Most of the chronic warriors that I know fight day in and day out with their medical setback while tackling life around them. They manage to seamlessly work, parent, and cope without letting the world around them know what is going on for them “behind the scenes.” Then there are the limited few that are thirsty for every last drop of attention that they can possibly absorb and want the whole world to know that their, “struggle is real!” As a chronic warrior, even the most compassionate, this can take a toll on one’s patience.
Since many people that deal with health issues seem to have an extra measure of sensitivity and compassion, it can be confusing when someone always wants to be the victim or the one that has it worse than anyone else in the room. It’s confusing because there is an understanding of what the thirsty person is experiencing but an aggravation that this person stakes claim on all things difficult. When you find yourself in the presence of a chronically thirsty person, here are a few ways to cope so you can keep your chronic confidence and composure.
- Give them a drink – yep, just a sip. Let them know that you recognize their challenges and that they are not alone. Sometimes the thirsty person is honestly lonely in their health journey and simply doesn’t have a network of supportive people who can quench their needy thirst.
- Be the teacher – share how you deal with such obstacles when your chronic condition tries to set you back. Give them tools to work with and eliminate the room for excuses and complaints.
- Know when to walk away – sometimes a person doesn’t want to be helped. When they have been given understanding, assistance, but still want the world to cower at their feet and pity their problems – just walk away. Your insight will be gladly soaked up by a sponge thirty for your knowledge and friendship. ~trvw