I’m not a sugar-coater. I’m not that person to take something ugly and put a bow on it and try to convince you it’s pretty. I’m more likely to say it’s ugly, possibly offending someone in the process, then either deal with it and make a joke about how ugly it is or try to fix it. Or sometimes I just bitch about it for a really long time…
Generally speaking, I’m more about embracing the negative, and I would encourage you all to do the same.
Now, I’m not talking about throwing a pity party for yourself, as useful and fun as those can be. I’m talking about identifying the feelings with which you have way too much experience, and using what you know to help someone else.
What are some of the side effects of chronic conditions we all know and love?
- difficulty sleeping
- fighting stigmas
- financial stress
- loss of self-esteem
- missing the person you used to be
- social anxiety
- struggling with weight
These feelings aren’t unique to people with chronic conditions. In fact, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t dealing with at least three of these issues in a big way at any given moment.
But we’re kind of masters at some because we deal with them for far too long. And in that time we’ve figured out some tricks, know what has worked for us and what has failed, but most importantly, we know exactly what we wish someone would say or do for us when things get particularly bad.
So as easy as it is to reach out to someone who you hope will make you feel better when you’re down, find someone instead who needs to be picked up, themselves. Grab a coffee or FaceTime with them, and just listen. Ask them how they’re doing, and use this incredible arsenal of knowledge you have to be everything for them you wish someone would be for you.
And I promise it’s impossible to have a purely bad day when you spend even just a small part of it doing something for someone else.