Inside the Mind of a Chronically Ill Person Debating If They Should Post on Facebook

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Nobody is “normal.”

Everyone is unique.

That said, long-term illness can change a person; it can change your mind, your emotions, your perspective, your way of thinking… (to say nothing of your body).

And the places in your mind that change can be impossible to perceive; what is caused by the physical (hey come on, literal viruses and bacteria in our brains) or the changes that come from long-term isolation, suffering, frustration, loneliness, abandonment, hopelessness…. (trust me, even with the deepest introspection, lines are blurry).

So when you are in this bubble of misery and feeling desperate, many of us reach that crossroad decision of whether to reach out publicly or not. Now, some do so all the time and some seldom do so. I want to share with you, the healthy person, the “normal” person, what may be going on in our heads and where the need to reach out comes from. Because to you, (sometimes frequent) posts regarding how someone is feeling physically and mentally can come off as:

  • Desperate
  • Attention-getting
  • Overly dramatic
  • Whiny
  • Ungrateful
  • Lacking faith
  • Hypochondriac
  • Lacking strength
  • Emotionally unstable
  • Or “_____” fill in the blank

And honestly maybe some people with chronic illness are. But I am asking you to consider grace, and here is why:

Imagine you are living a fairly normal active life; you work, you socialize with friends a few times a week, maybe you are also busy with kids. You do stuff! You go out to movies, you eat out at restaurants, you meet friends for coffee, you have a lot of human interaction at work, you sometimes take day trips or mini vacations, and your life may not be perfect or exciting, but it is full.

One day your body starts to betray you. Suddenly all the daily things that were no big deal become as hard as lifting heavy boulders. Your entire body is tired, tired to the point it feels like you have lead in your veins. You swear Earth’s gravity just dialed it up a notch as you struggle to go up the same staircase you have been bounding up the last five years. Continue reading..

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