There are times that living with a chronic illness can make it nearly impossible to cook yourself a meal, much less find the energy to do the dishes, or clean the kitchen. For people living with chronic illness, having go-to comfort foods to reach for during a flare can be an especially important form of self-care. When you're stressed, depressed, or in pain due to an influx of symptoms, nothing is more satisfying or filling than having your favorite meal. Sometimes, comfort foods can mean the difference between eating or not eating on certain days.
"I hate the concept of depriving myself of things I love. [...] When we're dealing with the challenges of [an] invisible illness, we need to find the small things in life to enjoy," Harper Spero, the host of Made Visible, a podcast that highlights the stories of people living with invisible and chronic illnesses, tells Bustle.
Sometimes finding the "small things" to enjoy, like Spero says, can simply mean dishing up something delicious when chronic illness-related symptoms start to arise — whether that means getting late-night delivery from the local pizza joint you love, or having someone bring you a homemade meal. From fast food to fresh fruit, here are the comfort foods that 11 people living with chronic illness reach for during a flare.