Sharing about chronic illness on social media: It’s difficult.
Particularly when you are only watching someone else’s battle.
That I believe this might come as a surprise, due to the slight fact that this website is full of articles!
Not to mention, I have associated facebook pages, groups, pinterest, google plus and twitter accounts! That’s a lot of social media.
Yet each time I share about the place of chronic illness in my life (as someone who has sick family members, but is not ill myself), I struggle.
It’s a hard topic to think and talk about – let alone share online with everyone and anyone!
Continue reading “The problem with chronic illness and social media”
It is hard to think about chronic illness.
The reality is that while chronic illness can be difficult to talk about – it can also be difficult to even think about.
This post is a follow-on from the previous post: “Why I find it hard to talk about Watching”.
Let me clarify: I don’t find thinking about chronic illness a chore or a burden. It is so much part of me and my reality that not to think about it would be a denial of the truth!
I actually really enjoy pondering this part of my life because I want to understand how it fits into God’s plan for our world and how I can love and support my struggling friends.
Perhaps ‘hard’ is the wrong word. I don’t find thinking about Watching hard, but I think it can be… dangerous.
Continue reading “Thinking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to think about sickness and Watching”
I find it hard to talk about sickness when I’m not the one who is sick.
This might come as a surprise.
After all, I blog about Watching. I’ve written thousands of words on the topic, and spent hundreds of hours thinking about it.
But I still find it hard.
Talking about sickness is hard because words diminish
I really struggle with this.
Every time I open a word document or begin a conversation with someone about a heart issue, I get a familiar ‘tugging’ feeling. It’s sort of like regret.
Because when words express our thoughts and feelings they inevitably reduce them. I love words, but words are not everything. Words only scrape the surface of the huge beast that being is.
Continue reading “Talking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to talk about Sickness and Watching”
“Being There” for someone struggling is GOOD – but there are temptations along the way…
Watching is dangerous.
It’s not very “politically correct” to talk about morals when we discuss suffering. Ethics, certainly, but morals? They’re a bit more personal, a bit more offensive. After all, how can you suggest that someone in pain is responding the ‘wrong’ way?
At the same time, I think it’s essential. As a Christian, I want to become more like Jesus – and so it’s important to me to acknowledge the overt temptations I encounter. Even if you do not share my faith, I think we all would like to ‘build our character’ and ‘become a better person’ or ‘live up to our own standards’. It’s part of being human.
It’s important than, to acknowledge that Watching or care-giving can be morally dangerous. This because it contains the two ingredients which are often present when something good turns sour.
Continue reading “The moral dangers of “being there” for someone with a chronic illness”
Perhaps you have been here:
A knock at the door.
It’s a friend, a neighbour. 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 neighbour out of sight, you give the wood a short, hard kick.
It’s not fair!
Continue reading “Why aren’t I allowed to say that chronic illness is not fair?”
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?
First of all let us ask ourselves a probing question:
Why is lack of sympathy a problem?
Why is it a problem that we no longer feel interested in our Loved One’s suffering? Why is it an issue that we don’t wince as they wince any longer?
Is it really that wrong?
I suspect we want to instinctively answer ‘yes’. Yes, there is something wrong when we don’t care about suffering anymore.
That answer is right.
But it’s also wrong.
Everything becomes normal
Continue reading “4 things to do when you run out of sympathy”
Have you ever felt like a burden? To those around you? To your friends, your spouse, your community?
It’s easy to feel doubly burdensome when someone you love is ill or going through a tough time. You don’t want to add to their struggles… and yet somehow you accidentally end up doing so!
Are you a burden?
Sorry, but you are a burden
A burden is something troublesome. Something hard to get rid of. We can be burdened by duty, worry, conflict or disease.
But more often than not, our real burdens are people.
All relationships are burdensome. All attachments hurt. Friendship is ecstasy and agony.
When we love someone we worry about them. We weep when they weep, we laugh when they love. It is people – family, neighbours, friends, spouses – which hamper our futures and make our decisions doubly difficult.
Continue reading “Yes, you are a burden to your chronically ill friend…”