Stop telling us what to do

You care, I know you do. I appreciate that you care.

However, you need to find better ways to show how much you care. Telling me what to do, what I should eat, how I should move, etc. is not the best way to show me how much you care.

You think you’re helping. You’re not.

I’ve seen more medical professionals than I care to count. I have had to fight with them to even get diagnoses, to get treatment that would make me feel even a little bit better. I have spent countless hours researching my condition online, consulting with Dr. Google. Looking for alternative treatments, new things to try, talking to people who have fought this battle before me.

Chances are good that you aren’t a doctor or even have any medical training. You know someone who knows someone who has the same thing and some random root from Chile helped them. Or maybe they gave up all sugar and only eat broccoli and avocado now.

I’m glad that worked for some random person I’ll probably never meet. I love hearing when people who struggle like I do get better. No one should have to deal with the things I deal with. Chronic pain. Brain fog. Depression. Anxiety.

But, I need you to respect the fact that I’m on the path I’m on. You telling me over and over to stop eating sugar doesn’t add anything useful to my life. Instead, I feel like you think I don’t know how to take care of myself. Like I haven’t talked to the doctors. Haven’t researched. Haven’t tried to figure out what’s best for me. You don’t know what’s best for me. Stop acting like you do.

You also may be ignoring the fact that I could be going through a rough patch. One where I’m struggling to get up everyday, so we should just be glad I’m eating at all. You’re probably not with me 24/7, so there’s no way for you to know what I put into my body when you aren’t around. Don’t assume that what you see is my whole life.

Because the reality is that there are probably very few people, if any, who really get the full picture. Who see me when I struggle to wake up and get out of bed. Who see how I struggle to walk through a grocery store or how sometimes breathing is painful. Who know how many voices in my head tell me I’m a failure. That I should be doing more with my life than I am. Over and over I hear, “You’re not really sick. Get up. Get moving.”

Until you’ve actually trudged a mile in my shoes, or spent a whole day in bed because the pain is pretty much unbearable, please do not bestow your unwanted advice on me. For some of you, it’s a compulsion. You feel like you *have* to share with me because you know it will help. You won’t feel like you’ve done your part until you do.

Just stop. Ask me how I’m feeling. Ask me how you can help. Tell me something funny to get my mind off of whatever I’m going through.

If you can’t stop, you may soon find your way out of my life. I spend enough energy dealing with shit, I don’t need it from anyone else.