You Shouldn’t Feel Sorry for Having Hypothyroidism

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You are invited to a party. You feel rubbish, but decide to say yes. The thought of socialisation when you feel like absolute dirt, mentally, physically and emotionally, scares you, but you want something to look forward to. The diagnosis of an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, and its many, many symptoms has gotten you down. Spending some time with friends, relaxing and having a laugh sounds like a good idea, though. It’ll take your mind off it for a bit and you’ll feel like you’re taking back some of the control hypothyroidism has stolen from you, by making the decision to go.

But then the day comes and you feel really unwell. You’re gutted. Your thyroid has decided to punish you for even thinking that you could go out and enjoy yourself. – OK, maybe not exactly, but you end up having to pull out of the social event because you’re just not up to it. You’re absolutely exhausted, you can barely stand and you feel like you have the worst flu ever. There’s no way going would be a good idea.

Your friends say you’re a let-down. They say you’re lazy, not making the effort and a cop-out. 

They’re so wrong. You feel bad for pulling out.

But you do not need to justify yourself. This is not your fault. They likely have no idea what you’re going through.

You shouldn’t feel sorry. So don’t.

In a perfect world, our friends and those around us would be understanding.

I hardly ever cancel on people. I’ve had people do it to me and it’s frustrating, so when I do do it, I really am very ill indeed. I’ve learnt since having hypothyroidism that I must put myself and my health first. I can’t afford to get that ill again or begin on that slippery slope. And real friends would recognise and respect this. They’d want the best for you and care about you.

But at times, I’ve felt like people think I milk being hypothyroid. They don’t understand the full extent of just what it’s like to live with. 

It can be unpredictable. We might feel well one day and then be struck down the next. Think we’re being over-dramatic if you will, but we may even feel like we’re dying on bad days. We may feel quite well when we first agree to the plans, and then a few days before, or on the day itself,  we become really unwell. Mentally, physically, emotionally… going would make us more unwell. People who don’t live with our health conditions have no idea and so really should not judge.

If we have to pull out, we shouldn’t feel bad about it. If someone else had to pull out because they had a sickness bug, or a diarrhoea bug or the flu, then people would be understanding. I live with flu symptoms every day of my life, and yet, I’m put down for needing some ‘me’ time? I have nothing to apologise for. I have nothing to feel bad for. I have a lifelong, chronic health condition that is unpredictable and at times difficult to manage. I am already handling this the best I can.

A good friend would understand that. They wouldn’t want you to make yourself anymore ill by pushing things. They would understand your struggles or at least try to sympathise.

To those who think we’re cop-outs, lazy or just not making the effort; The next time you think this, please realise that when this is our life. Imagine yourself in our shoes.

Please remember that if you’re a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you don’t have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell (often despite being on thyroid medication too), please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, whilst also raising awareness. "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate."

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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