Chronic Illness Silence

15 Dec

Sometimes I feel that there is a gag stuffed between my teeth, stopping me from talking about the physical trials I go through. I can easily say something generic about having a rough day – but go further than that and the gag gets replaced. The sicker I have gotten, the more I have felt this. I have become, over the past dozen years, self-conscious about how much/often I talk about my health problems.




Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Do I share too much? Do I sound like I’m whining? Do I ever sound like I’m comparing my pain with theirs? Do I sound like I’m making it up? Do they believe me? Or do they think I’m just seeking attention? Is that why I share so much, because I want attention? 

All self-doubts rise like a tidal wave when I go down this route. I suddenly don’t know who I am anymore – it’s like I get caught in the confusion, lost, apart from myself.

But that – that is actually a good way to describe what living in a chronically sick body feels like. I am lost – apart from myself. And I’m crawling on bloodied hands and knees to get back to me.

But, that’s off point. Why do I let people put this gag in my mouth? THIS is my reality. No, I’m not climbing the corporate ladder (the last time I wanted that I was about 12 years old). No I’m not baking like crazy in my own little bakery with my best friend at my side like we’d planned after culinary school (thanks Lyme for taking that dream away). Neither am I a preschool teacher or a nanny anymore. No, I’m not a mom either, chasing toddlers and running kids to soccer practice. Not a published author of a novel that’s helping bring in money to pay for bills, either.

Instead, I’m struggling to form sentences some days. I’m trying to do anything I can to keep the TMJ, the fibromyalgia, the migraines, the fatigue etc etc, from flaring. I’m taking more pills than my parents do every single day. I’m isolated from anything that can make me flare – over-stimulation, foods, lights, etc. I have to take care of ME to know that I’ve done everything to stop the terrible ravages of the infections that are determined to take over every cell and speck of me.

Saying ‘I’m fine’ is starting to feel like a lie. Even when I’m having good days. I feel like I’m bowing to the peer pressure.

Don’t talk about it. Put your mask on. Everything is all right.

Perhaps it’s too many nights of rough sleep, or the shuffling between doctors’ that has me up in arms about this. But should my doctor’s office really be the main place I can feel free to SHARE?

Yes, I do have some lovely friends and family that I can spill my guts to and they are amazing. But the worries – the doubts in my head – those are on repeat even then.




9 Responses to “Chronic Illness Silence”

  1. Darlene Mom December 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    I think you should always tell how you feel no matter how awful it is. If a person takes the time to ask, they really do want the truth —-good bad or ugly.


    • Laura December 18, 2017 at 10:23 am #

      Yes, I think there’s just a line though, on how much information can be too much. you know? Thanks for stopping by, and commenting!


  2. Dad December 16, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    I just like to say that I feel fine or that I am not feeling to good. I do not like to get into specifics except with Mom or a doctor. But that is just me. I would suggest doing like me or else “not good, I would give you specifics if you have an hour”.


    • Laura December 18, 2017 at 10:24 am #

      yeah, it gets tricky though, I feel. Thanks for stopping by!!!


  3. noela gerlicher December 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

    Dear one , you know my heart aches for you!! It seems you have gotten much worse than when you were here. I know about fibromyalga, please excuse spelling, my handicap, I had it while in south America.. Had to have sean get the covers off my bed as I couldn’t do it myself!!! the dr put me on prosaic. I know a lot of people hate it. It took my pain away, cured my allergies and the problems with my arms., I am sooo thankful. I read all the things you couldn’t do and wondered if maybe you might so some praying for me and others? I as always wish my children would come to the Lord. I have a friend with 27 year old daughter with two children who has just been told she has inoperable brain cancer and is undergoing cemo. I have a friend who needs a job and a place to live. Thank you for your consideration in these prayers.. And Of course you know we pray for you constantly. And never mind hearing what things are going on in your live! no matter how bad, it helps us pray ! Was sooo good to see you and give you a hug. YOu always look sooo cheerful, no one would know if you don’t speak up and also if anything can be done, tell people!! love you !


    • Laura December 18, 2017 at 10:27 am #

      Thanks so much friend. I didn’t know you had fibromyalgia at one time. But so glad that you found something that got rid if it! Of course I will pray for those requests, I’ve written them down. Thanks for your prayers as well! I will never forget your kindness in helping me get care all those years ago. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment!



  1. Health Update Nov/Dec 2018 | the start of a good life - December 22, 2018

    […] Steal From Me? that I wrote on the emotional side of living with chronic illness? This one, Chronic Illness Silence, I wrote this time last year about how hard it is to share about what chronic illness sufferers go […]


  2. Health Update Dec 2018/Jan 2019 | the start of a good life - January 23, 2019

    […] about pain keeping you up at night, The Dark before the Dawn is the one for you. Or check out Chronic Illness Silence to read about feeling like I often have a gag in my mouth about my health. This title says it all […]


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    […] in some more posts on pain, check out How much more will Chronic Illness steal from me? ,  Chronic Illness Silence   and Encouragement for living with Chronic […]


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