How to Understand Chronic Illness

Napowrimo 2018, Day 15. Because I’m poorly today I’ve decided to post this poem which I wrote late last night.

Being ill’s no picnic.

Being chronically ill’s a nightmare.

Its a daily battle.

Popping pills, side effects,

Chronic fatigue and varying degrees of pain.

Its hard for others to understand.

They don’t feel the way we feel.

They don’t go out one day,

Then spend two more paying for it.

Yet its hard for us too.

What should we show?

What should we hide?

If we share too much,

Will we be met with disbelief?

If I show the pain,

Share how I feel all the time,

I am considered a moaner.

Self indulgent, depressing and negative.

I’m seen as throwing myself a ‘pity party’

Dwelling on my illness,

Not wanting to get better.

That’s another thing!

I cannot get better,

I am chronically ill.

The giveaway here is the word ‘chronic’

No amount of positivity, exercise,

herbal remedy or witch craft,

Will change that.

Then if I hide the pain,

People think “oh shes not that bad”

They see your smile and forget your pain.

They have expectations beyond your means.

They are angered by your constant ‘let downs’

And cannot understand why you cant do what you did yesterday.

So its a balancing act.

Showing some pain, hiding some pain.

Raising awareness to help others understand.

While some will try to empathize.

Only those who share your path will know the truth.

Because understanding chronic illness,

Is as deep as the pain beneath the surface.

By Katie Haigh

©️KATIEHAIGH 15/04/18


4 Comments Add yours

  1. ushicola says:

    This is beautiful, honest, fitting and well-written. An ex of mine had osteoporosis and porphyria. It’s very relatable and beautifully told. Understanding, empathy and kindness go a long way with chronic illness sufferers. I hope you have a better day tomorrow 😊

    1. Poetkatie says:

      Aww Thankyou, thats lovely of you to say xx

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