A friend of mine pointed me to this article recently, which is found powerful as an explanation of living with chronic conditions: The Spoon Theory. It’s a great allegory for the life-management that those living with chronic conditions (lupus, chronic fatigue, etc) constantly deal with. Each of life’s decisions represent a significant opportunity cost.
This article comes from But You Don’t Look Sick, a website dedicated to those with hidden disease. Our culture stigmatizes those who don’t meet our expectations for being “ill”. My theory: it’s tied to a disdain for folks “trying to get something for nothing”, and our lingering distrust of others. It’s easy to believe that they’re “making it up”, whether they “thrive on drama” or are “playing for sympathy”, or whatever other pejorative label we rattle off. It’s an easy, and painful reaction. One that needs consideration and control.
Personally, I’d rather be played a fool (as the adage goes) than not be supportive to a friend in need. Yet I, too, struggle with these reactions. And so I proceed, more aware, towards some semblance of wisdom.