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

And the Oscar Goes to….

Did you watch the Academy Awards last night?  It was a long awards show with lots of time to nap.  Just a warning I often come up with thoughts based on associations.  Fortunately, for me, I can link all the parts of the association so I’m going to do that for you now so I can get to the meat of the issue.

Kate Winslet won the Oscar for Lead Actress for her role in “The Reader”.  Kate Winslet was also in the movie “The  Holiday”.  In “The Holiday” Winslet’s temporary neighbor is played by Eli Wallach.  Wallach and Winslet go out to dinner and Wallach (who had been a screenwriter for 40+ years) says to Winslet…”In films there’s the leading lady and the best friend, you’re a leading lady but you keep playing the best friend”.    Wallach’s character also focuses on the importance of gumption and that all the films he recommends that Winslet’s character watch, all the women have gumption…do you see where this is going?

Following your diagnosis you need to decide if you’re going to be the lead or the best friend.    Being the lead in the movie of your life or simply your life means having gumption.  It’s about not giving up on your beliefs, values and ideals.  It means that you have the right and the imperative to question each and every person involved in your care.  It provides you with the energy to make healing a priority amongst a thousand competing issues.

Why is all this so important?  You are the best person to portray you in your life.  There are no stunt doubles, no stand-ins and certainly no do-overs.  Every day our lives are done in one take, without editing (that often gets us in trouble).  We can choose to be a headliner or an extra in the world and since you’re unique, is there really any discussion about which role you need assume?

I remember a book about cinema therapy titled “The Motion Picture Prescription: watch this movie and call me in the morning”.  Cinema is derived from real life experience.  The stories are rewritten to make them interesting but the overall theme and the lessons learned remain the same.  Your life is worth a movie so it’s important to think about the message you want to send to the world.  As we saw last night even underdogs get to have their day of victory (“Slumdog Millionaire” winning picture of the year).

When you hear the announcer in your head read the words, “And the Oscare goes to”, make sure the name that’s read is yours.  Take that walk of fame and stand center stage being the best you there ever was or will be and feel the power that generates for healing and wellness.


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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