Because nothing in your life so far could have possibly prepared you for the ongoing issues and emotions of chronic illness, there are a whole lot of emotional hooks that you can get caught up on that keep you stuck in feeling isolated, unsupported and alone.
Needing people to understand your chronic illness and how it affects you is one of the biggest ones and it causes so much unnecessary distress and emotional pain.
For pretty much every other loss or illness you have had in your life, the people that you love will be able to relate to it and understand because they have direct, personal experience of how it feels.
Everyone has experienced heart break or rejection.
Everyone has experienced the loss of someone they love through accident or illness.
Everyone knows how it feels to be humiliated or betrayed.
But when it comes to chronic illness, most people seem to have no concept of what it is like at all unless you happen to be in a relationship with someone else who has also experienced having their life completely changed by chronic illness.
There is a complete veil of silence around the emotional and psychological impact of chronic illness. It’s not talked about openly and publicly, not in our doctors offices, not in our media, not in the gold standard of psychological interventions and practice.
We are pretty much left to deal with it alone.
After the first six months, once you have a diagnosis and actual proof that there is something physically wrong with you, the concern and compassion begins to fade and people keep waiting for you to “get better”.
When you don’t get better and you are still sick and still being affected by ongoing symptoms and limitations, they struggle to understand why and when the people closest to you don’t seem to understand just how much chronic illness has changed your life or the grief you feel about losing the person that you used to be, it can feel like a complete betrayal.
Worst of all, not feel understood or supported means that resentment creeps into your relationship, you start to pull away and the trust, love and intimacy you may have once enjoyed begins to disappear.
In this episode I am going to break down how this process happens and why it’s not important that they understand your chronic illness.
I will give you some mind shift tools to help you switch to what is really important and why and explain how letting them off the hook for not understanding is going to help free you up from a whole lot of emotional pain and help to make your relationships better.
Listen here on the blog or search and subscribe to the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast on Spotify, iTunes and most podcast players.
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