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

Secure in Your Ability to Survive

Can it really be that simple that simply by wanting to survive a chronic or life-threatening illness it shall be done?  Obviously there are many factors that contribute to your ability to survive, but we usually make reference only to physical survival; what about emotional or spiritual survival?  Isn’t the mind, body and spirit triumvirate deserving of equal time and equal attention? Haven’t you found that emotional health has a direct impact on your physical being?

When discussing “how secure are you in your ability to survive”, we’re really focusing on your level of resilience.  It’s you’re ability to get up and fight following the initial blow; the diagnosis.  I know the diagnosis is like getting the wind knocked out of you, but taking a moment to regain your ability to breathe you can begin to make plans for the future.  Having the capacity to get up makes me think of the old Chinese proverb, “Fall down seven times, get up eight”.  Can you think of a proverb more fitting following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness?  It’s the cornerstone of tackling your health challenge.

Survival not only references longevity, but it’s the ability to have the strength to take the next step.  It’s the fortitude and determination to begin the pilgrimage to health and healing.  There’s no greater point of embarkation than understanding that the journey may be long, but it’s your level of security in your ability to survive that will determine how you will complete the marathon.  These moments are incredibly impactful upon your emotional and spiritual health.  Understanding that the term “survivor” is not simply about the physical body still pumping blood, although that is clearly one definition, but the inner strength to move along on your journey to wellness.  Can you think of anything more potent or powerful than backing up your beliefs with words, actions and prayers? 

You’ll need to get grounded and take a personal inventory of your physical, emotional, and spiritual strengths.  Once you have that personal inventory you have to know what you’re willing to invest to achieve health and healing.  You will be required to demonstrate that you’re understanding can be translated into decisions and actions.  Don’t sell yourself short!


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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