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

Job One: Overcoming Adversity

The world can change in an instant and if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness you know this is very true.  We get so comfortable in the status quo that when something earth shattering happens, either figuratively or literally, we’re not sure how to cope.  The news is wide spread about the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti.  A country plagued with corruption and rampant poverty has seen a change for the better and then the quake.  They couldn’t prepare for it, but they have to begin to recover from it.

When diagnosed with an illness it’s a personal disaster.  The difference is that the rescue team is comprised of health professionals and others looking out for your emotional and spiritual well-being.  You can be rescued from the negative thoughts, but the disaster itself can’t be reversed, unless you were mistakenly diagnosed. 

Where can you go to prepare for the potholes in the road ahead on your journey to wellness?  Overcoming adversity requires a lot of self-knowledge, so the place to start is within.  What are your strengths and talents?  How are your relationships with family and friends?  How can you use the resources you have without worrying about cultivating a new set of coping mechanisms?

Overcoming adversity requires that you stay steady on the course you’ve set toward health and healing.  It requires that you not abandon yourself.  It requires honesty with yourself and perseverance.  Wellness is not a one-hit wonder.  It’s an ongoing process that needs your attention and commitment.  Yes, it’s true that it also requires you be on alert, but not a tense alert, but a consciousness to your physical, emotional, and spiritual self.

Letting others share your experience is another great way to overcome adversity.  I was at my spirituality group last night and we went through an art meditation.  Following the creative time we shared our experience of the process and the outcome of our creative energies.  Feeling safe enough to share even those things you’re not the most proud of gives you freedom to move forward toward health and healing.

There’s no one way to overcome adversity; it’s a personal journey.  Developing strategies that are in alignment with our beliefs and values will carry you far.