An Open Letter to A$$holes

Hi friends! I know it's been a while but I've been so busy with work and the kids that I haven't had time to check in. No joke. We're talking 60+ hour work weeks. Yes, it makes me exhausted.

I'm carving out a few minutes today to focus on something important: supporting patients with chronic illnesses.

In the Facebook groups that I often involve myself in, I find patients with chronic illness facing unimaginable emotional hardships brought on by the very people who are supposed to love them unconditionally. That's right! I'm talking about parents and partners. But mostly parents. And sometimes partners.

First and foremost, we don't ask to be sick. We don't want to be sick. Some of us were "perfectly normal" before we got sick. So, I'm going to lay some truth down and hope that some of it sticks. (Pardon me, in advance, if I seem angry and combative...it's because I am. This sh*t really pisses me off!!)

When you tell someone that an illness is mind over matter remember the last time you had the flu or a stomach bug. Remember wretching in pain or just praying to the porcelain g-ds? Well, some of us have those symptoms every. f*cking. day. So don't tell us it's mind over matter or someone might tell you that the flu is really just a cold and you're too weak to man-up and go to work. Was that a little harsh? Good. No one likes to be told that their brain can overcome the amount of pain they are in. I can't just magically make my nausea disappear. Yes, sometimes we suck it up and go about our day because we know we have stuff to do but we can't always do that and sucking it up sometimes leaves us more ill than how we started our day.

Another thing, telling someone that it's anxiety and all they need to do is (insert lame method here) is foolish to say to ANYONE with a chronic illness and trivializing to those with anxiety (which is a real thing and it can also be flat-out paralyzing). So, please, for the love of all that is holy, keep you trap shut and keep your oils/supplements/products to yourself. If we want help, we will ask for it but PLEASE stop telling us that we're sick because anxiety and stress manifested itself in this way. We know our bodies well enough to know what a stress-trigger looks like versus our chronic illness, so shut it!

Support us. We don't EVER want you to feel as sick as we do. Ever. NEVER NEVER NEVER. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. But we need support. We need our parents, friends, partners, and kids to understand that we don't want to be sick but we do need help. Offer to watch our kids for a few hours. Cook us a meal or two. Do our laundry (or you can just fold mine - I hate that part). Take our animals for walks. Bring us tea. Talk to us. Sit with us. DO SOMETHING that is supportive and helpful. Don't tell us we're making it up for attention. Don't tell us all we need to do is get moving and all will be all right. Don't tell us it's stress. Don't tell us we're crazy.

I can promise you that this is harder on us than it is on you. Having been the child of a parent with a chronic illness, I can tell you first hand that it's so much harder to be the patient than it is to be the supporter. In many cases, care givers have a hard job and we get that - but this isn't for those that already support us. It's for those that are in denial.

Please be kind. Please be supportive. If you can't, please go away.

Comments

  1. Great piece. Thanks for your inyourfacesness sometimes being judgemental is so much easier than empathising.

    ReplyDelete

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