Lack of understanding.
Wanting to be completely transparent but also wanting to avoid the vulnerability.
I haven’t hid the fact that I am battling through health issues that do not have a diagnosis. They do not have a solid action plan. They don’t even have a name; I only can state how I feel and what doctors suspect. What I have hid is how bad I feel due to what I am battling; especially when those battles are out of my control. I deal with excessive heart rate, heart attack like sensations, extreme fatigue, uncontrollable gastrointestinal pains, chronic cramping in joints and muscles along with pain in those joints and muscles.
But the thing that I have kept hidden the most is how others treat me. The lack of understanding begins almost instantaneously especially when I seem “fine” and then turn around 2 seconds to 10 minutes to 3 days later and feel miserable. You begin to see the disbelief in people’s eyes, you hear the comments of “You look way better!” or “You don’t look sick!” or the best one “Are you sure you it isn’t just all in your head?” You feel people begin to treat you differently because you have cancelled plans one too many times because you know your body and know you could risk fainting or having to be in bed for 4 days if you do go out. Even a simple trip to the grocery store is exhausting. Driving… usually out of the question. But people expect me to get up, dressed, make up and hair done, to then stand on my feet, or walk around – – that probably won’t happen. Even a simple shower causes almost two hours of a resting period so that my body can slowly begin to function normal again.
I ask, if you have friends dealing with unforeseen circumstances, be patient with them. They will have days where they shut the world out, bottle everything up and avoid all. They will also have days where they want to go out and try and conquer everything they are battling. And those ‘days’ can happen within minutes or even hours of each other. At 9:00am they want to go out and do multiple things and then by 3:00pm they can barely walk across the house without feeling like their own body may fail them. Be patient with them. On the days where you aren’t quite sure how truthful they are being, be patient with them. When you want to coddle them and let them know that you are 100% there for them, regardless if the support is via a text, be patient with them.
I can promise you, they “cue all” the feelings that are listed above and more, all they ask is patience. You don’t even need to understand any of it, but instead, give patience.
So on the ‘days’, please be patient with them.