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

Yesterday the Owner’s Manual, Today the Pink Slip

Let’s say that you indeed have found or created an owner’s manual for your body, now what?  It’s like the difference between renting an apartment and owning a home, can you make any changes or do they have to be pre-approved by a third party?  That’s where the pink slip comes in, who has the pink slip on your life? 

You may believe that in a world overrun with rules, regulations, and obligations that ownership is beyond the realm of your consciousness, but the truth is you do own your body.  If you own your body then aren’t you responsible for your body?  Having been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness doesn’t change the rules of ownership.  If anything being diagnosed with an illness requires that you become a more involved and conscious owner.  It requires that you do everything in your power not to void the warranty on your life.

I know all this metaphor stuff can be kind of confusing, so let’s break it down into the simplest form possible.  No one but you is responsible for your life and your body.  The team you recruit to help you maximize your level of health and healing can only do their jobs if you do yours.  Are you willing to make that kind of pledge? 

So often when we’re requires to take a pledge we back away from the issue or behavior we’re trying to correct.  Yesterday on the Oprah show, Oprah busted Lisa Ling for driving with her knee so she could text while driving.  Oprah asked Ling if she would sign a pledge to not only eliminate the behavior of texting while driving, but to relinquish all cell phone behaviors in the car.  You could see the sweat forming on Lisa Ling’s brow and her immediate response was the excuse that she lives in LA and that’s the culture.  Oprah came back with, “but isn’t texting while driving illegal in California?”

Ling did agree to cease all texting while driving and did commit to using a blue tooth device if she needed to use her cell phone while driving.  That should have been a no brainer commitment and yet it was only under duress and embarrassment that she succumbed to the agreement.  So what kind of vow to improve your level of wellness have you been avoiding?  Why is it so hard for you to commit to your own well-being when you only get one chance at life?  Isn’t it in your best interest and the interest of those you love to do everything in your power to claim ownership of your body instead of giving ownership to the illness?  I wouldn’t think there would be much debate about this but I could be wrong.  What are your thoughts on this?


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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