How Do I Tell My Friend I Have a Chronic Illness?

Jul 13, 2018

Anonymous asks, quote:

Hi. I was wondering if you could help me? I don’t know how to tell my friend about my chronic illness. we’ve been friends for a while but we’ve only talked about about deep stuff like twice and I don’t know how to bring it up; it’s an important part of me, you know? Like, my whole life is impacted by it and since I really like being friends with him and want to become better friends, this is something I need to tell him. I just don’t know how and every time I try I lose my nerve. Could you give me advice?

end quote.

There wasn’t a ton of detail in your question, so I’m going to take a guess here and assume that your condition has some kind of social stigma attached to it and you’re worried that if you tell your friend about your condition they might think less of you.

I think the best approach is to do two thing:

  • Plan out what you’re going to say in a letter or email.
  • Read the letter to them in person or just send it to them. Your choice.

If you decide to read it to them in person, make sure you do so in a space that you can safely and gracefully exit if things don’t go so well. There’s nothing worse than having an awkward conversation and then asking for a ride home.