A woman on a hill, arms raised looking over water as fog lifts.

Hello Chronic Illness Vampire!

When is the last time you asked someone how they were and meant it? You really wanted to know how another person is doing? Physically and emotionally? Not asking out of politeness or obligation. Not asking so you can tell that person about your issues. What was the last conversation you had that was not about you?

It’s interesting with a chronic illness… chronic, it is with us forever. We begin to live in it 24/7. Not by choice but because we have to. We have to put our health first, and for many of us, it’s the first time we’ve ever put ourselves first. We learn to say, “No.” We learn what pacing is about, and take our medications on time, as prescribed. We do our best not to intentionally do things that make our symptoms worse. We eventually learn to live within our limitations. We also realize our chronic illness is the most important and time-consuming part of our lives. It has to be. To others, it is just not.

Have you become your own best friend or your worst enemy. Can you name three things you did today that have nothing to do with your illness? Just three. I’ll even give you one; watering the plants… if you are having a hard time coming up with three things, you have a bit of soul searching to do.

It’s time to separate the person (that’d be you) from the illness (that would be the little chronic illness monster that follows you around). Everyone needs some alone time! You are in there, the you that talks, laughs, smiles, and still enjoys the fun. Yes, you are still that person!

You know that one person who calls, you look at the caller ID and groan, do I have the energy to deal with him/her today? We all have one of ‘those people’ in our lives. Have you ever wondered what people think when they see your name on the caller ID? How much fun are you to talk to? How much fun are you to go out with? How much fun are you to live with?!?! You should be asking yourself these questions because your illness is never going away.

It’s not your fault you got sick! It’s not your spouse, partner, friend, parent, or child’s fault either. And. IT IS NOT THEIR JOB to be your constant sounding board as you play chronic illness vampire and suck the life out of all those around you.

For now, think about how you cope with your illness. Remember to be aware of three things you do daily that has nothing to do with your disease. Be cognizant of your conversations, are they always about your health issues? Are you genuinely concerned about other people’s lives?

Beware; if you are not aware of these things, you will become your disease.

No one wants that for you, absolutely no one.

Live your best life!

img_1036-2~Kim

26 comments

  1. It’s easy to get sucked in and devoured by illness, to lose track of the person you were and morph into someone unrecognisable. Yes, we have to adapt and we will probably be changed to some degree, maybe only a little or maybe a lot, by the experiences we’ve had as a result. But we can have lives and personalities and interests that are distinct from illness, we owe it to ourselves to have lives that are as happy and fulfilling as possible. Great post, Kim! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hammer hits nail on the head…

    Again…

    As Kim (the hammer) is prone to do.

    I really marvel how you write what I feel at times. I still need to email you. When I find words I will. Sooooo so much. ~Kit

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if I could be Thor’s magical hammer! Norse mythology is kinda my thing!

      Seriously, thanks Kit. Yes, when ever you feel up to it, please email me. Maybe it’ll help you too just by writing it all out??? I hope so. Take good care of You, my friend! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi my precious friend. As usual, I’m pulling up the rear lately….. lol! BUT, check it out I did it again, no “pun” intended……I’m so glad I got a chance to read this. You’ve mentioned before about what’s it like to live with us, and it really resonated with me then, too. I have been in the process of trying to both accumulate new friends that will accept me and my limitations with this illness, as well as back away from the energy suckers. Both difficult things to do. And the realization that “most” of my family are energy suckers…..ugh. This article also caused me to think about how I’ve probably unknowingly become an energy sucker with my daughter. Need to change that dynamic ASAP! Thank you for bringing this to the forefront again and making me think.

    One more thing, I notice I am much more likely to announce my aches and pains on bad days – repeatedly – as if the poor person hasn’t heard that enough. WTF?!! I’m not sure, but I think this annoying habit comes from not wanting to be alone with my pain and illness. Any suggestions, from anyone please, on how you handle this and yet still get whatever it is that’s making me do this? Thanks again Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, dear Tamara! It is so very easy to be the vampire! We feel the need to share every ache and pain, especially in the beginning because we are so focused on ‘fixing’ it and making sure ‘everyone’ believes us. We feel guilty for having a chronic illness! We didn’t win an award when the chronic illness tickets were handed out! Why are you sharing your aches and pains??? I wish I could tell you but only you have the answer… you are still relatively ‘new’ to this illness. You are in a ‘new’ relationship. Does he ‘believe’ you? Does your daughter… We can’t MAKE anyone anything they are not willing to be. You’ve got this! Awareness is the first step. ❤

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      1. Hi Kim! Thanks for the quick response hun! I don’t know why I share this, my guess is because I feel the need to “explain” why I’m not showered or maybe dressed or sitting in a chair all day or not doing something around the house that needs to be done? With my daughter it’s explaining why I’m not going out more or driving three hours one way to her house to stay in an environment that’s overcrowded and stressful. How do you handle these things Kim? Please share with me if you can what you have learned works? Do you shower every day? Can you keep any kind of routine?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First, do I shower everyday? Nope. I know what dry shampoo and wet wipes are for! I do change my underwear everyday! 😁 Do I feel guilty my house is not spotless like it used to be? Yes. But no one can ‘make’ me feel guilty, but me! Does my family understand why I don’t visit as often as I used too? (Also a three hour drive.) nope. They never will… Has it caused friction? Yep. A LOT OF FRICTION. still does. Bummer. So I don’t have the answers, see? We all just do the best we can while we deal with a disease that WE have a hard time understanding, let alone ‘others.’ As for family, I found it best to take the subject of MY illness off the table. It got to be too difficult trying to explain all the time. If, ONLY IF, I am asked a certain question about fibro will I even attempt an answer. Otherwise a how are you feeling is met with a ‘just fine and how are you?’ I do try to keep the topic moving away from my health. This is why we seek out alternative support systems. As for your daughter, I can’t touch that topic. I don’t have children. You’ll do the best you can explaining it to her. The rest, let it go! Just focus on running your race, living to find your ‘normal,’ everyday. 😊💜💜💜

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  4. Thank you so much Kim. I wish there was something I could do or say to you to make you understand how much you and your support mean to me. Thank you just isn’t enough. I never thought I could love someone I never met, but I adore you lady. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe. You are going to get me all emotional! You are sooooo welcome. Always, anytime. I do understand! I’m so happy you picked me to reach out to! My life is better because I got to help you! You are simply a gift! 💜💜💜

      Like

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