Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chronic Illness is NOT about choice!

If you suffer from a chronic illness or know someone who does, I truly recommend that you read this article. After I was finished reading this, I honestly felt like the contributor was talking about me. I often get judged or criticized by people because they look at me and assume that because I'm young and I look healthy on the outside, that my body is normal like theirs. Unfortunately, that just isn't a reality for me and for many others.

We all have different obstacles we face in life, we never truly know what someone else is dealing with. But to assume you know anything about another person, no matter their circumstances, is absolutely wrong. And having an "invisible illness" does not mean it doesn't exist.

For me, I can sit here and tell people how much I struggle to even get out of bed and do the tiny little chores I do on a daily basis until I'm black and blue in the face, but it will never convince them until they personally go through it. Now do I mean I wish that on them? No, not at all. I would absolutely never ever wish that on anyone. I use to be a really healthy and super active person. I use to be able to get up early in the morning, be on the go non-stop all day and not even feel the tiniest bit of fatigue or that feeling like you're just too exhausted and could crash at any moment. But I no longer have that body, it's changed and I've had to learn to push through the best way I can and adapt to the new conditions in my life. I have had to learn to cope with my limitations and accept that I can't do everything that I use to do.

I often hear, "You're young, you'll bounce back." Honestly, that not only hurts me but that offends me as well. Age does not discriminate when it comes to illness, whether physical or mental. I have a 3 year old nephew, he has arthritis in one of his ankles and legs. He has to be on medication for the rest of his life in order to just be able to function. I have a 10 year old niece that is going to become completely deaf by the time she is an adult and has partial blindness. They are a lot younger than I am and they have serious health issues. So age does not matter! I know 80 year old's that are healthier than I am. It's different for everyone, but the one thing I can say, is chronic illness is becoming more and more real to those who deal with it and it's become a more frequent problem for many people these days.

So if you think we "choose" to be sick, I'm sorry but you're really delusional if you believe that. If you got a flat tire, how would you like it if I told you, "If you choose it, your tire will miraculously un-flatten and fix itself." You would look at me like I lost one too many marbles. The only thing anyone with any chronic illness asks is that people show them empathy and respect the fact that they are doing everything they can to cope with their circumstances. They never wake up and hope they're going to have a flare or suffer in pain all day. They don't think, "Oh when I get up tomorrow, I hope I get sick so I have an excuse and I don't have to do anything." In fact, we look at normal people and think; "I wish I could do everything that person does. I wish I could have all that energy. I wish I could do whatever I wanted to." So this mindset of it's all about choice, I'm sorry, that's a completely unrealistic way of thinking.

Please read this article and share it with your loved ones...

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