Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Life on Autopilot

Yesterday I drove from Denver to Santa Fe, about 570 miles.  I got an early start so there wouldn’t be too many people on the road and I was right!  Once I got beyond the suburbs, down to the more rural areas I put the car on cruise control and down the road I went.  It was a straight ride down I-25.  It got me thinking about when every day is about taking medication or going for tests, it’s easy to put life on autopilot, but what happens when we remove ourselves to that go along for the ride mentality?

Keeping things systematized is how keep structure in your life and that most likely reduces anxiety, but does it dull your other senses?  How are you keeping engaged?  Are you still involved in activities?  I can tell you that if you enjoy an activity keeping up with it will boost your immune system.  It provides you with joy and that’s always good for the cells.  It gets you thinking about your life as it related to your life before the illness, that’s good.  Depending on the activity it keeps you connected to others.

Autopilot or cruise control is great for vehicles, but in life, there needs to be a balance between turning over responsibility and “going for the ride” and being so entrenched that it’s overwhelming.  If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them.  Share how you stay engaged, but keep the medical aspects of your journey to wellness within the bounds of structure.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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