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

Before and After

There is a threshold that you cross when you’re diagnosed with a chronic or life-altering illness.  It is a threshold no one wants to cross but as the population lives longer, environmental impact changes the air and water we breathe and drink, and the natural course of nature, there is an increase in the number of people who will be diagnosed.  Like any other major event in your life you probably think you’re the same person after as you were before the diagnosis.  It’s an interesting point, but it may not be true.

In order to k now where you are you have to know where you came from.  Geneaology has become an increasing important activity for many adults, do you know why?  Because our history informs the course of our lives.  It’s not a matter of predestiny, but your ancestors set the tone for who you would become.  How does this apply to your life with a health challenge?

Exploring where you come from means looking at how your ancestors survived the stresses of everyday life.  It means learning hard and painful facts that show that you and your ancestors are not newcomers to strife, angst, and despair, but found ways to make meaning of the challenges and overcome hardship.

This knowledge can be the foundation of your own resiliency plan.  Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but even finding out what life was like for those a generation or two before you can have healing powers of its own.  In my family there are members who had the same auto-immune disease I have and knowing that I can see how they lived their lives prior to medical advances I have the benefit of today.  Were we heartier stock back in the day?  I don’t think so, what I do know is that our ancestors were better at re-inventing themselves as a result of their challenges. 

Where do you come from?  How does it color your view of the world and of your health challenge?  Are there any secrets to surviving and thriving you’ve picked up by finding out about your ancestors?  Let us know so we can share our knowledge, wisdom, and hope.


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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