The Mighty

18 Songs That Were Written About Chronic Illness

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    By Paige Wyant in The Mighty.   Music is often a source of comfort and emotional healing. Many people with chronic illness in particular find that certain songs or genres can be powerful in helping distract them from symptoms and cope with all the stresses and frustrations of life with a health condition. For Mighty […]

When Illness Makes You Give Up The Commitments And Activities You Love

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  By Lexie in The Mighty.   I just made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Many of you can relate to my story. I’ve seen countless doctors, integrative general practitioners, naturopaths, chiropractors, and specialists over the last few years. When they couldn’t explain my symptoms, they diagnosed me with chronic […]

When People Judge Me For Not Working Because Of My Chronic Pain

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  By Lauren in The Mighty.   A “friend” recently said to me, “I may have a guy for you.” She knows I’m single and have been looking for someone special for a while now. We spoke over the phone and she asked, “What do you do? What do you keep busy with? I just […]

Why I Think ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ Is The Worst Name Ever

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    By Adele Paul in The Mighty.   Imagine the following conversation… Friend: Heard you weren’t feeling well lately? Me: You could say that. Friend: So you’re just tired all the time? Me: Yeah, and a few other things… Friend: Girl, I hear ya. When I got back from Hawaii in January, it took me […]

The ‘Activity Hangover’ I Experience Because of Chronic Illness

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  By Heather Wallace in The Mighty.   As someone who has recently moved to a new town and is trying to figure things out and find my groove, I have been out a lot more than I usually am, and I am paying for it. Having fibromyalgia means things are different for me now. Planning on going […]

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 […]

Struggling To Accept The Days When Illness Keeps Me From Doing Anything

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  By Sally Doherty in The Mighty. I’ve had some of those awful days recently (they happen now and then, and more often than I’d like). You know the type: days when instead of your bed being somewhere that you go to rest, your bed becomes a prison that you can barely get out of. […]

We Cannot Continue To Let Doctors ‘Gaslight’ Chronic Illness Patients

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    By Siobhan Simper in The Mighty.   Author’s warning: This post contains experiences of gaslighting and abuse. Recently, I saw an all-too-common meme on social media: the inspirational disabled person. The image was of a Paralympic horse rider, with the caption, “no excuses.” Much has been written about the problematic nature of disability “inspiration porn.” What shocked me was when I […]

What My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Actually Feels Like

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    By Aanchal Chopra in The Mighty.   I have moderate chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and this is my own experience. Others may have different symptoms or manifestations because every individual is different. But this is a glimpse into what my life with CFS actually feels like. Living with CFS — or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — is like swimming […]

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

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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

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    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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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    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

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    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’

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  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

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  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

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      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’

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  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 […]

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