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

Are You Having Relations?

Do you remember a time in history when they called sex “relations”?  A quaint word and at the time a taboo topic.  I’m not here today to talk about your sex life (although we can discuss it in the future).  I’m asking you if you’re in relationship with others.  Are you continuing your relationships with people who can support and bear witness to your journey.

If you look at the arguments made by philosophers, many believe that you can’t be a you without someone else.  It follows the argument that you can’t have light without dark or happiness without sorrow.  The only way you can be an individual is for there to be others who reflect back to you who they believe you are.

What kind of feedback are you getting from family and friends?  Do they see someone who is hell-bent on getting well or someone sitting on the pity pot?  At the end of 2009 my mother was diagnosed with diabetes.  I was  checking in with her about her mental state about the diagnosis.  She informed me that she had a pity party for the first few days but no one else came to the party so she abandoned the party as well.

Do you let people in fully or are you doing it and dribs and drabs.  Makes me think of politics and the press; they leak bits of information but no one (other than the politicians) have the entire story.  People need information in real-time to be of help and service.  This is a time to strengthen your relationships not shy away from them.

I’ve met many who join support groups and make friends with those in the group.  It’s a great idea and when you ask them why this is so they respond, “because these people understand what I’m going through”.  There’s no doubt that is true, but would you be friends with those people if you weren’t ill?  If you get healthier and more resilient and decide you don’t need the group support, don’t you still need everyday, regular kinds of support like the kind you receive from friends?

Allow your friends to do what they’ve been groomed to do in our society; support you, help you, and simply treat you the way they always have…with love, affection, and compassion.


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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