By Guest Blogger Wayne Connell, Founder and President, Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)
“I can’t believe how strong you are!” “I can’t believe how hard you keep fighting!” “You are so courageous!” “You amaze me!”
Believe it or not, it is all too common for a person living with a continuing illness or pain to be treated as if they are not positive enough, do not try hard enough, do not want to get better and do not have anything to complain about.
Then again, most people cannot imagine how difficult it is to be inside a body that will not cooperate with their desires. If we would take a moment to realize how much our loved one has been through, what they go through daily, how many tests they have had, how many doctors they have seen, how many medications they have tried, how much research they have done and how much money they have spent to battle the symptoms, we would recognize our loved one’s amazing courage.
In any case, don’t most people become crabby and whiny when they get sick, even though they know they will be better in a few days? Imagine having symptoms much or all of the time. According to Pauline Boss in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, “…an ambiguous loss of long duration becomes physically and psychologically exhausting for even the strongest of individuals, couples and families.” Think of how amazing this person is for having such persistence to find a way to remove or at least alleviate their symptoms and to find ways to cope. Consequently, isn’t it time to voice our admiration for their incredible strength and determination? I think so!