I feel like the luckiest person alive some days, despite having social anxiety and being chronically ill. I have someone who supports me, who has held my hand through surgery and helped me get dressed. Who has given me encouragement when I’m pushing myself to do something I’ve never done before, yet only shown me love and kindness when I need to stay at home to recover. Not for one second has he ever made me feel less than, or an inconvenience.
Before he came along, I can recall several occasions where my mental and chronic illness had become so inconvenient for other people that I was told, not asked, to just get over it already. With one of those occasions, having my relationship threatened because I just hadn’t improved enough, at the speed they deemed appropriate for them. Baring in mind, we were only 9 months in and he knew before we started anything that I’d had a social anxiety disorder my WHOLE LIFE. Yet, I was expected to overcome a mental illness that I had been battling for over 20 years in that short space of time just for him.
I’ve also had a family member not believe my illness exists, telling me to “get on with it” and certain people in my life completey invalidate my experiences.
Some people will show empathy towards your mental or chronic illness for a while, until they realise it’s not going away and then they’ll get tired of it. All of a sudden it’s your fault that you’re ill all the time, as if you can just switch it off.
Some people will just flat out tell you things like “you’re dragging me down” or “you just need to stop thinking about it”.
You may have someone in your life who just doesn’t understand and that’s okay because you don’t live your life for them, you live it for you! You don’t need their approval or their advice, they’re not your doctor and they definitely haven’t walked in your shoes.
Don’t do what I did, trying to appease people to keep them happy or to keep them in your life by sacrificing your own health because it does more damage than good. Forcing yourself into situations that you’re not ready for or that your body is just not capable of, just for the sake of someone else’s happiness, isn’t healthy or fair. When people treat your illness like it’s a burden to them, it shows how little they understand and support you and you NEVER have to apologise for being ill, physically OR mentally. You didn’t choose the cards you were dealt, you were fucking handed them and you are a badass for living every single day with something you would choose in a heartbeat not to have.