WHAT TO SAY to someone who’s chronically ill:

WHAT TO SAY to someone who’s chronically ill:

  • I am here for you.

  • You are strong!

  • How can I help?

  • I want to understand.

  • I love you unconditionally.

  • Don’t worry, come when you can.

  • I’m sorry you’re having a rough day.

  • What kind of meal would you like?

  • I’m going to the store, what can I pick up?

  • Let the kids come over for a while so you can rest.


How can those close to you know what to say when you’re not feeling well? Start by telling them the kinds of things you’d like to hear. For instance, that they love you no matter what. Maybe you’d like to have them pick up something when they’re already at the store, or have them deliver your favorite dish the next time they make it. They won’t know what you need if you don’t tell them. (You could forward this post and give them some ideas.)

Sometimes people with a chronic illness already feel like a burden so asking for help is uncomfortable, but if someone asks what you’d like them to do for you, don’t be afraid to tell them. If you do feel uncomfortable asking for help, let them know that too.

You might find that some people say, “just let me know if you need something,” but don’t ever follow through with doing it. I have had some experiences where people have said that to be nice but didn’t follow through. Just remember, they do mean it when they say it, some people just aren’t great at doing things for others. If you ask for help and haven’t gotten any by the second or third try, move on and ask someone else.

Another good idea is to find another friend or friends with chronic health issues, that way you can help each other out. When you’re feeling better bring her the extra batch of dinner you cooked up, when she’s feeling better she picks things up at the store and brings them to you. A little teamwork goes a long way. Not only are you feeling better yourself by doing something positive for someone else, but you’ve got guilt-free help when you really need it. Don’t have friends with similar issues? Try joining our FACEBOOK support group.  Or go to a local support group.  It can be hard getting up and going, but if you can get there you’ll be glad you did!






We’ve got a new way to tell people what people with chronic illness want to hear, you can wear the t-shirt! Yes, it has all ten things listed above, so you can just wear it to the places you think people might want (or need) to know what you need to hear.

These shirts are all designed at Chronically Positive Mom, and the proceeds will help keep this blog going. There are also two versions of our Chronically Positive Mom super hero there too.


Your challenge for today: put together your own list of the help you need/could use from others. Next time someone asks, let them know. Post the things you think people should say below in the comments below. I always want to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *