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

Aspects of Change

Change is tough, there’s no denying it; but is it impossible?  Do we only make changes in our lives when we’re challenged or put to a test?  What is it about change that’s so difficult?  Culturally many of us have been taught not to upset the apple cart, so to speak.  We’re taught to go with the flow, don’t make waves, and being good means following directions.  Those who invoke change are often labeled as rebels or mavericks, but is that true or are they (we) answering to a higher calling?

Facing a health challenge, whether chronic or life-threatening, forces change.  It requires that we alter some aspect of our physical, emotional, or spiritual lives both in thoughts and actions.  We’re mandated to make certain aspects of our lives obsolete for the greater good, our health.  Even with these mandates, some of us find it very difficult to make changes.  The easiest example is in weight management. 

If you watch the NBC show The Biggest Loser you may ask yourself how is it that a 30-year-old, 500+ pound man on medication, joint problems, and other health challenges hadn’t take the necessary steps to lose the weight?  The answer is clear; his Achilles heel wasn’t touched.  For many of us with a chronic or life-threatening illness, the diagnosis is the arrow in our Achilles heel, but it takes bigger measures for some.

After years of fighting high cholesterol, a side-effect of one of my medication, I finally joined a gym.  I didn’t want to do it and I’ve fought it every step of the way.  Why the shift?  I heard a quote this morning on The West Wing  that I believe sums it up beautifully, “Change come in excruciating increments for those who want it!”  I’ve wanted the change, but it meant accumulating enough of those increments to put it in action.

What will get you to move incrementally toward health and healing?  How can you accumulate enough incremental steps to notice a shift in your attitudes, behaviors, or beliefs?  When facing a health challenge we all want change, but what price are we willing to pay for it?  It’s no different from anything else in life, we have to work for it…so let’s get to work!


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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