One of my patients recently asked me, “how do I deal with my friends and family who don’t understand that I am not better yet?” When dealing with chronic health issues people who are in the healing process have good and bad days. This fluctuation can often be hard for friends and family to understand if they only remember you when you were sick.
Own The Truth Of Your Situation
The first thing you need to do when dealing with this process is OWN THE TRUTH OF YOUR SITUATION. Which means that you need to become very clear about where you are in your healing process and accept that. Your energy, function, ability to focus, the pain level is going to fluctuate from day to day. You don’t get to control how that happens, but as you begin to improve the fluctuation will become less and less.
I understand how intensely frustrating that can be especially when you have a good day, and you just want to feel like that all the time. I always tell my patients that it is a long road, but getting your life back is no trivial process.
Share Your Truth With Your Friends And Family
The second thing you need to do is SHARE YOUR TRUTH WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! The people in your life who love and care about you know so much less about your state of health. Because chronic health issues don’t have external factors like a cast on your arm, or around your head, people quickly forget how much pain or discomfort you are in daily. All you can do is thank them for caring about you and including you in their life. Remember to share with them how you are feeling on that day.
It takes a lot of gentle reminders to yourself about where you are and to the people around you about where you are with your health.
I remember when my wife was going through her health problems, I of all people should be particularly understanding but just like everyone else, I forgot too. She would have a great day and be functioning like she used to, and then I would naively believe that this was going to be the new normal. She had to remind me constantly “Steve, I felt fine earlier, but now I am completely depleted and exhausted, and I am not better yet!” and this went on until she finally was recovered.
No one is perfect, and everyone goes through this process with themselves and their loved ones. Know that you are not alone, and it just takes gratitude for the people in your life and a little patience.
If you need a dose of gratitude about your health issues I share why experiencing physical pain or discomfort is actually good. Check out my article “Gift Of Pain” to learn more.
Here’s To A Better Life,
Dr. Steve Puckette