In Defense of Being Sick

In Defense of Being Sick

Do you ever have those days where you just don’t feel like doing anything? Do you ever have those days where you just feel like ick stuck to the bottom of a dusty old shoe? Do you ever have those days where you question your illness? Do you ever feel like you have those days when you feel like you have to defend your illness to your friends, coworkers, or your dear old Aunt Jane? If you answered yes to any of those, you’re not alone.

Everyone seems to have an opinion

I know I’ve had to feign interest as Sally Smarty-Pants drawled on about the latest health supplement to sweep across the nation. Didn’t I know that it would solve all my problems so easily if I would just listen to her, darn it? Like Sally, I’m sure that rubbing some sparkly cream on my earlobe and spinning around in a circle 25 times every blue moon will cure all my ails. I know it’ll transform me into a luscious unicorn and it’ll whisk me into some magical fantasy land where I’ll live happily ever after. But would you let me figure it out for myself sometime?

With any illness, everyone seems to have an opinion. On top of that, in the real world,  there are swarms of demands and expectations that buzz around us at all times. It’s really easy to get lost in the clutter of opinions, especially when you’re already dealing with a messy life. Like a whirlpool, the voices around us can try to suck us down and drown us out. While the world is filled with good intentions, it tends to lack great listeners. So it’s important to remember one thing…

…It’s okay.

It’s okay to be not okay. It’s okay to be sick. As patients, we live lives that are packed with unexpected outcomes and rugged routes to wellness. Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning around us. Society screams at us to get better, to work hard because we need that luxury car. That’s the definition of success, right? Then, like a sleep-deprived toddler, it throws a tantrum if we fail or can’t meet expectations. But does any of that really matter?

Failure isn’t a demon that you slay with the sword of success. Failure is how we reach success. It’s how we learn, it’s how we grow, and it’s how we expand our horizons. When you think about it, what really matters in life is what makes us happy. Missing one party, one meeting, or one conference isn’t the end of the world. Doing what’s right for us at the moment is how we get better. Illness isn’t something we need to defend. It’s real, and we know it because it’s something we fight every day already.

I say that if you’re here, fighting for yourself and doing what you need to do for yourself, then you’re winning the fight. There will be people who try to tell you that you’re wrong, that you’re not trying, or who doubt that you’re doing enough. But you’re what matters. You’re what really counts. So if you’re happy, then who cares what Sally says?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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