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 a healthy person?

As someone with multiple chronic illnesses, I realize that I can sometimes stretch my limitations for a day or two. I might need to push myself a little extra for a special occasion, or to get a necessary task completed. But that extra effort usually leads to a “crash.” There is no “pushing through” once I hit the metaphorical brick wall. When I’ve hit my normal limit, I might be able to keep pushing myself for an extra day, or even a few weeks. But regardless, I will eventually hit my ultimate limit: the “brick wall” and I will crash. If I get to this point, there is literally nothing more I can do.

 

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