A short post addressing where we go wrong in empathizing with others, and how we can learn from our mistakes.
Wow! You look soooo good! It’s so great to see you feeling better.
Woah, woah, woah. How do you know how I feel? Sure, I may be wearing something other than sweatpants, have a braid in my hair, and a smile on my face. I might seem alert and energetic and there might not be bags under my eyes. But it doesn’t have anything to do with how I feel. Sadly, few realize that someone’s appearance has no connection to how they feel. It’s snap judgments like these that annoy me the most. Because one things for certain, whether we like it or not: Continue reading
Crohn’s disease tends to get a bad rap. Like really bad. Like don’t talk about that it’s gross and creepy bad. People think those who have it (like me!) are some kind of alien bathroom cult that leave a trail of contaminated toilet paper wherever we go. That our stomachs “hurt” sometimes, and that we’re just trying to be annoying by bringing our own food to events. But you know what? We’re not. We are students, teachers, siblings, friends, parents, coaches, artists, and musicians. We are people with a complicated chronic disease, not just exaggerating toilet users. Continue reading
“You should just eat more. Why would you order a salad if you’re trying to gain weight?”
Um, I can order my own food, thank you very much.
“You need to go vegan! Trust me, it works.”
Trust you? But it’s my body.
“Go the natural route. Stop taking all of those chemical infested medicines! You need to try supplements and an inflammation free diet. I know it will help you!”
Do you, though? I’d like to agree with my doctor on this one, sorry.
“Maybe you’re imagining it.”
Yep, you got it! I only take all of these shots and pills to help my imaginary disease feel better. All I need to do is stop thinking!
If you can’t tell by now, this post is about advice. Particularly advice that you did not ask for, and do not want. Unsolicited advice, if you want to get technical. Upon being diagnosed with a chronic illness, or any illness for that matter, the people around you tend to throw suggestions in your face without thinking twice. While it is great to seek support from friends and family, when cousin Sally who hasn’t seen you in ten years starts blabbering about how you’re on the wrong medicine isn’t exactly a supportive gesture. Her words may come from a want to help, but if you have chronic illness, you know that nothing feels worse than being told you’re “doing it all wrong” by someone who has no idea what you’re going through. Continue reading