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

Celebrate You

We all have so many things we think we can do better that we often don’t acknowledge our accomplishments.  Our society has become so focused on lack or shortcomings that when we achieve something or reach a goal sometimes we overlook the accomplishment.  This is particularly true when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness.  There is a tendency for the rest of your accomplishments to go by the wayside if your level of well-being isn’t ideal.

I got a good reminder about this very point today from none other than my father.  I’m a textile artist and I have a show that is opening tomorrow evening.  He called to wish me well and to share his excitement for me on this endeavor.  His last words to me were, “I hope you enjoy the art”.

After I got off the phone it took me a moment to realize what he was telling me.  He wanted me to acknowledge my accomplishment.  He wanted me to take note of the progress and good that comes out of hard work and discipline.  He was getting me to turn my attention by on myself, instead of deflecting away from me.

It’s easy to get caught up in the test results from the doctor, or the side-effects from the medication, but what have you accomplished.  I know there have been lots of television ads asking people to sign up for the Avon Walk-for-the-Cure supporting the Susan G. Komen foundation.  People are coming together to support and honor those of importance in their lives.  They are celebrating their loved ones who may have died, are living with breast cancer, or may have a genetic predisposition for the disease.  It is a community that is being celebrated.

Maybe you’ve decided, following your diagnosis, to start a new career, or pick up a new hobby.  How it going?  What do you enjoy most about your actions?  How is your life richer since starting these new ventures?

Celebrating You is a gift.  It’s an opportunity to create a life around those things you can make conscious decisions about.  They aren’t reliant on any cells, pharmaceuticals, or divine intervention.  How are you going to celebrate you?  I’d love to hear how you start the celebration!


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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