Friday, June 5, 2015

Magic Cures from the Perfectly Healthy

     Raise your hand if you've ever been told how to cure your incurable illness!  Raise your other hand if the person who gave you the magic cure was not suffering from an incurable illness!


     To be fair, I do understand that people who offer their magic cure do so with (usually) good intentions.  They want you to be as perfectly healthy as they are.  But these good intentions always seem to come from people who are not at all familiar with your particular disease.  And they always seem to disregard the simple fact that if you could cure your disease, YOU WOULD HAVE CURED IT ALREADY!

     I feel like this needs to be said (written): positive thoughts, good habits, the law of attraction, prayer, chanting, visualization, etc. may HELP you learn to live with a chronic illness.  They may even reduce symptoms, which will indeed help you feel better.  But these things are not a cure.  

     There is such a thing as spontaneous remission.  Miracles do happen.  It's possible that I may wake up pain-free with no RA at all just as I woke up one day with RA.  But it's not very likely.  Most of us, we who suffer with chronic pain and illness, are realists.  We might even call ourselves "hopeful realists."  Hope is a genuinely great thing to have.  It gives us a reason to continue moving forward.  However, it is impossible to wish away pain and just as impossible to will yourself cured.

     When we encounter this, I think most of us are as polite as we can be at that moment and make a mental note not to communicate with this person anymore.  Obviously, they don't get it.  But it is still shocking to hear/read this type of comment from a (presumably) thinking human being.  I find it disappointing that a person would not edit his/her thoughts when communicating with someone he/she knows is struggling with illness.

     Furthermore, such comments imply that people who suffer a chronic illness are somehow deficient because we have not already cured ourselves.  They imply that we are failures because we couldn't figure out how to cure ourselves on our own.  It's almost as if you can hear their comments dripping with judgement: "the solution is SO simple and easy; you must want to be sick if you're not already cured."  What a load of you-know-what!

    I'd like to offer an open letter to anyone who wants to share their magic cure with someone suffering from chronic illness:

     Dear obtuse but well-intentioned advice giver,

          Please take a moment before sharing your magic cure with me and consider this: if you had a chronic, incurable illness, would you appreciate being told you could simply do ____ and be cured?  Especially by someone who is not ill?

          I didn't think so.

          So please keep your magic cure to yourself.  Honestly, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.


      All chronic illness patients everywhere, for all eternity and beyond

No comments:

Post a Comment