Almost everyone I know who has a chronic illness has at one point or another been accused of looking for attention. I really think the only way that you can avoid being accused of attention seeking through your illness is if you never talk about your illness, EVER. For me, the problem is that it's not possible to never mention Lyme disease because it takes up such a large portion of my life! I talk about chronic illness the same way any other young person would talk about work or school, because it's such a part of me, and it's a full-time job to manage.
I can't help but laugh every time someone says that "I must love attention" because first of all, who in their right mind would love attention so much that they would make up a disease to get it? Second of all, most people don't even believe that Lyme disease is a real disease. So if I was really looking for attention, wouldn't I choose a method that is a little more effective? (P.S. I really don't like being the center of attention anyway.)
Here's the bottom line: I have been to places that a lot of people can't comprehend. I've experienced such darkness, pain, and isolation, that it grieves me to think that anybody else would have to suffer through this alone. For that reason, I choose to share my story and talk about what I've been through because greater love and understanding for this community of people could possibly change the world for the better. I've developed such a passion for raising awareness because NOBODY deserves to be alone in this fight. My illness has nothing to do with my desire (or lack of desire) for attention. It has everything to do with reaching for the hands that hand down in despair, and hoping that I can play a part in lifting them out of the darkness.
Comment below if you have ever been accused of attention seeking because of your illness, and why you choose to share your story!
I felt like this chronic illness truth was extremely necessary after the past month for me!
When you're in the fire at the moment, it's incredibly difficult to remember this and it's something that I think we all need to be reminded of. I often feel broken, exhausted, and worn down as I fight every day for my quality of life. It's easy to assume and wonder if I'm just weak and maybe I don't have what it takes to handle this trial. Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses DESTROY lives and it's our job to make sure that we don't let it, and that we continue to fight the good fight. That fight is a CONSTANT battle that can be overwhelming and intense.
I believe that it's so important to remember that as chronic illness warriors, we are living on levels of pain that the average person doesn't, and that is a massive victory for each of us. We are strong, beautiful, and capable people. Just because we have different challenges and disabilities, does not mean that we are useless or of no worth. Chronically ill people are some of the strongest and most beautiful people I know because we are laced with depth and drenched in compassion. We love deeply, and it takes everything we have to maintain faith and hope and yet we manage.
Each and every chronic illness warrior is a survivor and that is something to be astounded and amazed at. I for one am thankful for the strength that is demonstrated by those who are constantly in the fire but choose not to give up. No matter what anyone says, and no matter how anybody treats you differently because of your illness, always remember that YOU ARE A WARRIOR.
Comment below if you needed to be remined of this and if you've ever felt weak and useless because of your illness! Remember that you are not and you can do it!
The seemingly never-ending journey that every chronically ill person has to wade through. 🙅♀️🤷♀️
I've been fighting the Lyme battle for quite some time, which means that at some point I've tried almost every diet under the sun. Gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, you name it... I've done it. It can take quite a while to find out what works best for you in the realm of food, and there are so many different nutrition theories that are constantly telling you what you should or shouldn't eat. I've learned that diet is different for everyone and that one man's food is another man's poison. For me, I eat organic, and I've completely cut refined sugars from my diet. And that's how I eat so I'm not sick on a constant basis!
I've discovered a weird social quirk through all this "dieting" business though, and that is that a lot of people often feel uncomfortable when you choose not to eat at any social event that involves food. I've often had people make comments about my weight or about how I can't just think I'm better than everyone else because I eat differently. Honestly, I do not think down on people for what they eat, and when I talk about my diet it's because I have a passion for health and wellness, and I'm seriously just trying to stay alive in my Lyme battle! 💪💚❤️😁
Comment down below what you eat to manage your illness, or if you have any funny stories about people jumping to conclusions about your diet! The more we share, the more we can care and understand where others are coming from!
The process of emotional detox that weighs in your stomach and makes your heart physically ache.
So often people who suffer from chronic illness are misperceived to be "negative" or "attention seeking" because of the grief that comes with the trial. The truth is that I generally consider myself to be a happy person, but I've lost SO MUCH in my time of illness. I've lost people I love, and I've lost some of my dreams and aspirations and my ability to achieve them. It's only NATURAL and HEALTHY to grieve. Grief just comes with the territory, and taking time to fully experience and feel those emotions is part of processing and coping with the pain.
The key that we all keep seeking for peace. The key is that we don't give up. In order to let go of the pain, we first have to allow ourselves to feel it. It's okay to take time to grieve and it's okay to not be okay. As we experience this form of pain we can come to a place where we can remember that there is hope and happiness ahead.
When you have a friend who is chronically ill, it's important to hold space for their grief with them. It's important that we don't constantly criticize because it seems like the negativity is frequent. It's important that we love those who are suffering so much that the love can heal the grief and we can be the happy and joyful people that we were meant to be.
Comment below if you experience grief with your illness and some of the things that help you through it!
Welcome to the beginning of Chronically Beautiful's "Chronic Illness Truth" series where we share bluntly honest truths with you about the reality of living with chronic illness! This series will serve two main purposes:
#1: The first purpose is to educate the healthy and help cultivate love, compassion, and understanding to the chronic illness community. The best way to help and serve others is by coming to an awareness of the suffering all around us, and the more knowledge we have, the greater our opportunities we'll have to help.
#2: The second purpose is to build the chronic illness community through sharing things that everyone can relate to so that nobody feels alone or forgotten in their chronic illness journey. Most of these truths that I post will be specific to Lyme disease, but I'm sure that almost anyone with any chronic illness can relate, and that will help us to make connections and form a greater community of support and understanding!
Chronic Truth #1:
It is very common for people to ask me what my illness is when they find out I have a chronic illness, and it's also very common for others to feel uncomfortable about asking. I just want to clarify that it's completely okay for anyone to ask about my illness. It doesn't make me uncomfortable, and I often enjoy the conversation that comes from that question.
One of the funniest things to me is when people mispronounce Lyme disease. Seriously, it's probably one of the easier illnesses to pronounce and yet so many people throw an S at the end of it! Go figure!
Believe it or not, I've actually had people ask me if my illness comes from limes, and it actually comes from a tick or any other biting insect that can carry the bacteria. It can also be passed down to your children, as is my case. My mom has had Lyme from a tick bite since she was nine, and therefore I was born with it.
It never ceases to amaze me how strong anyone with a chronic illness is. I've spent many a morning wondering how on earth I'm still alive after the night before, and yet I'm still here and I'm still kicking! I've seen this phenomenon among many chronically ill people. We truly are WARRIORS who fight long and hard for our lives, and as we do so we often feel worn down and exhausted from fighting the fight. Nevertheless, we value life, and we continue to fight in hopes that we can be healed and then help others on their healing journey.
Comment below if you've ever had someone mispronounce your illness, or if you're completely amazed at how you're still alive! And stay tuned for more of our Chronic Illness Truth series!