, so I skipped yesterday’s health post. It was because I am lazy, I was being productive in other ways.

I’m back on track for today’s Wego health post: Advice for dealing with negative feedback in your community.

Let me first start by saying, that most everyone in my life has been incredibly supportive through all this. Even people in my community who I don’t know very well have contacted me to show their support. Several people in particular have brought me to tears because they have reached out to me to offer personal support and understanding even though we were barely acquaintances  My friends and family for the most part have stood behind me through all of this, which has what has made this somewhat bearable.

I do run into a lot of ignorance about fibromyaglia, chronic fatigue, and lyme disease. Most people want to learn more and they will ask me well meaning questions, so I honestly don’t have too much wisdom when it comes to dealing with rude/ignorant people. Only occasionally do I run into someone who doesn’t want to fix their ignorance. I will hear something like this:

Fibromyalgia isn’t real

why don’t you just get up and get over it?

Lyme disease only happens in Connecticut

You are probably just depressed

If you just did ______ (fill in the blank) you would be better

I don’t understand why you can’t do that

You mean you don’t have a job?

Are you just lazy?

And, quite possibly my favorite: It’s not like you have cancer or anything, you aren’t going to die. 

The cancer thing really kills me. Yes cancer is horrible, and I am glad I don’t have it, but a chronic illness is no picnic. I will be this way for the rest of my life, does that sound easy to you?

Anyway, moving on…

When I run into someone with these misconceptions I want to punch them I try to tell them about my experience and show them how their ideas are not based on facts or actual experiences. I will refer them to some of my favorite blogs so they can read about what chronic illness really is from people who live it day to day. Unfortunately  these types of people often choose not to listen to the truth, and there really isn’t anything that I can do about that. I have just learned to ignore these people, because the last thing I need is someone in my life constantly questioning me. I need to concentrate on me, not on someone else’ s problem with me. Luckily these people are few and far in between for me, I know not every one is so fortunate.

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