I wanted to talk about the journey of living with a chronic illness and adapting to a new life. I often see when one loses his or her health, he or she often loses many other things not just health. Some of them are:
- Job/ career/ school
- Aspirations / lifestyle
- A person may have to move to a new place that allows him or her to adapt to the illness better
- Physical well-being
That list may go on and on. I wanted to list some of the things that happen to a person, who is dealing with a chronic illness or who was just diagnosed with a new illness. I must say, I have seen people go through journeys with having to make very difficult decisions. What I have noticed, is that people often receive very little instruction if any on how to adapt to a new lifestyle that is not by their choice. On the contrary, some people receive too much advice from others and often times seem confused and overwhelmed. Everyone copes with their medical condition differently and what works for one person may not work for another. Living with chronic illness requires a person to learn a new set of health management skills.
What I have noticed if that often times, people with chronic medical conditions are able to pull though and cope appropriately with the hardest parts in their lives. We as humans are very resilient and if we surround ourselves with people that love and care about us, we will be able to get though a lot in life. What I found matters most is self-love and self-acceptance.
What I found to be the most helpful when working with those, who are struggling with chronic illness is helping them find self-love and self-compassion at a time when it is much needed. A person, who is going though a difficult change in his or her life may have to grieve his or her losses in order to be able to find acceptance and create a new life filled with a new level of health.
At the end of the day I want you to remember that you are more than just an illness. You are still YOU. If you or someone you know is struggling with a medical condition, please do not hesitate to contact me, I would love to talk with you.