Handy responses to commonly heard phrases

Warning: contains GIFs.

Do you have a chronic illness? Have you heard the same tired comments 50 times already this year? (No, I’m not contagious, Jan.) Instead of having to think up answers to the same old questions time and time again, I’ve provided a handy guide for those phrases that crop up time and time again.

“But youย look so well!”

Thanks, I like to keep it fresh by bathing in donkey milk* underย moonlight.

Cartoon woman. Text: being as beautiful as I am is such a curse.


“I wish I could sit at home all day like you, instead of going to work!”

Have you seen Freaky Friday? Let’s make it happen.

Lindsey Lohan and Jamie-Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday.
It would be much like the movie, except I steal your life and run away forever.


“But you don’t look sick!”

And you don’t look like a jackass. Guess we were both wrong!

Woman speaking. Text: you don't know shit.


“You’re such an angry, bitter cripple/bitch/insert-perjorative-here.”

Why, thank you. I do try.

Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Text: I'm always angry.


“There isn’t any such thing as chronic illness, only people who want attention from their doctors.”

What can I say? The sterile waiting room with Neil Mitchell blaring, the disdainful receptionists, the blood tests, being told there’s nothing wrong with me and it’s all in my head – it all adds up to a certainย je ne sais quoi.

Spongebob Squarepants backs out of a room.


“You know the pharmaceutical companies conspire to keep you sick, so they can profit from you?” (Bonus points if they mention cannabis oil.)


Stephen Colbert. Text: you can go fuck yourself.
This is an acceptable alternate response.


Postie: “you answer the door very quickly!”

Yeh, my life is just like Rear Window.

(NOTE: don’t use this one if you like your postie. Ours gave a nervous laugh, never spoke to me again, then changed his route.)

Man from Rear Window looks through binoculars.
And I didn’t mean like Grace Kelly’s costumes.



*This is actually a thing. See: Asian beauty communities.

Author: Siobhan S

30 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

17 thoughts on “Handy responses to commonly heard phrases”

  1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Bless! Thankyou so much! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ All the reasons I tend to avoid most people in one easy guide. Now if I could just remember some of these responses at the right time..


    1. I’m pretty bad at that too! Last time someone said “but you look fine!” I replied, “that’s what everyone says!” with a grimace so strong he practically ran out of the building ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


  2. Heh… ๐Ÿ˜€ The “you look so well” is one I hear frequently. I prefer smiling and saying “thank you, it would be too depressing if I look the way I feel. Plus, I believe looking good is good for my soul.” And also “I am working on it being more than skin deep, hopefully it will spread inwards.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you don’t mind that I shared this on Facebook. I have a dear friend who struggles with CFS, and she HAS to see it! If you do mind, let me know and I’ll gladly take it down.


  4. I love posts where there are lots of gifs. I follow another chronic illness blog called Writehanded and she did a cat gif post that is still my favourite of her posts (and there are a lot of good ones to choose from!).


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