If you’ve ever spent any time on social media (and let’s face it, most of us have), you’ve seen and shared dozens of inspirational stories. Stories about people who’ve achieved remarkable weight loss. Stories of people who beat cancer by juicing. Stories of those with addiction turning their lives around through faith.
These stories are so wonderful, it’s strange to think there could be any downside to them.
Unfortunately, there is.
For people with chronic illness, these stories can encourage stigma, increase feelings of isolation, and trigger low self-esteem.
Not every person with chronic illness can go from sick in bed to running a marathon in a year. Not everyone living with chronic pain can start taking a few supplements and have no need of their pain medication.
If you have a chronic illness, you are not a failure if you don’t automatically heal from positive affirmations and herbal tea, and if you know someone with a chronic illness, that person is not a failure because they take prescription pain relievers.
As with everything in life, it is important to find a balance.
In the eye-opening video below, Ken McKim of DontPunishPain.com discusses his wife’s Crohn’s disease and the critical importance of “compassion without conditions” for those living with invisible illness.
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