“You’re a successful member of the reference group.”

The conversation happened well over a year ago, yet I still remember it vividly.

I was about a month post crisis when a co-worker stopped me in the hallway. She knew that my mom had moved in to live with me because I was extremely sick. She asked me how I was doing.

“A bit better, however I’m still incredibly unstable. I have to take it day by day, and some times even moment by moment.”

Without missing a beat, she responded “Oh. Well, you should think of those worse off than you. You know, like those that have cancer. Or a chronic disease.”

I paused for a second, in a bit of disbelief.

“Um. Actually, I do have a chronic disease. It is my chronic disease that has been making me so ill.”


Congratulations my fellow chronically diseased people! We are successful members of the reference group!

“Oh. Well, think of those worse off than you. Like those living with cancer.”

I just forced a smile and walked away. Dear readers, please file this away as something to never say to anyone.

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive