This is even more true when that trial is an illness. Friendships can be a lot like marriage. You are with each other in good times and bad…sickness and health.
Sure things have definitely changed with me. Since being diagnosed with a chronic illness I admit I may not be the life of the party anymore, (not that I really ever was) bedtime comes a little earlier, I enjoy the company of my cat and dog a little more, and actually there are times when I just want to be alone. But I am still the same me. In fact, other than a few extra pounds, I still look the same. Some would even say, “you don’t look sick”
that brings me to my next point; the things friends will say when talking about your illness…
Nothing makes me madder than a person who says, “you don’t look sick” Makes me kinda wanna say”you don’t LOOK stupid” I mean…
Anyone relate?? How about this one, “can’t you just take a vitamin or something?”
“I have a friend who has (insert illness) and you can’t even tell she is sick.”
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a chronic illness knows just how important support of family and friends can be. In the case of Graves Disease, my immune system is literally fighting against itself every second of the day. it is truly exhausting.
SO, what exactly can you do if you are a friend or family member of a person with a chronic illness?
*ask them how have you been feeling lately?
*ask them if there is anything you can do for them today?
*If they don’t feel like going out, ask if you can bring over dinner and a movie.
*If you happen to know someone with the same illness, don’t compare,everyone deals differently with illness, both physically and emotionally. Instead, maybe get them in touch with each other. maybe they can be of support to one another. Speaking from experience, it help so much to be able to talk to someone who has the same thing you do. It is so comforting to know you are not crazy and so nice to bounce remedies or doctors or whatever off each other.
*You don’t have to ignore the fact that your friend or loved one is sick. We don’t want to diminish it, nor do we want to talk about it all the time. But sometimes it is therapeutic to be able to go to someone close to us and “vent” or discuss things related to our illness.
For the past five years, having a chronic illness has been a part of my life, but it has not defined me. I am still me. In some ways I am an even better version of me than I was before. Stick around and you just might see..