The Mighty

When You Can’t Stop Mourning The Person You Were Before Chronic Illness

Chronic

By Jamie Janinski in The Mighty.   Four years ago, I went to my doctor complaining of excessive tiredness and having so much pain in my hands that I couldn’t squeeze my shampoo bottle while showering. Four years ago, I received a call telling me I needed to see a rheumatologist right away because my […]

12 Things That Happen When You Have A Chronic Illness

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  By Ally Teixeira in The Mighty.   Having a chronic illness isn’t easy. All of us chronically ill warriors may feel alone, but we all have a lot in common! Here are 12 things that happen when you’re chronically ill. You know you have a chronic illness when… 1. Doing your hair feels like some serious […]

When Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Feels Like An Energy-Sucking Vampire

Lost

    By Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden in The Mighty.   Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) fatigue. The invisible illness vampire. The blood- (or energy-) sucking beast ever at your shoulder, teeth in your neck. CFS fatigue is invisible. Many people with CFS have no visibly discernible symptoms. Only the bags under our eyes point to the constant torture people […]

To People With Invisible Illnesses, From A Paramedic Who Didn’t Believe You

Invisible Illness

  By Ashley in The Mighty.   I’ve been a paramedic on and off for 10 years now. I’ve seen the good and the bad — probably more bad than good, but I’ve opened my eyes to something different. I’ve seen people in Facebook groups post about how health care professionals treat people with invisible illnesses poorly because they […]

If Your Chronic Illness Is Making You Want to Give Up

Frustration Chronic Illness

  By Candida Reece in The Mighty. Having a chronic illness can mean life can be rough. It means going to the store with only one sock on because you didn’t want to go through the pain to find the other one; or maybe your shirt is inside out, or you have two different shoes, or clothes […]

5 Reasons We Should Never Assume Someone Isn’t In Pain

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      By Christina Carrell in The Mighty.   I was sitting in one of those canvas painting classes, waving a paintbrush back and forth in a very amateur attempt to recreate Monet’s “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lillies” (spoiler: I’m not an artist and the end result bore little resemblance to the […]

Why People With Chronic Illness Can’t Simply ‘Push Through’

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  By Alicia Thompson in The Mighty.   It never ceases to frustrate me to realize how pervasive the “Just Do It” culture is. Whenever I discuss my physical limitations with others, I’m often met with the suggestion that I simply need to “push through.” Which leaves me wondering, what does this phrase really mean […]

To Those Who Say Chronically Ill People Are ‘So Lucky’ Not To Work Full-Time

Chronic Illness

  By Alexandra Ellen in The Mighty.   Have you ever had the “joy” of experiencing a conversation similar to this on a Sunday afternoon? “What time do you start work tomorrow?” “Ummm, I don’t work on Mondays.” “Ahhh, you’re so lucky!” I lost count of the number of times I’ve had similar conversations. I […]

How To Move Forward When You’re Grieving Your Life Before Chronic Illness

Chronic

  By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.   When many people hear the word “grief,” what often comes to mind are the complex emotions a person experiences in the wake of a loved one’s death. Though this is certainly an accurate representation of grief, it is by no means the only one. Grief is much […]

21 People Describe What Sensory Overload Feels Like

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  By Melissa McGlensey in The Mighty.   Sensory overload happens when too much sensory stimulus is occurring at once — it can be triggered by a crowded room, a TV turned up too loud, strong aromas, fluorescent lighting — or a hundred other things. It’s often associated with certain diagnoses like autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress […]

The ‘Energy Bubble’ Analogy That Can Help Explain Pacing With A Chronic Illness

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    By Christina Baltais in The Mighty.   Pacing is about energy conservation, both physical and emotional. When you’re living with a chronic illness, it’s an essential skill for preventing flare-ups or “crashes.” This “energy bubble analogy” can be useful to help you visualize and understand the limits of your energy, and help you explain them […]

We Need To Stop Talking About Chronic Illness In This Particular Way

chronic-illness

  By Annie M. In The Mighty.   Have you ever noticed how people talk about illness, even mild illnesses like colds? We often say we are fighting them. We battle colds and fight the flu. We call our friends with scary medical conditions “warriors,” and we encourage them in their “battle” against their illness. It’s true […]

14 Things People May Not Realize We Do Because Of Sudden Flare-Ups

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  By Cassidy Colbert in The Mighty.   Living life with a chronic illness is basically living life constantly walking on eggshells. One day you may be bouncing off the walls because you are so full of energy and the next you are lying on the cool bathroom floor — your only source of relief from the agonizing […]

Dealing With Anger Now That I Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Jamison

  By Jamison Hill in The Mighty.   I love to break things. Yeah, I know, who doesn’t? But I get such a satisfying feeling when I break something. Maybe not a bone, or a really expensive gadget, but breaking something cheap and discardable is satisfying to me. Very satisfying! In 2011, after I was sick for […]

The Discrimination I Experience As A Young Person With Invisible Illness

Invisible Illness

  By Nora W in The Mighty.   There are thousands of chronic illnesses and even more people who have chronic illnesses. It’s hard for most people to believe, but yes, young people have various chronic illnesses too. I cannot tell you how many times I have told somebody I have a chronic illness and the response I […]

The Guilt Of Prioritizing Yourself When You’re Chronically Sick

Frustration Chronic Illness

    By Meridith O’Connor in The Mighty.   I’m in a constant state of risk, using my energy towards something with the potential to cost me other life events later. It’s a difficult balance, knowing when to push through and feel sick later, or prevent the latter by taking precautionary care of myself first. Everyone always […]

Living My Life In The Grey Area Of Disability

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    By Victoria Venable in The Mighty.   When people talk about the “isms” in society, racism and sexism are usually the first that come to mind. Later in the list comes ageism. Often forgotten and misunderstood, is ableism. Ableism: Discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities. In the last nine months of my […]

11 Hidden Realities (And 4 Hidden Gifts) Of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Mighty

    By Lisa Alloto in The Mighty. You can read quite a bit on the internet about the symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis. But there’s so much more beyond the clinical terms and symptom lists. Here are just a few of the hidden realities, along with a few hidden tricks! 1. You will likely grieve, and grieve […]

When You’re Stuck In The Middle Of ‘Sick’ And ‘Well’

Chronic

  By Cherilyn Schutze in The Mighty.   Stuck in the middle of sick and well. That’s how I feel. Chronic illness is never easy, whether you are the person who’s sick, or the caretaker or family member of a person with a protracted illness. Before I became ill, I was very busy multi-tasking, care-taking, mothering, wife-ing, and working. […]

Inside The Mind Of A Chronically Ill Person Debating If They Should Post On Facebook

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  By Jennifer Steidl in The Mighty. Nobody is “normal.” Everyone is unique. That said, long-term illness can change a person; it can change your mind, your emotions, your perspective, your way of thinking… (to say nothing of your body). And the places in your mind that change can be impossible to perceive; what is caused by […]

The Isolation I Feel as I Parent Kids With Disabilities

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    By Laura McLean in The Mighty. Raising children with disabilities can be challenging and rewarding, often within the same day — or even hour. Our emotions as parents are complicated. We can simultaneously feel like giving up and also be ready to go to the ends of the earth for our children. We […]

What You Would See If You Looked Under The Blanket Of ME/CFS

Lonely

  By Ali in The Mighty. Sometimes I feel like I am lost, not as in aimlessly wandering and off the track, but as in missing and can’t be found. But I am here, under blankets. Much of the time I can usually be found under an actual blanket on the couch or in my […]

When I Can’t Hide My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Anymore

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    By Kirsty Hird in The Mighty.   I remember in the late 1990s watching a film about a group of teenagers who dabble in witchcraft, with disastrous consequences. They use a form of magic called a “glamour,” which allows the witches to create an illusion, concealing the true form of something. In the film, glamours are used […]

When I Can’t Hide My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Anymore

Lost

      By Kirsty Hire in The Mighty. I remember in the late 1990s watching a film about a group of teenagers who dabble in witchcraft, with disastrous consequences. They use a form of magic called a “glamour,” which allows the witches to create an illusion, concealing the true form of something. In the film, glamours are used […]

When You’re Stuck In The Middle Of ‘Sick’ And ‘Well’

Lonely

  By Cherilyn Schutze in The Mighty.   Stuck in the middle of sick and well. That’s how I feel. Chronic illness is never easy, whether you are the person who’s sick, or the caretaker or family member of a person with a protracted illness. Before I became ill, I was very busy multi-tasking, care-taking, mothering, wife-ing, and […]

The Differences Between Temporary And Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

By Krista Germanis in The Mighty. Pain and sickness are really difficult things to write about. Trying to describe things you’re feeling, but many people have never dealt with before, is essentially attempting to put pen to paper about the way butterflies feel in the beginning of a relationship to someone who still has yet […]

Why People With Chronic Illness Can’t Simply ‘Push Through’

Chronic

By Alicia Thompon in The Mighty.   It never ceases to frustrate me to realize how pervasive the “Just Do It” culture is. Whenever I discuss my physical limitations with others, I’m often met with the suggestion that I simply need to “push through.” Which leaves me wondering, what does this phrase really mean to […]

Succeeding As A Disabled Person Without Being ‘An Inspiration’

Pippa

  By Pippa Stacey in The Mighty.   If my story was part of an inspirational movie, dramatic music would play while I’d look meaningfully into the camera and gush about how becoming chronically ill changed my life for the better. I’d clasp my hands together and preach about how my condition helped me to […]

I Am Not Alone With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, But It Is Still Lonely

Lonely

  By Ali Kirby in The Mighty.   There are many ways that chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis(CFS/ME) has affected my life. I often find myself grieving for the life I used to have. I miss hiking and kayaking and basketball and diving under the waves at the beach. But, the thing I grieve most for is my […]

23 Ways To Help Yourself When You Live On Your Own With ME/CFS

Alone

  By Laura Denman in The Mighty.   Living with chronic illness, especially one involving chronic fatigue, is hard. Often we rely on others for help to do those every day tasks that most people take for granted. We need to take care of ourselves to minimize the effects of our illness and yet, even these […]

The Question No One Ever Asks About Life With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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  By Hannah Deal in The Mighty.   Have you ever felt unable to put an experience into words? As if the only way to truly get your thoughts across was to write about it? That’s sort of how I’m feeling about life right now. My life looks pretty good from the outside. In the […]

10 Feelings That Alternate in My Mind As I Live With ME/CFS

Lonely

  By Kendall Kuzma in The Mighty.   For someone in reasonable health, it can be hard to understand what a loved one is going through if they are struggling with some kind of ongoing health issue. It’s especially tough for everyone if the illness is one which is unseen, as in, no obvious signs of the […]

The Reality Of Chronic Fatigue And Exhaustion

Fatigue

    By Caz in The Mighty.   What exhaustion and fatigue are not: 1. Laziness. It’s not simply not “wanting” to do something or not being bothered. 2. A temporary state you can simply overcome with a little positive thinking or an energy drink. 3. Cured by sleep. Being “sleep tired” and being exhausted are not mutually exclusive but […]

The Questions I Ask When People Refuse to Believe ME Exists

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  By Jo Moss in The Mighty.   I have been in my local paper twice recently raising awareness about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Both times, spiteful comments have been left by members of the public stating: “ME doesn’t exist.” “It’s all in their heads.” “You are just lazy.” It’s a stigma we, the ME community, […]

Why The Netflix Docuseries ‘Afflicted’ Is Harmful For The Chronic Illness Community

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  By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.   “Afflicted,” a new Netflix docuseries that premiered on August 10, follows seven people who live with chronic illnesses. I originally thought “Afflicted” was going to shed light on less-known illnesses and elevate the stories and voices of those who struggle with them, but the docuseries did the opposite. Instead […]

What I Was Really Telling My GP When I Swore At Her In The Exam Room

Doctor

  By Suzette Bishop in The Mighty.   I’m not proud of cursing out a former GP. On top of that, I think she may have been even shorter than me, a very petite and soft-spoken woman. I had been going to her for over a year, and I was back for a routine follow-up.  I was […]

7 Secrets I’ve Been Ashamed to Tell Others About My Illness

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  By Sally Rudderty in The Mighty. I’ve struggled with severe ME/CFS for 11 years now and I’m only just realizing I’m ashamed of my situation. I think I’ve known it all along at the back of my mind, but only now has it formed itself into concrete words in my head. And on this piece of paper. I’ve […]

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