So you have or know someone with a chronic illness, hard to understand right?
One of the main issues people who are suffering with a chronic illness find is that others understanding of their day to day life.
If it wasn't hard enough to deal with the illnesses (let us be real, you don't just get one do you?) having support and understanding is another daily battle you have to cope with. The latter for sure impacts on the mental health side of things, just what you do not need right?
If you are someone reading this because you know someone with chronic illnesses then I applaud you and give the biggest virtual hug. The person you know that has the conditions will be extremely touched by this and I will tell you now the difference it will make is HUGE. Nice one you xxx
So how can you help a person who has chronic illnesses?
Believing them is HUGE!
Having patience is a game changer, especially in situations like them last minute not being able to make it to an event or not getting back in touch quickly.
Your support is appreciated more than you will ever know and be able to understand.
Appreciating that a lot of the time overload can be very difficult, so being considerate with noise levels, the amount of talking, pressuring them to get out and about etc.. Trust me this is a killer and it really does not take much to set this off and the aftermath (which you will most likely never see is brutal).
Listening is also lovely, especially listening without judgement and suggestions of curing them!! YOU GUYS KNOW WHAT I MEAN RIGHT???
We the suffer know very well that nobody can fully understand what we go through and this is perfectly okay. Just try to be as understanding as you can, for example just because they 'seem' okay for a couple of hours this does not mean that is them for the day! Even if that morning they say yes I am still coming but less than an hour later they have to bail, please believe them and no behind their back talking to others saying 'oh they must have using it as an excuse'! Trust me WE WANT to get out and WE WANT to do all the things you do, we just simply cannot.
Another amazing supportive thing is to be available to them when they need your support, hey I mean this is what good friends are for right? At least you do not have to worry they will take up a lot of your day, after all we cannot sustain doing things for very long! Hahaha
Another one which is really one that we should all do anyway every day, ALWAYS BE KIND PEOPLE. Imagine if things were the other way around.... yikes I bet you would rather not eh? BUT just try to imagine you had their day to day life, how would you feel about that? Do you think it would be easy? Woud YOU have the strength to cope with all that it throws at you? Would YOU be okay not seeing friends as much or not going on those nights out letting your hair down? Unimaginable isn't it??
Showing one another love and compassion should go without saying but one thing I KNOW FOR SURE is that after the 'novelty' of you being ill has kinda worn off and others have kinda got used to it, well let me just say you find out who your true friends MIGHT BE... I say this because you have the initial stampede of friends who go, then a bit later a few more sneak out when they think you are not looking. They stay a bit longer thinking I am better than THOSE people (which they are) after a while though and you having not choosing to say no to things starts to bore them and then off they pop too. Generally you end up with a select few TRUE friends that will wait and enjoy your company when you can and not get mad or bitchy behind your back because you bailed in the past. Be there for them, think about have they been there for you? Was it before they got ill? Have they been there for you since they got ill? If yes now imagine how bloody hard that must have been for them yet they still do it as much as they can...
You will find out who are your true friends, those for life friends, those who don't judge, those who don't compete for attention against you like you enjoying this somehow!
My advice which I tell my Fiance reasonably often to his annoyance I am sure... hahahaha.
Read up on the conditions your loved ones have, information is power and with that comes greater understanding.
Thanks for reading.
Hope it helps somebody.