There is a very high probability that you know someone with a chronic illness. It could be cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or maybe Lupus. There’s a very long list. Most of these illnesses are invisible and I believe that this plays a major role in others coming off as insensitive. And you know how people love to give their opinions.
September is Pain Awareness Month and I thought it would be help for me to put together a list of things you shouldn’t say to someone with a chronic or invisible illness.
Here we go…
“You don’t look sick”
Why, thank you I’m glad I don’t look like an extra from the walking dead. But can someone explain to me what it looks like to be sick. I mean not everyone looks like what is happening to them.
2. Just lose some weight
Exercising and eating a healthy diet is important. I will not fight you on this. But of course excersing is more like painful physical therapy.
3. You’re too young to be sick.
Well could you go tell this to cancer, lupus, and fibromyalgia? Let all the illnesses known to man know that the people it’s affecting are just too young. It’s not fair to be sick. Go tell them for me. Chronic Illness does not discriminate. Thank you in advance
4. “Things will get better.
”Well, I wish this were true, but you see a chronic illness is defined as lasting 3 months or more. It’s going on 8 years for me living with several chronic illnesses and things haven’t started looking up just yet.
5. “Maybe you got sick because of something you did.”
Oh no, I didn’t do what the chain letter told me to do. I mean I really must start taking my Facebook messages more serious. Listen, getting sick doesn’t’ work like that. My health has nothing to do with bad luck.
6. “You know, it could be worse. My friend’s uncle died from that same illness.”
Okay this one may be the statement that takes the cake. Send your friend’s family my condolences but DO NOT tell me that I should just be glad I’m not dead yet. Every health condition is serious.
7. Think positive
Oh My Goodness, why didn’t I think of that? Are you saying that all I have to do is just think positive and the bam, I’m healed? Oh wow! Please know Positive thinking is a way to cope, not a cure.
Oftentimes, people want to offer an encouraging word, but those words can sometimes be unintentionally hurtful. Some humans just don’t know what to say. They don’t fully understand and don’t mean to come off rude. If you’re the person that had to read this list and had to hide your face you know what you shouldn’t say, try to work on some things that can help build your friend up.