It always saddens me the number of people who assume that the chronically ill are always feeling sorry for themselves. They assume that we are constantly feeling self pity and self involved.
I don’t agree.
Speaking only for myself I can honestly say that I don’t carry around a load of self pity and it is only occasional moments where I feel like I have had a rough hand dealt to me… which is probably less than most other people feel who are perfectly healthy and able bodied!
There is always this assumption that if we even speak about my autoimmune diseases it will open the floodgates and I will burden people with details of my struggles. The truth is I don’t. The thought of having to illicit help or empathy from people deeply disturbs me. I have never asked someone to care or help me with my health struggles. I believe that people either care or they don’t. The choice is theirs.
I feel certain that most Autoimmunes want to live with dignity and respect, not pity or being looked down upon, so I don’t understand why many people seem to deem us as attention seeking or trying to elicit sympathy.
The other day on Facebook I saw pictures of people posting about their cars, their motorbikes, their holidays, their new clothes and their new looks and they were seen as healthy and normal behaviors. People encouraged and engaged with them. Furthermore, people offered compliments and best wishes to those who had posted and spoke of each persons achievements in a kind and loving way. Coincidentally on that same day another friend posted a picture of themselves in hospital, due to their ongoing battles, and few people expressed any comments or mentioned how courageous they were. There was no admiration and no recognition about what an achievement it was that [they] were coping with such ongoing challenges and struggles…
It made me incredibly saddened!
The contrast was deeply disappointing and brings to light the differences in how people with chronic health issues are seen and treated.
People with chronic illnesses are rarely made to feel proud of their achievements and their ability to keep going with their struggles compared to someone who might have lost weight, gone on a luxury holiday or got a promotion.
The amount of effort, dedication, courage, resilience, bravery and determination needed to keep going in the face of some of the most difficult and painful obstacles is breathtaking. Yet if we dare mention or allude to these circumstances we are deemed as simply seeking attention or having a pity party.
I, personally, don’t think that is fair, I don’t think it’s necessary and I certainly don’t think it’s warranted. Can you imagine how different and amazing it would be if, when we felt our most challenged, broken and struggling, we could be reminded of how remarkable we were for managing and coping with all that we do? If we were commended for our achievements and dedication. If we were celebrated and supported just as much as everyone is. Often it is only other sufferers that will show anything approaching respect or encouragement for those with chronic illness or Autoimmune diseases and I am truly astounded and saddened by this.
to all my fellow fighters out there put those pictures up! Show the world how amazing you are and all you cope with! Show the world that our actions are not a just a simple case of self pity it is self pride!