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

I’m sure, I’m not sure, I know, I don’t know

Remember when you were a kid and you picked a daisy and recited, “he/she loves me he/she loves me not?”  I always felt like this was leaving the decision to chance although the same could be said for a Magic 8 Ball.  We are drive to desire surety and yet there is no such thing in this world.  I used to love the end of Oprah’s program or articles where she asks people, “What do you know for sure?”  I used to think it was a brilliant question, now I just think it’s arrogance.

As you get a little older and friends/family begin having health issues maybe you engaged in conversations about what would happen if you ever were diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness.  The tendency is to get heroic and stoic and awfully sure of oneself, but I don’t believe that’s the real you; I think it’s the unknowing persona.

The truth is until the doctor says those infamous words, “I’m sorry to tell , don’t have any idea how you’ll react.  Our experiences trigger feelings and thoughts and it’s at that time that we begin to formulate our true beliefs about facing a diagnosis.  It follows that saying, “Don’t judge a person till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  The idea that you can be so sure about how you’ll react is preposterous, not to mention a bit funny, verging on hysterical.

My hope for each and every person is that you never have to come face-to-face with a health challenge.  Unfortunately, that’s not likely in today’s world, but it’s a good goal.  What do you in the meantime?  I say live life to the fullest.  On a more intimate scale I would hope that you’d begin the process of self- exploration.  Begin the process of going deep so you know, understand, and acknowledge your values and beliefs.  Make conscious your life experiences and how you’ve handled different situations in the past and keep them alive and well in your repository.

Until you’re in “it” you don’t know what you’ll do, but give yourself every advantage should that challenge present itself and live your life to the fullest.


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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