“these conversations are never easy but if it’s with the right people, they’ll understand”
Sharing health issues with others can be very personal and intimidating. Here are some quick tips for starting the conversation on how to explain your illness to others:
- decide up front how much you’re willing to share and stay firm with those boundaries
- be clear on your limitations and what support you need
- if it helps, you can share articles explaining your illness so you don’t have to get into the nitty gritty
- do not feel guilty for advocating for yourself, you deserve to feel comfortable in all spaces
- remember there is nothing to be embarrassed about, we all have bodies some just function different than others!
- only answer questions you are comfortable with
- you can stop the conversation at any time and revisit later (if you choose)
Ultimately, it’s your choice what you do and don’t share with others. I have found these conversations helpful so others understand why I’m not as available as before, and can’t eat certain things, and sometimes have to cancel last minute.
The most important reminder of them all: if the person you are sharing this with does not understand, or they make you feel guilty or different, then they do not deserve you.
A vital part of healing is surrounding yourself with people who support you, the last thing you need is someone who makes you feel bad about being sick (because we all know we can’t control it!)
These conversations are never easy but if it’s with the right people, they’ll understand.