Get well cards are part of the traditional American sick culture. When someone gets sick, you send the person a get-well card. I know they’re well intended. I know its courtesy. But get-well cards to me are right up there with getting told my dog died. Honestly, they depress me. The last thing I want to do is read a card about how I will be all better in a little while. They remind me of truly how sick I am. Which of all the things a chronically ill person wants to think about, the fact they’re sick probably isn’t on the top of their list. Chronically ill people generally like to try to escape from the thoughts they are sick.
I can recall when I first became extremely ill (first flare… need I say more?) Get well cards came flooding in. Each night I would open them in bed and cry. Already the doctors told me what I had wasn’t ever going to go away. With every seal ripped I would become more and more depressed. To me the cards were hypocritical and offensive. For I was never to truly “get well” in the sense of being 100% healthy again. Feeling better even seemed far-fetched at the time.
Amid all of the depressing get-well cards, there was one envelope I truly looked forward to. From my illness a friendship was born through ink. This person would write me once a week even if I didn’t respond. Her letters always made me laugh and gave me something else to think about besides how crummy I was feeling. I think she’s a true angel sent from God for me. Those letters helped me through a truly tough time.
Now, I write to people all the time. Returning the favor to others who are sick, serving or just need a cheering. A good funny letter is appreciated by anyone. Especially to someone who is ill and needs a mental break. Besides, there is something just special about getting a letter in the mail. Envelope therapy has to be one of the best things on earth!