One of the saddest misconceptions about the chronically ill are that we are sad, morbid, whinging, boring people.
We are labeled that way due to other people’s ignorance, misinformation and because many people couldn’t cope with the reality that we must deal with, so they deny it.
These are just some reasons, But I am sure there are more…
However, what if we could somehow turn the tables where the dialogue was aimed at the healthier people, if something like this was said…
1. Why are you upset about losing your job? It’s just a job! It’s not like you are dying!
2. You are only divorced / unemployed / lonely / broke / busy … if you let yourself be.
3. C’mon. You can’t really be divorced or unemployed for this long. You are obviously doing something wrong!!
4. You need to tell yourself you have to be rich / successful / happily married … and then you will be.
5. But you don’t look divorced or unemployed or overworked or unappreciated! You look fine. You must be lying!
6. I am sure you are exaggerating how important your life is. It just can’t be that important to you!
… and so on.
It would be just plain cruel and rude to say to someone, but it is said to the chronically ill all the time!
The world does not know how to cope with those who have incurable and life long health challenges, so they don’t. It’s far easier to blame the victims than try to accommodate their reality.
But we are not whingers, malingerers, sad, boring or negative people. We are simply doing the very best we know how to do with some very difficult challenges that most of the world haven’t the vaguest clue about.
What do chronically ill people want?
Well, speaking for myself only, I just want to be treated the same way you would…if it happened to you!