10 Ways You Can Help Me on the Bad Days
February 6, 2017 | Posted in: chronic illness; support
Living with chronic illness is hard. There are days the pain, fatigue, and every-day-ness of it is too much to push through. A huge part of chronic illness, at least for me, is pushing through because giving up isn’t a choice, but there are some days when it’d be easier than others to throw in the towel.
Your friends want to help. Sometimes it seems like maybe they don’t. They do, though. It’s sometimes hard for them. They don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. Or life gets in the way. Well, tell your friends it’s OK to tell you that they don’t know what to say, and if life is getting in the way, push it out of the way.
Asking for help can be hard. It isn’t a sign of weakness to need help. All we have is each other. Click To Tweet So, lean on your friends. On your bad days tell them what you need, and let them help you. Repeat after me: it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
Here are some things that would help me get through my worst chronic illness days.
1. Send me a random text. Not in response to something I’ve sent you. Random. Out of nowhere. Ask me how I am. Send me a funny.
2. Tell me you love me. Show me you love me. Emails. Cards. Actual letters. I have a friend who’s fond of leaving sweet surprises in my mailbox, and she doesn’t even live in the same town.
3. Support me on social media. This may sound kind of silly, but sometimes that’s the most social I can be, even though I still love going out with my friends. I just can’t spend much energy on it anymore.
4. Be very, very careful about the days and ways you suggest “cures” to me. Only certain people can get away with it. These are the kinds of things that send me into a silent rage on the best of days, and a not-so-silent one on the bad ones. I know you have nothing but good intentions, but trust me, if you’ve thought of it or seen it. So have I and my team of doctors. Also, with my rare combination of diseases, things are hardly ever that simple.
5. Give me a hug. I love hugs from my friends. They make everything better.
6. Offer me your clear mind. Brain fog is an increasing problem for me on a daily basis. It’s absolutely horrible on the bad days. Please offer to help me think things through.
7. Do things with me. Even if it’s sitting in my yard for five minutes. I think I differ from many spoonies in that I’m almost always up for at least doing something quick with a friend. It just won’t be much. I once had a friend come lie on my couch with me and not say a word because I was annoyed by talking that day. I still get choked up thinking about it.
8. Go to the doctor or emergency room with me. I’m comfortable doing most things alone, but that’s not one of them. Plus, sometimes there’s a lot of information to take in.
9. Let me help you. Please don’t exclude me from your life. Tell me about your problems. Maybe I can help, and I can certainly listen. Tell me about your health issues. Don’t keep them to yourself because they don’t compare to mine. It doesn’t work that way. I love you.
10. Ask specific questions about my doctor appointments or any health information I give you. It shows how much you care, and that you listen.
Are you chronically ill? What would you like for your friends to help you with? What have you done for a sick friend. Please let me know.
Ellie is a 45-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more, she’s just not sure of what more is. Her favorite hobbies are reading, writing and yarn crafts. Her biggest hope in blogging is to help no one ever feel alone in their journeys with chronic illness, or anything else.