I Can’t Control Other People’s Comments, Only How I Respond

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by Kat Rees |

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When I tell people I had Cushing’s disease, I usually receive a broad range of responses. They aren’t always the replies I want to hear, but they are genuine reactions from people who want to take control of their health.

In these situations, I always try to keep in mind that there’s no way I can control other people and how they act, but I can control how I react.

The most common response I get when I tell people about my rare disease is that they immediately want to go to their own doctors to check if they have it. And while I always advocate getting checkups from the doctor and talking to them about any health concerns, it is a little frustrating when I know it’s because they’re looking for a fast way to lose weight.

The thing that some people don’t understand is that I had no control over the weight I gained, and once I had surgery to remove a tumor from my adrenal gland, I also had no control over the weight I quickly lost.

In these situations, I usually try to explain that the weight I gained was due to a tumor. I also try to mention all of the symptoms I experienced, and I note that one of the bigger symptoms is the inability to lose weight if I actually tried dieting and exercising.

I know people don’t say these things with a clear head, because of course no one wants to have a serious medical condition that can follow them for the rest of their life. So, the best I can do is try to educate them.

Social media is a great tool, but it also has become a bit toxic. Whenever someone decides to share personal stories, someone else always says something mean. There are plenty of ways to avoid this situation, such as by avoiding sharing, refusing to post photos of your previous self, and definitely not commenting in comment sections on a post about “fat people.”

While these comments are sometimes very mean, I try to not let them bother me. I know that nothing is directed at me personally, even if it might hurt my feelings. Some days, I can let it go, but other days, I try to educate people that not all weight gain and the ability to lose it is controllable.

There are plenty of medical conditions besides Cushing’s disease that also contribute to weight gain, and these people are typically “fat” in the eyes of society. I always say my piece, invite people to do a little bit of research about Cushing’s and other diseases, and leave it at that. It is out of my control if someone wants to write a mean response.

My experience with Cushing’s disease, a situation in which I gained an exponential amount of weight and then lost it just as quickly, prompted many to ask about my “miracle diet.” While it’s annoying to try to convince others that a diet isn’t what caused my weight loss, I understand that they aren’t saying it with malicious intent.

I definitely have learned to be patient with others, and I avoid taking other people’s opinions about weight gain or loss to heart.

Kat’s weight loss. (Courtesy of Kat Rees)

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