Calling Those with a Chronic Illness Lazy

Having a chronic illness, is honestly brutal. We are always faced with hard trials, and dealing with intense pain. It’s like constantly living in a nightmare, that you can’t wake up from. It’s extremely hurtful, and a huge letdown for someone to call those with a chronic illness lazy.

Unfortunately, it’s common to hear. A friend or a loved one may say it in a joking matter, but those words stick with you. When you’re unable to work, go to school, or attend certain events, it’s very hard to cope with. You feel a sense of guilt. Even though you know you can’t help it, that sense of feeling lazy clings to you. You feel like that’s how others already view you, so when someone jokingly says it, it’s almost is like a confirmation.

I’ve also heard plenty of people say they wish they were in my position. Where they don’t have to work. That’s one of the most frustrating things. Because a person with a chronic illness just wants a normal life. It also makes you think maybe they really don’t know me as well as I thought. With a chronic illness you are constantly hurting, going to appointments, medication, and being poked and prodded for tests. You don’t have the energy or time to work currently, even though you want to. You just want a normal life.

I’ve learned to not take anything too personally. Unfortunately, no one will understand what you’re going through, unless they experience it. But it’s our job to teach them, and educate them, on what we have to go through. It’s important that we spread awareness. And for those who are surrounded by those with a chronic illness, have compassion. We are going through a lot, and we don’t need added stress. The best thing you can do is to listen, and be a shoulder to cry on when needed. Hug that person and tell them to never give up. A Chronic illness is not a walk in the park, and we can use all the support we can get. ♡

66 thoughts on “Calling Those with a Chronic Illness Lazy”

  1. oh, yeah, with my repeated hospitalizations for the bowel thing, people “joke” that it is one way to get out of work. Others kid me that I gotta flush the pipes. And almost everybody who knows that I have an allergic reaction to spicy food, suggests we go to lunch or dinner at places that only serve the food I’m allergic to.
    Keep up the confidence and the positivism.

  2. I dated a woman with severe clinical depression (itself a chronic illness). I thought I understood her malady–until it would affect my directly, usually through disappointment, and I would take it personally. Cycles of apology and frustration would ensue.

    In short, I did not understand her condition as well as I thought (or I could not separate intellectual understanding from emotional acceptance, which I now regret.

    “Life is constant learning” does not strictly mean “book learnin’.” It also means that our ability to understand and empathize with each other continually evolves.

    1. You are absolutely right! Life is constant learning. I completely relate and I’m sorry you regret not learning enough, but we learn from our regrets. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  3. Surprisingly I find that relatives are the worse. They try to rush and I fall, then they still can’t understand why I can’t go any faster. Ignorance!

  4. Thank you so much for this post. It’s so easy for people to judge or write you off as lazy when you are dealing with depression. They often become angry with you because you are not doing what they would like u to do. I get this going both ways. When I am manic I try to pull back and I am made fun of for taking care of myself by staying home and being quiet. Then when I am depressed I am seen as lazy or doing this to myself..CHOOSING to stay in bed. As if anyone would choose to be depressed or in a hopeless state. Glad to know someone understands.

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. It’s extremely frustrating. And I completely relate, it’s not like you’re choosing to stay home, and go through this. But stay strong, all we can do is continue to educate them. I’m glad you can relate! Thank you for sharing your experiences! Best wishes!

  5. Very well said MacKenzie! It is very hurtful to be called lazy when we are doing the best we can. I do not work full-time hours because of my intense pain issues. I hear what my coworkers say and the looks, but I try to not let it bother me. People I thought were friends have made awful comments, but I try to ignore them. I normally would not admit how much it hurts me. You are so inspiring and strong. I appreciate you sharing this. Sending you love and comfort ♡

    1. Thank you so much! I always appreciate your kind words! I’m so sorry you’ve had to experience this. No matter if they are kidding or not it still tends to hurt. I admire how strong you are! Thank you so much! Positive thoughts and wishes for a peaceful week for you! ♡

  6. Honestly you can’t teach ignorant and insensitive people. I always say, one day they will walk in our shoes, after all we all get sick at one point or another in this lifetime, and they can eat their words. Harsh, but that is the way it is with most people.

  7. I have a very close friend who for the last 2 years has been unable to work. There was no diagnosis for her until this year and it was and is so hard for her to not be able to work. To worry if she is going to make it out of bed. The first time we realized something was terribly wrong I actually thought that she was having a stroke. It has only been this year that a diagnosis has finally been made for her. And while having the diagnosis is a relief it is something she now has to accept as being a part of her life forever. I stand beside her and make sure that we touch base every day. Today I took her to the city and we had a great time. What hurt me was when she told me that she had lost friends who thought that she was faking. To me that makes no sense at all. Why would you not be there for them?

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately it does happen. I can relate all too well. We just have to continue to educate them. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  8. Another great post Mackenzie! I admire you so much. I’ve experienced only a fraction of what you have with my chronic GI illness and it’s almost broken me on more than one occasion. You continue to be a great inspiration to me and I’m sure many others. Thank you for sharing your experience & insight here. You absolutely are helping make a positive impact in many lives 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you so much. That truly means so much to me. I’m sorry you had to go through that, health issues are hard to go through. Your comment has made my day. Thank you, I really appreciate it! Best wishes 😊

  9. Hi Mackenzie, thank you for liking my latest blog. So I decided to check out your blog. I really like what I’ve read so far, and I hope to go back and read all your entries. I am familiar with autoimmune diseases, as I have family members who are living with them, and one of my sisters lived with Lupus for many, many years. Thank you for sharing your story so that these illnesses are better understood. ~Robin

  10. I struggled to continue to work the first four years I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My best friend at the time repeatedly said to me, “It must be nice not to have to work.” This friend is a good person and she would never knowingly say anything to hurt me, but her words were terribly hurtful. They still ring in my ears 17 years later. I never confronted her about it. Ironically, she became disabled and is in much worse shape now than I am. I take no joy in that because she is still a friend. She probably has no memory of expressing her envy of me when I had to stop working.

    I guess until a person has walked in our shoes they simply cannot identify with what we face every day.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Even if it’s not malicious it still hurts. You’re exactly right a person won’t understand unless they go through it. Best wishes!

  11. Thank you for checking out my blog. I wouldn’t have found you if not for that!💙 This is such a wonderful post, Mackenzie! I’ve not experienced anything to the extent any of you have, and the only thing that doesn’t seem to let me to that easily is allergy! Your post is so inspiring and I really look up to you. Thank you so much!

    1. You are very welcome! You have a great blog! And thank you so much, I really appreciate it!! That’s so sweet thank You! I can’t wait to read more from You! 💛

  12. I can only agree with you, Mackenzie. Many have challenges to understand, why the house isn’t looking well all the time, when I have so much time at home and don’t work. This express everything.

  13. Mackenzie,

    Yes, indeed, my own father has implied that what’s wrong with me IS laziness, not schizoaffective disorder. Ouch. I like your pointing out that we want to be normal. I had a breakdown on 9/11 and never recovered. I was mega-functional before that and even considering Med School. Haha, now I’m a permanent patient!

    Thanks for your words here, feels nice to know I’m not alone 🙂


    1. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that. Unfortunately, others don’t understand unless they go through it. They don’t understand the challenges you have to face. You are definetely not alone! Stay strong! Best wishes! 😊

  14. There will always be those who judge people who are different from them but I’m a believer that if you stay true to yourself you will affect many, change some and confused those who expect you to crumble to their harsh attitudes. Continue to walk in your purpose while you are blessings those who open their mind.

  15. Yikes! I am sorry that happens to You. A little stunned. 😳💖💖☀️💖 You are amazing, have the most wonderful attitude and gift so much through Your posts. Sending hugs and Thanks! 🙂

  16. I thoroughly loved this and I’m in love with your blog just from reading this alone. I believe you’re amazing and that your chronic illness can be used for the healing of others that know that they suffer from the same thing or don’t yet realize it. In addition, I also believe that this chronic illness can be cured from finding your purpose through what you love to do, and by serving others with this gift. I was reading a book last night by Deepak Chopra that stated doing nothing is the best thing you can do, because only there is the real work done. Sometimes we’re not ready to move because we have more internal growing to do before we can take the next steps. I may not be speaking specifically to what you’re addressing but at the end of the day, what “they” think doesn’t matter and who you think you are is all that matters. I love your soul. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written piece.

    1. Wow, thank you so much. That truly means so much to me. I completely agree with you, that this chronic illness can be cured by finding your purpose. Your comment has made my heart happy and i can’t thank you enough for lifting my spirits. I truly appreciate your kind words. Thank you. I hope you have a beautiful weekend! Best wishes!

  17. It still upsets me when people ask me why I am not working and they have no idea how much I would love to be healthy, with a good job. It is their ignorance that is the problem and sometimes it helps when I enlighten them. You are doing a great job with your blog by informing people what it is really like with a chronic illness.

  18. Hi, I want you to know that you are much loved by God. And that I will pray for your healing. You are such a beautiful soul and In Jesus name, surely you will be healed. *hugging you so tight*

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this! One of my dear friends is battling Lyme’s disease and I know that she would agree with this post. Keep up the great work! Jesus bless you.

  20. I see the pain the person with the illness and the ones around him go through… Sometimes frustration comes when I see how much their illness is affecting others around them and I would think “why can’t he see around him and make an effort to do more n come out of it.” but then I realize, with such a chronic injury of spinal chord… May be he is doing all he can to have to positivity to be alive. May be he is fighting his internal demons every second that he is unable to think of anyone, even his wife and kids, and their pains.

    Here is to hoping ppl of such illness have the strength to beat the illness and the ones around them understand and support them than making fun of them or calling them lazy.

  21. Thanks for liking my poems. My mother has fibromyalgia, everything you said in the “Calling people with chronic illness lazy” post rings true. I’m very sorry for your suffering.

  22. Heya,
    Very truly said. I still think of the time when I recently came to know that I have vocal cord ulcers and people will tell me to make more effort and force so that I could speak well. On the contrary, that constant effort and strain was making the matters worst.

  23. Thank you for speaking up through this post and for informing those who aren’t so aware. It must hurt to be called lazy when you are already doing everything you can to stay strong. I wish you only the very best.

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