I am going to be honest, I don’t like receiving pity when people find out that I am sick but I do want to be understood and heard. I need to be loved and supported. I have struggled with this and so many others have too. I believe that even if you don’t have a chronic illness everyone can agree that pity is not endearing. I guess the question is how do I gracefully allow others know when I am hurting but still receive the support and love that I need without receiving pity in return. Often times, I get asked how I am doing and even though I may feel bad I will say I am fine. I think people do ask this question in passing and it’s OK not to go into the gory details of how bad I feel. However one of things I do, is I try to listen to others because no matter how bad I feel if I can help someone else it helps my spirit and ultimately it gets my mind off of my own pain.
However, I have realized the people closest too me really want to know how I am doing and by saying that I am fine when asked is actually doing me a disservice. With anything, there is a fine line between letting others in on your illness and not wanting to receive a pity party. What I really want is to gain understanding and support without the pity. How can I possibly, receive love and support if everyone always thinks I am always fine? How can anyone be in my corner praying for me when they don’t know how I feel? I don’t know about anybody else, but I never want to receive pity. I need support, love, and understanding. I want the people in my life that I really care about to know about my illness and my limitations but at the same time I do not want to be felt sorry for. I have realized what I can do is educate the people in my life, because sometimes the only reason people don’t understand is because we don’t tell anyone. Others do not have to be in my body to give me love and support. Even though I am sick and there are times when I have to push through just to get out of bed, I still want to be seen as strong because I am. I still want to be dependable, because although I have limitations, I am dependable. My illness may have changed my circumstances but I refuse to allow it to change who I am. I don’t feel sorry for myself and that is the biggest mindset that has gotten me through so much. I have accepted the changes that have come into my life over the last three years. If the relationships that I have, truly love and care about me then I will not receive pity. I will receive love, acceptance and understanding no matter how I feel and those are the relationships that I want to have on my journey of life.