If you haven't read the first part of the mini series which was on the best possible ways you can go about telling someone about your illness the make sure you have a read here: www.thegrumblinggut.com/post/ how-to-tell-someone-about-your-crohn-s-disease
In this second installment we will now focus on when to tell someone about your chronic illness. I completely understand if you choose not to tell someone about your illness especially if you’re newly diagnosed as you’ll still be figuring things out and may not be ready yet as you still need to adjust to your new life. But what if you are ready? When do you know when the right time is?
Before going any further just remember you always have a choice to tell someone about your condition or not regardless if you feel like the choice is being taken away from you. What I mean by this is that if your friends start to notice you acting odd, looking different or unwell and sometimes have unexplained absences they may try and call you out on it and then you have a choice on if you want to tell them what’s really going on or do what I did for so long and hide it.
I can tell you from experience the moment I started to say what was happening the easier it was for my friends to understand what was going on and the easier my life got, but I chose the moment that was best for me even when people were asking what was going on with me. On the flip side hiding what’s going can cause strains in relationships and friendships and so people can become frustrated with you and you run the risk of adding more stress to your life with possible fall outs with friends or partners. Basically there are pros and cons to what you decide to do if confronted about your health but whatever you decide just make sure it’s the right thing for you to do at that moment in time.
Leading on from this the most obvious thing on when to tell someone about your condition is when you are actually ready. This looks and feels different to everyone as opening up about such personal things like your health and especially crohn’s be very difficult. It took me the best part of ten years to actually feel comfortable to openly discuss things with my friends and put myself out here on social media.
Now if you choose to tell someone who hasn’t asked about what is going on with your health, the best thing to do is to do it when you’re well. So, if you’ve just recovered from a flare or come out of hospital make sure you have enough strength and have recovered as best as you can before meeting up or calling that person because these conversations are never short and can take a lot out of you, especially if you feel comfortable enough to really open up and visiting traumatic memories can be draining.
Lastly and many people have done this, and that is to tell someone about your illness on a need to know basis. An example of this can be when you’re at work and only tell your manager because you need to have special arrangements made to your shift patterns or working environment and the only way to get that is to come clean about your condition.
Hope that has helped and I look forward to seeing you for the last installment soon!