I feel so bad for you. Thanks, but there is no need for that, it is what it is….. Sometimes life hands you things you just can’t change and you just have to deal with it. Being diagnosed with some form of a chronic illness is no different. I know it seems like living with Lupus and chronic pain sucks and many days it does, but it’s no different than living with anything else. It is a PART of me, but it is not ALL of me. Just like being married is part of you, or being a mother. Yes, it’s a little different, but it’s also the same. You wouldn’t want or expect someone to say they feel badly for you because you are married or have kids and I feel the same about living with my health issues. It’s just a part of me, not all of me.
If I had a nickel for all the times someone has told me that they feel bad for me because of my health challenges over the past seven years, I would be a rich women. I feel like people don’t know what else to say so they default to that. Truthfully, I can’t say I blame them because it’s not great living with Lupus. But it’s only part of my life. While it does consume a lot of my time and my thoughts and time it is my whole life. I still have a life outside of that. I still have friends and a family. I still have things I’m interested in and things I enjoy doing. Honestly, I’m just like everyone else, except for the fact that I have to think about the illness I have that others don’t.
I feel like I can speak for most chronically ill when I say this. I appreciate everyone’s sympathy and kind words, but please save it. I don’t need you to tell me how sorry you are that I have to live this way. Or how sorry you are that I can no longer work. Don’t get me wrong it is so kind that you feel that way, but it doesn’t change it. The fact that you hate that I can’t work or that I have to live in pain doesn’t make it any better. So just be real with me. It’s okay to tell me that it sucks that I have to live in pain or that it sucks that I can’t work. That’s okay, I know it does.
I know this may sound harsh but feeling sorry for someone is truly never going to be helpful to them. If you don’t know what to say, it’s okay to say nothing at all. Like I said above I think we default to “I am so sorry,” or “I feel so badly for you” when we have nothing else to say. I am just as guilty as the next person. But I’ve learned and I want you all to know it’s okay to say nothing. Saying you feel sorry for someone who is in a bad situation, no matter what it may be is never going to be helpful. Muhammad Ali said it best when he said “Don’t feel sorry for me.”