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

This Didn’t Just Happen to You!

It’s easy to believe that the news the doctor gives you puts a crimp in your style and your life and only your life.  Let’s be serious, you don’t live alone on a mountain, in the middle of the rain forest.  You live in society, maybe with other people (your family), or at least you interact with people on a regular basis.  You don’t live in a vacuum and the diagnosis doesn’t only effect you.  It impacts everyone’s life from the moment the diagnosis is received.

Those who love you may not harbor the physical manifestations of the diagnosis, but they certainly exhibit the impact of the emotional and spiritual aspects.  They can’t help but be impacted by the news because they’re human and they have the capacity for empathy and compassion.  Some of you facing a health challenge believe this is your fight and yours alone, keeping your illness life secretive.  You hide the anxiety and stress affiliated with the diagnosis, the symptoms, and the side-effects.  At least you think you’re hiding all these experience; you’re actually not that good of an actor and everyone who has been around you for a period of time can read you like a book.  Hiding your experience means they have to deny the reality causing them stress and if it persists long enough they’ll begin manifesting stress symptoms.

Include your support network in your life.  Keep people in your family up-to-date on changes, good and bad, in your health.  You don’t have to call everyone as things change you can come up with creative ways of keeping people in the loop.  Technology has allowed us to stay connected without having to pick up the phone.  Blast e-mails allow you to send one e-mail and everyone is in-the-know.  Others have found that creating a private blog gives them the opportunity to express themselves in private and without explanation or a question and answer session.

It’s important to your health that you resist isolation…isolation is a health hazard.  Keeping those who love you at a distance denies the reality of your relationship.  When you negate these relationships it means that people become less available when you may need them the most.  Give yourself every opportunity to thrive; keep those who love you in the loop…it’s a live saver!

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