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My Favorite Chronic Illness Memes

Having someone to share the ups and downs of living with chronic illness can help make it easier to bear. You know you’re not alone. Even if the person you’re connecting with is hundreds of miles away, you know when you talk to her, you’re really being heard.


That’s what I like about chronic illness memes. They’re like a friend who’s “been there”, and they’re as varied as the people who create them. Like friends, some uplift, some inform, some snark, and some make you laugh.


Here are 20 of my favorite chronic illness memes.


Chronic Illness Pain Scale



When the traditional ‘pain scale’ chart just isn’t cutting it, there’s this. Print it out and take it to your doctor’s office. They just might learn something over there!

“Want to Hang Out?”



A funny, to-the-point chronic illness meme that explains to your friends why you can’t go out again today.




The perfect response to anything a spoonie does not currently have the spoons to do. “Good day, Sir!” 


“This is a compliment…I think.”



Some compliments make you feel like smacking people. This owl is here to remind you to take a few deep breaths and smile through the irritation.

“You don’t LOOK sick!”



I’m sorry I don’t look sick. I’ll try harder. ::eyeroll::

Faking Being Well



This chronic illness meme explains just how many people have it totally backwards!


Looking for Attention



Again. No, I don’t want attention. Validation and understanding would be nice, though.


The Pain Doesn’t Go Away



It’s difficult for people in good health to understand how much pain a person can actually be in and still be alive.

“It’s all in your head!”



A person living with a chronic illness of any kind is not obligated to prove themselves to you. 


“There’s nothing wrong with you.”



Of course, there’s nothing wrong with me. I just swallowed a bunch of golf balls that got stuck in my throat! 


The Chronic Life





This chronic illness meme offers strength and hope in the face of extraordinary adversity. It’s also validating and empowering.


“Today will be the day!”



Let’s face it, there are days when you just are this turtle. 


“Well, that’s helpful.”



When the effects of your medication are mostly side effects.

Social Events for Spoonies



This meme perfectly describes the toll an evening out can take on a person with an invisible illness.


Naps Are Essential



You will never know what it is to be truly sick until the simple act of cleaning yourself drains all your energy.


Two Things



For every funny and ironic meme, there is an inspirational meme to pick you back up when you feel like you’ve been flattened by a steamroller.

Brilliant Mind?



Not all invisible illnesses are physical.

What PTSD is Really Like



Yes, post-traumatic stress disorder is every bit as real as the trauma that caused it.

Being Bullied by Doctors is Common



No matter what type of invisible condition you have, doctors can be bullies. It’s very important to acknowledge this fact and spare those living with chronic illness further trauma.

Nice Try, Laundry



If you need a couple of hours of rest before you fold the laundry, just shove the clothes aside and take a nap. No explanation necessary.


Do you have a favorite invisible illness meme? ‘Like’ the I Told You I Was Sick Facebook page, and share it with us! You can also join a small but active community of people with chronic illness by visiting our I Told You I Was Sick Chronic Pain Support Group and sharing your memes, feelings, and experiences there. 


See also:

10 Things You’d Never Say to Someone in a Wheelchair (But People With Invisible Illness Hear All the Time)

How to Treat a Person With Chronic Illness – A Step-By-Step Guide


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