Contest Entry: Poetry “Please Don’t…”


This month we had a contest and asked some of our readers, members and volunteers to write a creative peice about What has BYDLS and “the spoon theory” meant to you?
Sharon Onyett (“Shazinoz”, her message board name) submitted this poem.

“But you Don’t Look Sick”
Is an often heard phrase
To those battling illness
Invisible most days…
Having an Invisible Illness
Makes life so much worse.
As we are prejudged, misunderstood,
Not believed, and/or cursed…
What we experience each day,
Fatigue, symptoms and pain,
Is really life altering,
And a huge, great big drain…
Doctors, prescriptions and treatments,
Are now part of our life,
Costing more than we have,
And causing trouble and strife…
Because we are “Normal” to look at,
At least most of the time,
People think it’s Ok to treat us badly,
Or like we have committed a crime….
But the only crime we committed,
Was to get invisibly sick,
It just something that happened,
It’s not our fault we feel Ick…
We didn’t ask to be ill,
It wasn’t something we did
Not something we didn’t do,
We couldn’t have hid…
It’s just something that happened,
A totally random affair.
I am trying my hardest to treat it,
Of this I do swear…
But now you must realise,
That there is rarely a cure,
But we try what is recommended,
But each day there a fewer…
Please don’t recommend
Any remedies and/or cures
If it worked then we’d know
Of this our doctors ensures…
Please don’t think ‘cos I’m smiling,
That I am healthy and well,
It just means that I’m happy,
I can still be very unwell…
Happiness is just that,
A feeling of joy,
When you suffer long term,
You work hard to enjoy…
Don’t tell me you understand or know what it’s like,
Don’t pity me or exclude me,
I know what my limitations are,
Please try to understand, that is my plea
So Please we all beg you,
Don’t Judge us by looks,
But understand us and help us,
Don’t treat us like Crooks…
© 2008

  • Jasmine

    This is an amazing poem. Ive had many fights over my flare ups. My husband would say “All you do is sleep most of the time. He never did understand that I DONT WANT to sleep …I can’t help it if I can’t keep my eyes open.

  • Scott

    I love it. Sounds like I wrote it. My favorite verse is:

    Please don’t recommend – Any remedies and/or cures – If it worked then we’d know – Of this our doctors ensures…

    I swear there are so many people claim they were as sick as a dog with an invisible disease, but they discovered the secret. Now they are better than ever and they donate their time to helping others who are inflicted. What a bunch of saints, huh? What a bunch of B.S. They never say what Invisible Disease it was, just that they had one.

    Now I ask you, How many people in our shoes ever say that when we’re talking with each other. I always come out with it and say I have CFS/ME among a list of other things. No big secret.

    And their magic pill, is nothing more than a multi vitamin that they are making money off of by selling it to you. I never have a problem with people working to make money, but if you can’t be honest, if you have to be misleading to make a buck, go find another job.

    Great job Sharon Onyett. Thanks for the share.

  • Cathy

    This says it all.

    Thank you for posting

  • I mad a comment to a friend recently about getting so bored at home (chronic pain) and their comment back was “oh you must be well now”.
    Same as but you don’t look sick … Some people have no idea

  • Says it all, doesn’t it?
    People who haven’t seen me for a while always say, ‘You’re *looking* really well now!’ encouragingly – they do expect me to be encouraged by that. Whereas when i hear it, my heart sinks.
    Anyone have any good replies i could use? I hate to ‘put them down’ when they’re trying to be nice – but i also hate to let them think i really am getting better as much as it appears.