So, I have seen quite a lot of blogs out there with a similar title to this one. And I’m pretty sure it is because one of the most difficult things we experience is the reaction of others to our individual symptoms and diagnosis.
I would like to start the post by saying that this is by no means me saying that people are awful and terrible and should be disciplined for their actions! Their comments and behaviours nearly always come from a place of finding it uncomfortable to be around you and your ilness and just generally having no clue how to handle it. I mean, if we ddon’t know how to cope with it half the time – how can we expect others to? So although this is a bit of an ‘offfloading’ or ‘whinge’ it comes from a place of love and understanding that people are generally doing the best that they can. Usually. 🙂
“Are you better now?”
No, it is called ‘chronic’ for a reason. I may geet lucky and be someone that manages to get rid of most of the worst symptoms, but in general this is something I will always have to consider. A relapse could be lurking around any unsuspecting corner….so yes I will be living my life to the fullest I can and staying positive so I can battle if it comes.
“My friend cured herself with…Why don’t you try…”
We don’t want to hear that people. If we are looking for weird and wonderful cures we will be sure to ask people, but until that point we probably aren’t ready to face the disappointment of dashed hopes when they eventually don’t work and we are back on the hard drugs. Like I say – it’s coming from a good place but it’s so often really unhelpful.
“Janet from Zumba class has MS and you would never even know – if she can do it you can!”
Never compare one persons ilness with another. You have no idea how demoralising this is. For a start MS is called the snowflake disease for a reason – no two people experience it in the same way and you judging us on our ability to cope with our ilness makes is feel like a pile of shit – seriously. We know you are trying to be positive and whatever but this is absolutely one of the least helpful things you can do. Please do comment if this has happened to you and how you have dealt with it! (Without punching people in the face)
“Just be positive! Don’t let it get you down! Fight it!”
I’ll tie bricks to your limbs, drug you, give you stabbing pains all over, a temperature, nerve twitches and nausea so bad you can’t eat and you can come back and do this at least 3 days of every week and we will see how positive you can be yes? We are trying to be positive but you saying that doesn’t make it any easier. In fact it makes us want to swear at you. Don’t you think we would much rather be in a positive mood if we could? Nobody chooses to feel down!
“But you’re always ill, you never make the effort to come out anymore”
Oh I do apologise – I’ll just turn it off for today then. *presses off switch* Aaaah much better. So what are we doing?
“At least it’s not cancer…”
Yes I am very grateful of that fact. But actually the symptoms aren’t dissimilar but that isn’t even the point. If you were in hospital with a broken leg, I wouldn’t come and visit you and say “Well at least it wasn’t a heart attack”. It’s so irrelevant and shows that you aren’t taking the person or their ilness seriously at all.
These are the main ones that I have experienced so far in my short time in this world – I would love to hear if anyone else has experienced these or any others. This isn’t just about physical ilness – to be honest I think mental ilness gets an even worse deal.
Thanks for reading my little rant – hope you found it either entertaining or helpful.
If you know someone who does suffer with their mental or physical health please do be mindful of the stuff you are saying and remember that you haven’t experienced what they are going through so perhaps just listening, understanding and giving them the support they need is better than giving poorly thought through advice that may make them want to make a voodoo doll of you and stick pins in it’s eyes.
Until next time! 🙂