I thought I’d take a moment to talk about some of what those of us with Chronic illness deals with when we are out and about , these are things commonly said to us by strangers as well as well meaning family and friends. things like:
But You Don’t Look Sick: and how am I suppose to look? Seriously, that is why it is called having an Invisible Illness.
You Just Need To Think More Positively: I am positive there is no cure for my condition(s).
I Know Someone Who Had That, They Tried This….And They Are Fine Now. This could be considered Gaslighting in that it invalidates us and everything we have went through treatment wise with our illness, everyone is different, and everyone responds differently to various treatments, and when people say this, it makes it seem as though they assume you are faking.
But I see You out and about on Social Media: Just because I have a Chronic Illness or Disability does not mean I have to stay home and never leave my home.I still have good days, I still have to go and get groceries, I still have to go to Dr. Appointments, I still have a life and I still get out and do what I enjoy when I can. Contrary to what some feel/believe, I still have the right to go out and enjoy living.
Have You Tried? Sometimes this will get a huge eyeroll from me as there are some things that are just so snake oil’ish or that are actually harmful to people on certain medications, usually I just reply with My Dr and I are working together and I have a treatment plan that is medically approved for me and is working well.
I Don’t Know How You Live With It: Easy, I don’t have a choice I adapt to my limitations and live life to the best of my abilities, Physically, Mentally and Financially.
You’re Such An Inspiration To Be So Happy Despite It. This is called Inspiration Porn. The Definition of which is “inspiration porn” is by analogy with pornography, in that the material is perceived as objectifying disabled people for the benefit of the able-bodied. Inspiration porn is a form of ableism. An example of inspiration porn might be photo of a child with a disability taking part in an ordinary activity, with captions targeted towards able-bodied people such as “your excuse is invalid”, “before you quit, try” or “they didn’t let their disability stop them”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspiration_porn
And My Favorite one, But You’re to young to be sick. Really? I didnt know chronic illness or Disability had an age limit.
I try not to get upset with people for saying these things to me, Its just how it is, people don’t think before they speak, there is not enough awareness about chronic conditions, Society as a whole doesn’t see people with disabilities, especially invisible disabilities, when we try to speak up and get Minority Status we are silenced, We are marginalized, we are the only minority group that anyone can unwillingly join at any time.
I hope this post gives you a brief glimpse into what disabled people deal with, I will be doing more of these throughout the winter, I feel as though it is my responsibility to spread awareness of what we contend with on a daily basis .