To Those Who Doubt Chronic Illness in Young Adults...

Every day is a challenge and we deal with it as it happens, as best we can. We do not have the beauty and joy in life to be completely spontaneous, to set time limits and to do as we please because pain, head to toe is a part of our package.

During my time with my deteriorating illness, I have unfortunately been thrown opinions from those who think they know all the correct answers in life. The 'tough love' approach. I've been told how I should deal with my illnesses, how others would deal with it completely differently, been challenged on my pain, symptoms and limits, told to cheer up and that I am actually in a very fortunate position in terms of health. For the most part, when it comes to these kind of people, we would have better luck drawing blood from a stone when it comes to them grasping any sort of understanding of our daily lives with incurable, multi systemic illnesses. How we are pretty helpless at the hands of something that has a grip on our bodies, trying our hardest to find the positive every step of the way, yet they probably would not believe that is true.

Nobody deserves to be ill, yet it is a terrible shame to have a chronic, disabling illness when typically, your adult life should just be starting. You should not have to face such complex problems so young, yet you try your best to accept your fate as well as you can. Nobody should have to live in so much pain, that the majority of their week is spent in bed. It makes me more upset to think of others in that situation than it does for myself to often be in it.

Some people in this world will always have purely selfish mind sets and points of views. Yet how would they realistically fathom a lifestyle as such? Would they crumble in the circumstances of disability and ill health at a young age? Would they wish they had more support and helpful, yet positive comments to be on the receiving end of? The projected, outspoken high and mighty attitude is purely prejudice to those living with incurable, chronic illnesses and not in any way supportive or positive. It just makes us feel awful over limits we did not ask for, nor have control over.

My advice to those who have harsh opinions on young people with incurable, disabling chronic illness. Please, put yourself in someone else's shoes. If your opinion is harsh and critical, evaluate if it is necessary to project. Just because you cannot see the pain overtaking the body, does not mean is does not exist. Those in pain are not moping, they are suffering. They are not choosing to be unable to leave the house, they can't physically cope with or get their pain under control in order to leave the house as much as they wish too. They are not lazy by having to stay in bed, they are chronically ill with more pain in their little finger than you've possibly had all week. They are not miserable, they are probably feeling isolated, alone and depressed at the current state they call a life.

Unfortunately, chronic illnesses are nowhere near to being a cold or the flu, where life seemingly carries on. Some illnesses have symptoms that many people in this world, will not receive or deal with in a lifetime. Chronic, long term illness can sadly lead to a disability and housebound existence at many intervals for long periods of time. Chronic illnesses can require aids, countless medications and carers. It can hurt deeply to have those you regard as close to you doubt your pain, lifestyle or abilities. To feel judged and like you need to prove yourself and your chronic illnesses. To feel like you need to possibly break in front of them for them to realise how tough it is.

Be conscious around those who are chronically ill, they are probably not in a good place whilst staring in the face of abnormal adversity. With forms of health changing unexpectedly on an everyday or hourly pattern. Find it within yourself to support them on their bad days more than their good. I can tell you for a fact, that receiving support on the bad days, which are 90% more frequent in a month is of more worth to us than on the good days. Don't kick them when they are already down and struggling with adjustment to a new reality, one incredibly parallel to that of a healthy young adult. Any regular abilities of a young adult have probably gone out of the window and they are trying their hardest to adapt and accept whilst watching everyone else of similar age, live. Probably one of the hardest parts of having an illness.

We do not dip in and out of pain, our unpredictable, quite frankly incomprehensible symptoms do not leave our side for any upcoming event. Life would still be working like clockwork if that was the case and we would not have the title of 'chronic'. Every day is a challenge and we deal with it as it happens, as best we can. We do not have the beauty and joy in life to be completely spontaneous, to set time limits and to do as we please because pain, head to toe is a part of our package.


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