Friday, 28 July 2017

Hearing The Words "I'm Here" As A Chronic Illness Sufferer

When living with any illness, or dealing with any suffering in life,  it is all to common to hear the words "If you ever need anything, I'm here" from those close to you. Although, are they really there when you need them the most, and what does it really mean to those on the receiving end?..

This has been a tough lesson, (though crucial) for so many reasons... It has been surprising to me how many people in my life have used the words "I'm always here if you need anything", yet very few follow through.. 
Me - at home, having a flare, feeling emotional as I spent 48 hours being sick 
with everything I attempted to eat/drink in pain and collapsing
I see on social media they are making arrangements they are taking time out of their busy schedules to go out to various celebrations, with healthy individuals who are able to eat, drink and function without experiencing any pain. Yet, they never seem to find the time to do something as simple as stopping by my house to visit me, or pick up the phone and call me to have a chat...

I think it can be incredibly difficult for those around a chronic illness sufferer to recognise that although you may not look "sick" that you are indeed unwell.   

My outings are rare, and special moments for me, they require vast preparation, and recovery for a mere few hours.  As more often than not,  I am at home, laying on the sofa in too much pain to move, struggling to do much for myself on my worst days. These are the times that I would cherish the most, by spending time just having a loved on 'just' "being there" to help lift my spirits, engage in a conversation with me, perhaps offer to cook a meal for me,... It's quite simply the smaller tasks that are the most difficult for me, and mean so much more to me than people truly understand.

Life can be so isolating and lonely living with a chronic illness, and having a conversation on the phone  or a visit from a loved one can at the very least take your mind off the pain, provide some distraction and help lift spirits. 

So next time before you say the words "If you need anything I'm always here" to someone living with a chronic illness, remember how much those words actually mean to the reciprocate. 

"The Hopeful Chronic"


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