Click here to listen to a reading of this blog:
Other people may not understand what you experience as someone with a thyroid condition. This may make you feel frustrated, angry and hopeless, but shifting whether it really matters can help.
You see, here’s the thing:
The only person who can really understand how much your thyroid condition has changed your life, is you. Other people also struggling with a thyroid condition, may then come close to understanding.
But your experience is unique – it is yours.
The pain you feel and the daily struggles you face, do not need to be accepted, understood or validated by others around you – even doctors. They are still valid without the acceptance of others who will never truly understand anyway.
Your ‘invisible illness‘ is hard for others to truly comprehend because they can’t see or feel it themselves. Unless someone has a chronic illness or invisible illness themselves, it is impossible for them to truly understand or relate because you probably quite often ‘look OK’.
Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, many of us wish we could make other people live with our thyroid condition for a week – just so they could experience the fatigue, muscle pain, exhaustion, sleep troubles, brain fog, mood swings and more. But we can’t.
We can either get caught up in feeling as if we need other people to understand or we can accept that they never truly will. Even though they may try to. You know what you experience, but you don’t need to convince anyone else, and you can’t. Not really. Don’t get caught up on this. You don’t need their validation.
Saying that, if you do have people around you who are willing to be open about learning about your thyroid condition, you can direct them to the articles I have written for these people, as well as the book “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”, which is for those who know someone with hypothyroidism.
However, as the old saying goes “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
We can only do so much. Know when to draw back your precious energy and not waste anymore of it on people who are just not going to understand. It’s better for your own mental health and wellbeing.
Share your experiences with those who do understand. Such as fellow thyroid patients in online support groups.
Do you struggle with this? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.
The book You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, which gives you information about your loved one’s thyroid condition.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, her email newsletters, blogging and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology and The WEGO Health Patient Leader Advisory Board. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and many more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received multiple awards and recognitions for her work and dedication. She has authored two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Rachel is British, but advocates for thyroid patients on a global scale.