The Top Five Things, Not To Say To Someone With An Invisible Illness.

Happy Monday Loves,

As someone who suffers with chronic health issues. I’ve been told a thousand different ways, by a thousand different people. How all my problems could be solved by spin classes, kale and positive thinking.

Whilst I appreciate that there is a lot of power in positive thinking, good diets and low BMI’s. They do very little to combat and definitely won’t cure, all that ails me.

So for some light relief and for anyone else who’s been, or is currently, where I’ve been. I wanted to document my most heard phrases, from Susie Sunshine and the Good Health Gang. Along with some comic relief in how I approach these techniques and tips, that work for me.

1) “Have you tried keeping a gratitude list?”

Ok I kind of see the sense in this. Being grateful for what we have. This can give us a stark reminder of how fortunate we are. To have roofs over our heads and food in our bellies. But let’s be honest. When you’re holding your life together by the seams. Finding something to be positively perky about, isn’t easy. There have been days when my gratitude; has solely been for coffee machines and toasters.

Once it was even the fact that delivered takeaway food existed. It’s the little things, “Imagine how much worse I would feel if this was instant” *shudder*. Yes it might seem shallow and yes I might want to take a look at my privilege. But it’s my truth and I’m living it. It may not be Starbucks, but it’s also not Asda Smart Price.

You asked me for my gratitude. I gave it to you. Now stick that on your gratitude list and let me live.

2) “You just need to exercise more..”

When I hear ‘exercise’ from someone who has no idea what it feels like to be me. My eyes usually roll back so far back in my head. That I’ve seen the dinosaurs walk the earth and met every last one of my ancestors.

Whilst I used to love going to the gym. Ok, not love per say, but tolerate on a twice weekly basis… It’s not something I can happily agree to these days. On a ‘good’ day, I feel as though I’ve been in a collision with a 32 stone pizza delivery man and his moped, and no he doesn’t give me free pizza.

On a bad day it’s a heavy goods vehicle, which is not pleasant. Whilst I can easily turn my nose up at exercise. Movement however, is vital for the body and mind. Ok Judgy Judy, I said MOVEMENT, not an insanity work out!

Even if it’s just rolling your hips and doing soft gentle bends. Just something to work some of the stress from your bones. But it has to be something you enjoy doing. Forcing you and your social anxiety, to go power walking with the yummy mummies. Probably won’t end well.

But having a playlist ready prepared to get crunk to, might. Twerking has probably never saved a life. But clappin these cheeks, has restored my humanity on at least three occasions. On the bad, but not horrific days, I do bed yoga (on the bed), or floor yoga (on the floor), sometimes I even do doughga (that’s yoga whilst eating a doughnut).

Here is a link to my  YouTube playlist for light yoga and stretch sessions

Feel free to listen to Bad & Boujee whilst doing it,  it might help.

Usually my worst days often come hand in hand with high pain days. Meaning not only am I mentally checked out. But physically also.

On days like that, I get in the hottest bath possible fill it as deep as I dare and flail slowly, like a narwhal caught in a fishing net. Movement and self care – look at me adulting like a boss 😏

3) “You just need to meditate”

Om Mmmm Shreeeeeem Rheeeem Saras- ok sod that! Yes meditation is lovely and really helpful to quiet chatty minds. But some days I do just want to make things and watch ratchet TV.

I do not meditate as often as I should. I rarely see my angels and I’ve never had Buddha lay his healing hands upon me. This year I do hope to schedule my self care a bit more. Including reflection time and ‘meditation’.

Meditation and envisaging your spirit animal isn’t going to work for everyone. Some of us need silence or at least a YouTube playlist to achieve some sort of nirvana.

But if you prefer to walk, or bake or paint. Do that instead! But take that time to focus in. I’ve known people who meditate whilst swimming, I personally would end up drowning. But hey, not everyone is that uncoordinated.

Pray, count, knit, use mala or rosary beads. Whatever works for you. Dedicate time to silence. Or affirmations. Whatever it is, do it intentionally.

Focus on your breath in and out, in and out. Your thoughts will keep coming, acknowledge them, let them go and focus right back on your breathing.

But if that doesn’t work for you, keep looking until you find something that does.

Here’s a link for two amazingly down to earth guru girls that I adore, Gala Darling and the gorgeous Vix of New Age Hipster.

Meditation and sass mix well

4) “Cheer Up!” or “Snap out of it”

Ok, this is legitimately THEE number one thing NOT to say.

The only thing that’s likely to snap is my temper. These two comments irritate my entire being.

I know that until recently, mental health issues have been somewhat taboo. I also know that there’s a lot of people still, that struggle to understand invisible illnesses.

But telling someone to “snap out of it” isn’t likely to endear them to you.

Whilst the majority of people mean well. The presumption that I can snap myself right out of this funk, demeans my character and my condition.

If choosing to be something made it true. I would be a size 10, with legs that I never needed to shave. I would also be rich and I would have a house just for my puppies (all 60 of them!)

There is a lot of power in positive thinking. But this alone will not resolve the issue. Don’t undermine someone’s mental or physical state, with your presumption that they have a choice in this. I know it can be hard dealing with someone’s fluctuating moods or pain levels. But imagine how hard it living that 24/7.

5) “You need to eat more kale/ wheatgrass shots/ goji berries et at. Stop taking all those toxic medications”

Kale?  Kale is the solution to all my problems? Why am I only learning this now? Why did you not bring me this information sooner Angela? Look how many people have died this year. Kale our vegetable saviour, has really failed them…

I’ve seen way too much anti medicine advice just recently. Whilst I do agree that the government is likely poisoning us via tap water and chem trails.

Suggesting people stop taking medication in exchange for vegetables and Juice+ shakes, is really bloody dangerous. Unless you’re a qualified pain specialist in the exact condition, it’s probably best to not act like you know it all.

Goji berries might have ‘cured’ Lorraine from up the road. But until I see actual proof of her having the condition and the cure. I will remain salty.

You can ask anyone with a chronic condition and I bet they can name at least ten ‘cures’ they’ve had rammed down their throat at some point. People mean well, I get that. But unless you have an in depth medical history chart. Nutrition plays a massive part in body function. But for people like me, and the millions like me worldwide. Who’s health is improved and quality of life increased by these medications. Pushing the ‘eat quinoa instead’ agenda. Just isn’t helpful!
Yes we appreciate your suggestions on diets and medications. Yes your support is appreciated. But for heavens sake, your Centre of Excellence ‘qualification’ in smugness 101. Does not qualify you to know my body better than I, or my actual specialists do. Push me to do better with my eating habits. But don’t wee on my head and tell me it’s raining, this hair took too long to do!
So that’s it my dears. My top 5 run down of the times where you’ll say it best, when you say nothing at all.
As always if there is anything you would like to see me discuss, debate or review. Please get in touch using the contact page.

You can follow my escapades over on Instagram and Twitter

Until next time,

Stay Sassy!

–  Jada

11 thoughts on “The Top Five Things, Not To Say To Someone With An Invisible Illness.

  1. zaralouu says:

    Some people are damned plain ignorant. I don’t get what people get out of ‘smug mode’ bragging, sharing something may be ok but don’t force it like it’s gospel!

    I also utterly UTTERLY ADORE the way you write Jada, I laughed a fair few times reading this…

    And I’ll still remain salty 😂

    Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gemma says:

    I’ve been on a really bad dip lately and after streaming a few tears earlier I decided to mope around online for some blogspots relating to the oh so glamours illness. This blogpost has honestly made me chuckle out loud and has really uplifted my spirits – despite totally envying Lorraine from up the road with her Goji berries! I’m so glad i’ve come across your blog and you have really inspired me to write blogposts around cfs myself.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Jada Quotes says:

      Hey Gemma, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having a bad time. I really hope you’re feeling a little better now. Having a chronic illness is bloody hard. But living with one (or more), shows how amazingly resilient we are. Keep being fabulous and avoid the goji berries (and Lorraine!!). I look forward to reading your posts 😘


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