Things NOT To say to someone with a Chronic Illness

“Oh everyone gets tired” … Unless you’ve needed to take a seriously long nap after having a shower, you don’t know what exhaustion is. Smh, seriously. Yes everyone gets tired, but you don’t need to sleep for 29 hours straight just to wake up feeling like you haven’t slept a wink, do you? No, I didn’t think so.

“Have you tried getting up earlier and going to sleep earlier?” Oh yeah, because that helps. I’m not even going to explain myself with this one. It just doesn’t work.

“Oh I get joint/muscle pain sometimes” My joints hurt nearly every single day. They crack and pop out of place, my muscles literally set themselves on fire and have their own temperature control. I’m not saying you don’t have pain, and I’m not saying you don’t have it bad to certain degree, but come back to me when you’ve been admitted into hospital because the pain is so bad you can’t walk or sit up straight.

“It’s all in your mind” This is my favourite one. Because I suffer with depression people like to make me believe it’s in my mind. Trust me, it’s not. Next time I have a flare, feel how much my back burns through my clothes, tell me it’s in my mind then. Besides that, saying an illness is all in your mind makes you feel like nobody is taking you seriously, some illness are in your mind, your brain, like bipolar, does that mean they aren’t real?

“You’re really not helping yourself” Ok, I’m not helping myself because I’m in bed because I need the rest? I’m not helping myself because I sleep so much? Maybe I need it? Maybe my doctor has advised me to do these things? Besides, do you really think I’d be in and out of hospital and my doctors surgery and on 8 tablets a day if I’m not helping myself? Smh.

“Have you tried *insert pointless drug name here*” You aren’t my doctor. Don’t tell me what to take. I may have tried it before and it didn’t work, or that medication flares me up. Don’t act like you know what you’re talking about. I know you’re only trying to help, but don’t discuss my medication with me. PLEASE! And don’t get angry when I politely tell you to not discuss it and boast “well I’m trying to help you”. No you’re not! If you was helping you’d listen to me and understand to not comment on these things.

“Why are you always in bed? Get up” I’m always in bed because I’m ill. Not because I’m lazy. There’s a difference. Don’t tell me to get up and do stuff because I’ll just fall asleep an hour later.

“At least it’s not cancer” Yeah, you’re right. And I’m so happy it’s not cancer, and I’m so happy I don’t have numbered days, but please don’t compare one illness to another, you really have no idea how hard it is to cope without people making you feel like you should be grateful that you aren’t dying. Maybe you should stop moaning that you can’t go out tonight and be thankful you aren’t bed bound like I am most days. See, it isn’t the same is it? So please don’t compare. Please.

“But you look fine?” It’s amazing what makeup can do. Besides, my illness is inside my body, of course you won’t see it written all over my face.

“My brothers girlfriends mothers sisters aunt has that condition, she’s fine, why aren’t you?” This is the one I hate the most. Everyone is different, everyone’s body is different. Just because they’re fine and can manage, doesn’t mean I am! Peoples conditions vary. Remember that. Maybe theirs is mild and mines severe.

“You’re too young to be dealing with this” don’t say that unless you’re ready for a pool of tears. 😦

“Have you tried changing your diet?” Yes because my diet is connected with my heart beating too fast? Wtf? Besides, how do you know I haven’t changed my diet? I haven’t cut things out? You don’t know, so don’t tell me what to eat. I’m going to lose weight no matter what because of my illness.


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