Why we need to tell our chronically ill friend the truth (even if it hurts)

‘I fight every day with my chronically ill friend.’ – is that ever okay to admit?

Have you ever been hurt by someone? I have.

When it happens there are two things I want to do. I want to tell them they were in the wrong… and I want to tell someone else what occurred.

But what happens when it’s my chronically ill family member or friend who has hurt me?

Am I allowed to rebuke them?

And is it right to tell other people?
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I think I hate my chronically ill family member

Chronic illness always affects relationships… but is it wrong to hate a sick person?

I hate my chronically ill family member

Have you ever thought the above sentence? Maybe not in those words. Substitute ‘hate’ for one of these:

Dislike

Frustrated at

Disapprove of

Am annoyed at

Would like to strangle

Does the sentence ring true for you now? Has it ever? If so, this post is for you.

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What to do when someone you love has a chronic illness and you are too young

Sometimes your age can make loving someone challenging…

When someone we love receives a chronic illness diagnosis, it is easy to feel helpless.

This is magnified when you are “young”. After all, you can’t offer lifts to doctors’ appointments and you can’t be there all the time, because you have to go to school.

Perhaps your offers to help aren’t taken seriously, or people overlook you in the mad rush to help your sick family member.

What do you do when you are too young to love?…

This post was first published on The Rebelution. Read the rest here!

(Image courtesy of original publication).

 

Help! People keep asking…

“… and there’s nothing left to say.”

Chronic illness is…well, chronic. For the most part, not only does it not end, but it remains the same.  Of course there are changes, developments, progressions – but these are generally subtle in nature and may vary between individuals. Perhaps our Loved One is slowly but surely declining. Or maybe their sickness fluctuates without rhyme or reason. Some days they are well, others they are not. Or perhaps there is simply no visible change at all, just a long, monotonous pain.

nothing-to-say

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Long distance Watching (Part 2)

This is the 2nd part of a series on Watching a Loved One suffer from a distance. In Part 1 we looked at the fact that it is hard to help out physically when you live a long way away. This post looks at some of the other difficulties we may encounter. So without further ado…

It’s difficult to care as much about something when you’re not confronted with it every day.

This is why we are often more distressed about our 3 year old’s tantrum than a war in a 3rd world country. What we see and experience affects us. It seems more real, not only because we are a firsthand witness but because it actually disrupts our life. Thus, it is more difficult to Watch when we do not see our Loved One regularly. It is genuinely hard to place as much importance on their struggles. Not because our love is less, but because it makes up less of our day.

What should we do?

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Help! I’m not allowed to say “it’s not fair”

Perhaps you have been here.

A knock at the door.

You answer.

It’s a friend, a neighbor. She has just popped over for a chat. She holds a covered dish: ‘Cooked a bit extra and thought you could do with a home cooked meal’. She asks how we are, how our Loved One is. She complains for a while about her work, and how tired she is from the high tea she went to on the weekend. She has another date with friends in a few days but unfortunately it coincides with the birthday of a family member. ‘It’s always the way isn’t it? Everything at once, so frustrating.’

She shifts on the door step. ‘Ah well, no rush to return the dish – we’ll be away for a few weeks. Going on a cruise. Just a small one. I’m a bit worried actually, I’m terrified I’m coming down with a cold. There’s nothing worse than a sniffly nose! Anyway, got to rush, I have a hair dressers appointment this afternoon. All the best!’

You juggle the still-warm meal and close the door, the hot smell of cheese and silver foil clouding the air. After the door is firmly shut and the neighbor out of sight, you give the wood a short, hard kick.

It’s not fair!

unfair

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Help! I’ve run out of sympathy

As we know, chronic illness goes on and on and on. There is no end, no use by date. This is a problem. Because we are only human. We find it difficult to stretch out our emotions. A state of perpetual excitement, for example, is extremely difficult to maintain. So is a state of sympathy. Yet what happens when the tragedy has not passed (and may not pass) and our sympathetic feelings, our desire to be involved, our sadness in what is, has come to an end?

Do we simply give up?

Do we stop Watching?

sympathy

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