I got a nice quote off of a FB page called Chronic Perseverance :
"And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.” - Stephen Chbosky
People love to tell the chronically ill, It could always be worse," but I believe it is to make themselves feel better not the person dealing with the illness. This quote is spot on when it comes to living with chronic illness through others eyes. It is always easier to assume someone can't be sick if they look good or are out and about for a while. You never know the consequences someone pays for looking good or for taking some time out of the house. In an odd sort of way it helps us to escape the illness to get out and act normal. I love to get out when I am feeling well enough to do it. It is easier when I have a family member with me but I try to do things on my own when possible. Living life is still a priority for me and many I know who suffer.
While I was thinking about this quote it brought me to other situations in life that people face that they don't want to deal with. Death. Who wants to deal with the loss of someone they love and care about? I'm pretty sure no one but it is a part of life just as illness is for many. Don't want it but got to deal with it, no choices here. I chuckled to myself in some sort of odd way when I thought about death and grieving part of it. Grief is such a hard mysterious thing to have to go through. It begins with the death itself but as the days drag on and the thoughts in your head bring you back to not so good places you may have experienced with the person who died well that makes it really hard. The trying to make sense of the things that may never make sense. The relationship that may have suffered along the way and the guilt it leaves on you can be unbearable for some. I'm not good at grief at all. I can help people when they are dying but not in their grief. I can sit at countless doctor appointments and try to help figure things out or just sit next to someone and say nothing but grief, that is just too complex for me. I want to make it all better and I can't. The more I pondered on my un-gift of helping someone through grief it brought me back to being ill everyday. The dealings with it and the people telling you stupid things like, It could be much worse." The correlations between the illness and my inability to help those through grief are almost one in the same. People saying those stupid things to the ill to make it better are no different that me wanting to fix the grief, which by the way can take years to get through and reach some sort of new normal. Oh I know all the facts on grief I have studied it and almost did it through Hospice. I backed out knowing that it wasn't for me. The more I thought about this correlation between illness and grief I have come to realize it's okay if people say stupid things to the ill or to me. I do it, maybe I don't say it but in my head I want to run away as fast as I can and not deal with someone grieving. I'm sure that is how many people deal with being around the chronically ill. In fact I know it is because I have experienced it first hand. Sad but true.
This realization has brought me one more of those ah-hah moments that I needed to get to. Years later it starts to make a little sense although not totally at least some sense. I just have to remember this the next time I hear, "It could be worse," and remember "And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.” - Stephen Chbosky. Then I will move on from there and remember my issues with grief. I will remember we all view the world through our own glasses. I want compassion and empathy showered toward me and I must cut everyone else a break even when the words that come out of their mouth are not what I want or need to hear. I am learning slowly but surely. What a relief.