WARNING: Not so mini rant about competition in the chronic illness community coming!
You know what really bugs me? When people act like being ill is a competition. It’s almost like if somebody is more ill or suffers more than you do, that they win.
I just wanted to write this post to remind people that being ill is not a choice. It is not a competition. People can have a chronic illness and still have good days. Days where they aren’t in as much pain, or their fatigue isn’t affecting them as much as usual. This does NOT mean that they are not ill.
I feel like there are certain people out there who claim to be “worse” all the time. If somebody has a “good” day, they can’t be happy and just say “I’m so glad you’ve had a good day, that’s amazing!”. Instead, they say, “Oh it’s lucky for some, I never have good days”.
This became obliviously clear to me when I was reading the comments from one of my blog posts which was shared on The Mighty last year. 90% of the comments were so lovely, supportive and full of understanding. But one or two, just commented things like “can’t relate, all my days are bad days” or “this girl doesn’t have it half as bad as me”.
Why comment things like that? It doesn’t help anybody. Just because I am not bedbound 24/7 does NOT mean that I don’t struggle sometimes. Just because I actually do have good days, doesn’t mean that I’ve made the whole thing up.
Is there a hierarchy?
There seems to be this hierarchy within the chronic illness community that nobody actually talks about. Those who are “worse” or who are “more disabled” are at the top, and those who aren’t as bad are almost looked down upon, feeling like they have to justify their good days.
Why should anybody have to justify good times? It’s just wrong. I for one, am absolutely sick of seeing these patronising comments when people share their struggles.
If somebody has a “good” day with their illness, just be happy for them. If they have a bad day, send them a supportive message, be nice. There is NO comparison between each person’s health issues. Every single person is completely different and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if they have a good day.
Being ill is not a competition. Having worse health than somebody else is not a competition. Having a good day is something to be celebrated, not judged.
90% of the time, the chronic illness community is a wonderful, supportive place where people can feel less alone and isolated. But now and again, this competitive side comes out and it needs to stop.
Have you ever been judged for having a “good” day when you’re chronically ill? I would love to hear your opinions on this – let me know in the comments!
Until next time,