There is a misconception that those living with a chronic illness express how they feel negatively for attention and just to complain. Although there are some people who enjoy complaining, most of us rather put on a smile and hold everything in.
We spend more time faking that we are okay or well instead of sharing our true feelings to avoid judgement. We are aware no one wants to hear complaining all the time. We are aware that as a result of our illnesses, we aren’t able to complete or participate in many things, thus making life harder for you because you want to do those things in that moment. No matter how many times you say out of your mouth that we are not a burden, the look on your face when we say we aren’t up to something tells it all and then some. We rather smile and go with the flow despite how we feel to avoid feeling like we have failed you!
We don’t strive for attention or even want it at all! We don’t want everyone to know how sick we are because they start to treat us differently because they know. They either baby us or have something to say about everything we do. Yes, we are thankful that people care, but we rather not have a spotlight on what we are enduring.
If we do complain about something to you, it is for a reason. It can simply be because out of everyone in the world, we trust you with our vulnerability and truth. It could be that we are scared that something is going to happen and we won’t be able to express what’s going on in that second so we tell you earlier what our symptoms consist of. It could be that if we don’t express how we are feeling to you then you automatically think we are well when in all reality we are never well.
When you make comments about our illnesses or the fact that we are always sick, we shut down and start to resent you because it makes us feel less than and a true hindrance to you.
We are not complaining to hear ourselves complain. We aren’t smiling to be fake. We simply want to be understood without assumptions and misconceptions.
Our desire is to live a normal life. Our desire is to not awake in pain. Our desire is to have absolutely nothing to even complain about.
Try your hardest to understand the illnesses of your loved ones and most importantly don’t treat them like a nuisance, a burden or a hypochondriac. Take the time to learn their patterns, triggers and expressions and make sure you aren’t adding to their illness by stressing them out. Listen intently to what they are telling you because they are telling you for a reason. One day they may not be here to tell you anything, so take advantage of the opportunity to hear them out, understand them and help them win this battle. With your support alone they can rise above their current circumstances.
Check yourself and ensure you are only leaving a positive impact on their lives!!!
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