We’ve ALL heard this one, “But you don’t look sick.” Most of the time, people don’t understand what we’re dealing with. Feel free to share this with them. Then, just tell them when you’re low on spoons, or out of them. It doesn’t solve the problem, but this may help them understand. Then, come up with things you can do together when you’re low on spoons. And never, ever be afraid to accept, or even ask, for help.
I have a friend, she’s more like a little sister, who is good and understanding. She will come over and sit in front of a tv show with me, or a movie, and bring snacks and drinks. She knows that I will likely fall asleep (fatigue is an issue when you’re not sleeping well, as I’m sure you all know) and that’s ok.
Sometimes it’s about developing new strategies, and sometimes it’s about understanding that not everyone will understand, or has the ability to be “that friend” and that’s ok too. You’ll lose friends over this. It sucks, but that doesn’t make them bad people, just not the right people for you at this time.
We understand each other a little better because we can sympathize. Finding people who can empathize is tougher. And sometimes we have to train our loved ones. For example, with my husband it was about communicating with him that it’s tough for me when he says I’m doing too much, and five minutes later that I didn’t do enough. He didn’t even know he was doing it. Now he is better about letting me know early if there’s something he’d like me to do first. When I have the energy, I try to do that thing first.
And to those people who say, “You don’t LOOK sick” you can always tell them one of two things:
- “Thanks! It’s the new moisturizer.” Or,
- “Well, you don’t look stupid, but here we are.”