Creative Writing on Chronic Illness

I am done

This is a poem that I’ve had in my drafts for some time.

As you can tell, I was quite angry and frustrated when I wrote this and it is darker than it probably should be but I thought I should share as the message is an important one.

In conversation with other people facing health challenges, it comes up all too often how frustrating it can be to try and explain how they are feeling to others, especially when managing an invisible illness.

How often has someone asked you how you are but their face tells you they don’t know how to handle the answer?

I am done trying to explain how I’m unwell when you’ve stopped listening.
Responding to ‘how are you’s‘ only to hear silence when you read my answer.

I am through with the interruptions, [you] change the subject because I made you uncomfortable.
Telling you about appointments just to hear you repeat the damn question.

I am done wanting and caring, feeling and believing.
It’s too late for you to show an interest in my life – for my interest in living is now gone.


  1. Yes, I think anyone with a chronic illness has been here, at least to some extent – and the same with a bereavement; people don’t know what to say so they either ask and then change the subject, choose not to ask at all or even cross the street when they see you just to avoid having to cope with it – never mind that you’re coping with far worse! It’s a pretty good friend filter though!!

  2. Joel, My heart goes out to you. You are experiencing the adjustment period of having a chronic illness. You are angry and you are expressing it by your reactions to others about your illness. Those people are doing their normal thing. You are right they don’t know what to say because the have little experience facing illness. They are okay and so are you. Being sick and in pain is a bitch. You have lots of company and we understand and sympathize. Keep writing.

    1. Thank you Mary. Thankfully this was written a month or two ago now so I’m in a more positive place. The bit I find frustrating is that I was in a wheelchair and in and out of hospital most of my childhood, I then got lucky with a long period of remission where I was able to pretty much what I wanted as long as I allowed for recovery – but it’s difficult when those same people that supported you and didn’t question anything when I was at my worst 20 years ago, can’t seem to understand or grasp my limitations now its returned. With time, I’ve come to appreciate this is probably part of their grieving/dealing with my situation changing and should see it as a sign of love than a lack of compassion. If any of that makes sense? Thank you again for your kind and supportive comments. 🖤

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