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

There Are No Dress Rehearsals

Funny thing about life is that it doesn’t come with an instruction manual and you don’t get a dress rehearsal before you have to give the performance of your life.  We constantly hear that practice makes perfect, but when it comes to life we only get one take so we have to do our best with our one chance.

Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness it’s easy to want another take in the living documentary of your life.  You’ve probably gone over every scenario throughout your life looking for the one moment when your body decided to have a mind of its own leaving you living a life without a script. 

You don’t get a staff room full of writers who will write your lines, provide stunt doubles, or make sure that the light is hitting you at the most flattering angle.  When you’re dealing with a health challenge the footage is raw because it’s real.  It’s the truth and the truth isn’t always pretty.  Health challenges and the role of the patient is the toughest part you’ll ever have to play. 

What provides strength is all your previous life experience.  Every success, achievement, and accomplishment can be used as a foundation for the next scene you have to play; that of a person moving toward health and healing.  This isn’t the time for you to assume a character; it’s the point in your life when you have to be the most authentic.  You’re required to be in your body, honor your emotions, and utilize every ounce of spiritual peace you can muster.

It would be great if life came with guarantees and dress rehearsals, but living life with only one take requires you to be in the moment.  When you’re distracted time vanishes before your eyes.  Living in the place of “what if” is the dream, not the reality.  You can work toward making your dreams a reality by complying with your healthcare regimen and creating a dialogue between mind, body and spirit.

Living life in one take is freeing because you don’t ever have to over think it; you just live it!


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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