A Voice for Chronic Illness: Top Things to Avoid and to Do

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

And I’m thinking it’s a safe bet to say that we all hate it.

We all know the feeling.

When a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker is living with a serious health condition, we’re not sure what to do or say, but we know that they need our support.

When we don’t know what to say, we can feel it, right?

And for whatever reason, it may feel awkward.

Sorority Noise awkward embarrassed
Awkward is an understatement. Source: www.giphy.com

When stuff like that happens to me, I begin to feel a little sick to my stomach.

I freak out (or at least just a little) and think, “Say something. Anything. No. Not just anything. Speak now. But wait, what if I say the wrong thing?”

We all want a way out of that humiliating silence.

And Kimberly Rae, a public speaker and the blogger of Hope for the Journey: Because Life Doesn’t Go As Planned, gives me some ideas on how to remedy those uncomfortable moments.

Living with Addison’s Disease, Kimberly shares her perspective:

“ I don’t mind talking about [my Addison’s] … So when people ask, I know they genuinely care, and I don’t feel selfish for talking about it.”

After reading Kimberly’s blog post, I wondered what others had to say on the topic.

And so, here it is … the Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts List

The DON’Ts | Things to Avoid

Unfortunately, our words can often be misinterpreted by those who live with chronic illness. Rather than feeling supported, our words can evoke the feeling of “they doesn’t understand my life at all.” Let’s consider these links as a helpful detour from the fastest route to “Oh Shitville!”

The DO’s | The Dig In

When people we care about are living with a chronic illness, we want to offer words of encouragement, help ease their potential feelings of isolation, and motivate them to stay hopeful.

With these links, it’s a “Pass Go & Collect $200.”

Leroy Patterson cat cool okay ok
Source: www.giphy.com

One of the worst feelings in the world is knowing that someone we love is hurting, and there’s nothing we can do.

What do we say when we’re standing there helplessly?

We can show our concern and compassion. Don’t ever think we can’t do anything – sometimes a little friendship and warmth can go a long way.

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