Five ways to anger one with a chronic disease

Five ways to anger one with a chronic disease
Please keep your sad eyes away from me.

I’m never confident in the words I use with my friend going through a divorce, the mom at school with breast cancer or my yoga student who had a miscarriage. I strive to be authentic, although I’m sure I’ve said the wrong thing before.

When I became sick, it was really never a question about sharing my story.  I have no regrets about being vocal and every virtual hug, message and Like has encouraged me and made me feel supported. In fact, a few MS survivors have reached out to me and provided very helpful information in choosing my path on this journey.

There is no intent to make any of you feel that you did the wrong thing, but actually aid you in the future — I know I could have used it. Here are my five things not to “say” to one suffering from chronic illness.

1. Sad Eyes. There is nothing worse than getting out of my car to drop my son off at school to be greeted by my fellow mom friends looking at me with their sad eyes.  No better way to make me feel self conscious. I’m not sad; there is no reason for you to pretend to be.

2. Whispering {enter disease name here].  You can say multiple sclerosis, it is simply a medical term and very vague in description. The whispering voice combined with the sad eyes makes me feel like this is a word that we can’t say. Why?  I say it all the time.

3. Silence. Not mentioning the elephant in the room is even worse.  No one would be offended for you to bring up the biggest thing that is going on in my life right now.

4.  You look tired.  Honestly, no one wants to hear they look tired.  Aren’t we all wishing we had a few more minutes, hours or days of sleep?  I’m doing the best to conceal the dark circles, but I am also busy and continuing to put one foot in front of the other.

5.  I’m so sorry. One old friend left me a voicemail that consisted of repeating the phrase, “I am so sorry.” I know she meant well, but really why is she sorry?  I am still the same person I was this summer and I am not sorry.  I am not lying on my death bed; I am active and grateful for my awesome family.

Despite all the above list of things I do not want you to do, I love every hug, smile, lunch date, text and offer to help.

I know you are all wondering if you are the one that offended me.

It wasn’t you – trust me on this one.



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