Home Stories 5 Things Chronically Ill People Wish Their Loved Ones Knew

5 Things Chronically Ill People Wish Their Loved Ones Knew


The great Latin writer, Publilius Syrus once said: “Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.” Yet, people who are chronically ill aren’t blessed with this gift.

People who are chronically ill experience physical and emotional pain every day. Their illness is a burden that they have to carry on their shoulders 24/7. It wears them down and interferes with all spheres of their life. They can’t behave in the same way as they once could when they’re with their family, friends, or at work.

If you don’t have a chronic illness, it’s very probable that you don’t really understand how a chronically ill person feels like.  If they don’t openly show how they feel, it doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing physical and emotional pain on the inside. Besides the wish to have the strength to endure their illness or get better, the chronically ill have wishes related to the people they love.

If your loved one or someone that you know is chronically ill, these are the 5 most important things they want you to know:

1. Their grief is ongoing.

The chronically ill feel inconsolable grief over the things they could do before they got sick but they can’t do now. They grieve over the loss of many chances to spend time with their loved ones and do their favorite activities. Hanging out with friends, walking in nature, going to parties and all sorts of social events are just some of the activities they can’t enjoy because of their illness.

Their grief is reoccurring. It can appear when they don’t expect it. They can come to terms with their condition one moment, and feel immense sadness and disappointment the next. Their grief is as same as the grief over the loss of a loved one, and sometimes, it can be even more intense.

2. They often have mood swings.

Their chronic illness does not only affect their body but their emotions as well. The life of a chronically ill person is an emotional roller coaster. They can be content and cheerful one moment and get really sad or angry the next. Their mood swings also affect their social life. They can be quite willing to hang out with their friends one moment and get pensive, detached, or angry the next.

3. They are grateful.

A chronically ill person can often feel disappointed or lose hope, but they’re always grateful for and appreciate the good people and things in their life. They’re grateful for every new day they wake up. They’re grateful for the strength to endure their pain. Most importantly, they’re grateful to you for many things: your kindness, love, understanding, and patience; for the fact that you were there for them when they needed your help and support; for sharing their burden with them; for never letting them down.

4. They think they let you down.

Worse than the health problems they endure every day, it’s the feeling that they’re letting their loved ones down. Some days, their pain is endurable and other days, they feel weak and lack the strength to perform things normally and be productive. Sometimes, they plan to meet you, but they can never tell how they’re going to feel that day. Although they don’t want to do this, they often have to turn down invitations, cancel plans, and break their promises. And they feel they’re letting you down for doing that although you’ve always shown understanding for their condition and never said or done anything that made them feel bad about it. They worry that you might think they don’t want to spend time with you and cancel plans on purpose.

Moreover, they often feel the need to apologize to their friends and family members for not feeling well and being able to have fun with them although this is completely unnecessary.

5. They feel embarrassed.

To be chronically ill was not their choice. They feel embarrassed for failing to follow what society tells all of us – to be healthy and fit. There are plenty of times when they don’t feel comfortable talking about their physical and emotional pain. Explaining to people why they can’t go to social gatherings, why they look exhausted and their face is pale, or why they have to leave school or parties early is very embarrassing for them. It’s easier for them to say: ”I’m okay” than going into details about how they feel and worry or annoy you with their problems.

One more reason why they feel embarrassed is the loss of independence. A chronically ill person doesn’t feel comfortable at all for having to depend on you to do the household chores for them or help them financially although you’ve often shown them that they can always count on your help.