Being able to stay at home all day, every day sounds great – doesn’t it? Having the freedom to be able to do whatever, stay in bed for as long as you’d like and not have to go to work? BRILLIANT. Yeah, no…
For many people with chronic illnesses, disabilities and mental health issues it is hard to be able to go out to work or socialise regularly, it isn’t as easy as abled people. There are many people who crave being able to work a “boring office job” like everyone else so that they can feel normal. Although times are certainly changing, there is still a long way to go with discrimination towards certain groups of people. But, they won’t admit that, will they? Of course not. It’s against the law(!) While many people get envious if you tell them that you stay at home all day, I don’t think they know what the reality is like…
Having to rely on another person for the only time you can escape the four walls that is your own home can ultimately be soul destroying. For a lot of people, they are only able to get out of the house if they have someone with them. This could be due to needing help with a wheelchair or even feeling safer go out with someone you trust. Loss of independence is something that many struggle with which in turn, can impact the persons mental well-being further.
Due to the inability to work that many disabled, chronically or mentally ill face – a lot of people feel guilty for not being able to “contribute properly” to the household. This can weigh heavily on their minds, especially if they are having to rely on someone else (i.e a partner or family members) to help them out with their bills (which goes along with the loss of independence mentioned above.)
Trying to keep up with the house work can also be a massive a chore in itself. It is hard enough to keep up with it but then the guilt of letting it slide for a day or so is awful. Some days, someone may be able to do the housework needed to do however other times they may struggle a lot more and need an extra helping hand. “What do you even do all day? The house isn’t hasn’t been tidied.”
Lastly, isolation. Seeing everyone all over Instagram being able to go and socialise every weekend, having the time of their lives while you’re sat at home on Day 3 of a flare up isn’t exactly nice. Especially if you were once able to do so. Isolation means that you loose contact with friends as they have given up asking you to go out. It means that you’re lucky if you feel up to meeting a friend once a month.
The point to this post is that you never know what someone is really going through. They may look “fine” however that doesn’t mean you know all about the struggles that they face.
For many, this is our reality.