"She Went Out, She's Not Sick"

We all know when we're sick we don't go out. We stay home, we rest, we recover, we go back to living our lives. And this is where the misconception starts.. While yes chronically ill people are sick, it's a complicated kind of sick and one that gets put under a lot of scrutiny. 

 When I'm feeling good I want to be able to go out because who doesn't? But when I do judgement can follow. Whispered judgement of 'is she really sick' and'she doesn't look sick.'  And them comments are the story of my life. 

Every chronic illness case is different and they all vary from one another. Some people can workout, some people can't. Some people can walk, other people need wheelchairs. Some people can work, others can't. It's all different yet we are all judged the same. The minute we are seen doing something slightly physical, the judgement rolls in. Whenever people who are sick are seen doing something society thinks sick people shouldn't do it's used against us. It's used as us being a 'fraud' and bluffing about how sick we are. 

When people ask what I'm doing with my life (studying, work etc..) I tell them right now I don't work nor study because I physically/mentally don't have it in me to be able to do it, which they accept. However if I am seen out and looking okay they can't accept it. Me being seen out for an hour or two is somehow mistaken for me being able to work and study. 

I felt like every time I posted a picture on social media of myself doing something with friends I had to make a comment about how long it took me to recover from it. I felt like I had to justify myself- that I was still sick. It was like I had to remind everyone for those questioning if I was. This was all because some people had made me feel guilty for actually living my life and being happy.  

If I stay in bed all day because I'm too fatigued I'm lazy but if I go out with my hair and make up done I don't look sick therefore I'm not sick. If someone asks how I'm doing and I answering honestly that I'm not okay I'm attention seeking but if I don't talk about my illness at all I must be okay. See everything we (chronic illness people) do we are scrutinized for it. 

Every time I went out or exercised I wanted to celebrate because I had been told to celebrate the small things that I achieve. However it was hard to celebrate when I felt guilty for it because of what others would think/say. Thank god I don't care anymore. I no longer will validate how sick I am nor will I apologise for it. And most of all I will no longer feel guilty for going out, living my life and enjoying it. 

 

Sarah X

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