In the chronic illness community, whether on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, you see many posts about what sick people DO NOT want to hear from others.
At one time or another, we’ve all heard the classic “but you don’t look sick” comment from someone. For me, it used to make me really mad when someone would comment on how good I look or how much weight I’d lost. I’d want to scream, “I’M STARVING YOU IGNORANT JERK!!!!” In our society, if someone loses weight, it’s usually because they’re trying to. People will comment and encourage their progress. Now, if someone says “you look good” to me, I usually say, “Thanks! Glad I don’t look as bad as I feel!” These awkward moments happen because people just don’t know what to say when talking about chronic illnesses.
I asked friends of mine what they WOULD LIKE TO HEAR people say to them when talking/asking about their condition. Here are some examples of what they said.
- I’m here for you
- Tell me how I can help
- Tell me how this affects you
- We’ll fight this together
- I’ve researched (your illness)
- I’m so sorry
- I’m impressed with what you are able to do
- I didn’t realize all you’re going through
- I’m praying for you
- I believe you
If you come across someone who is sick and you don’t know what to say, try one of these! If you don’t understand something, ask questions! I want others to understand what I and others go through on a daily basis. The best way to bring awareness to invisible and chronic illness is to share and talk about them, not to assume about them!
Disclaimer: I recently received complimentary Cal-EZ as a thank you for sharing my story. I started using Cal-EZ last year and wanted to share my experiences with the Cal-EZ blog readers. Getting free Cal-EZ was a nice surprise! And all opinions about Cal-EZ are my own.
To read more of Samantha’s story or to read other voices struggling with chronic illness and calcium deficiency, please visit our new series, New Year, New Voices.