What I Hear When You Tell Me ‘But You Look Fine’

Frustration Chronic Illness


By Melanie Leong  in The Mighty.


Fairly recently, I had this weird experience where a person with a chronic illness threw the “but you look fine!” line on me. I am pretty certain I didn’t respond. In fact, I don’t really recall what happened afterwards because I was in shock. Isn’t it chronic illness code that we don’t say that to each other? Hadn’t this person been informed? Did they miss the training?

I was deconstructing this experience by recounting the event to my therapist when I realized two things:
1) I have a mental list of everyone who’s ever said that to me.
2) I am a monster.

That simple string of words produces such rage and hurt inside of me, so I heavily judge people who say that to me. And I know I see everything they say to me afterwards through that lens of judgement.


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