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

Tribes Are Essential to our Well-Being

I just returned from a vacation celebrating my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  There were 13 of us all together, some family and a bunch of my parent’s friends.  It’s great when you can get together with people to celebrate something extraordinary, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  What does cross all boundaries is the need to have a tribe; a group that will support you through all aspects of your life.  The truth is we all belong to multiple tribes, some by choice and some by circumstance.

It’s interesting when you read something for one of life’s arenas and it applies to other aspects of your life.  Seth Godin, the marketing guru, wrote a book titled Tribes.  In it he states that a tribe needs two things, “A shared idea, and a way to communicate”.  Following your diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness those are the two most important criteria for mustering up support. 

After your diagnosis; it’s important to find people who share your idea of health and healing.  Don’t hang out with people who aren’t as driven as you in accomplishing the primary task at hand; getting well.  It’s important to find people who are motivated to venture out on the journey to wellness because you’ll go further with others.  You learn from others and in turn you’ll unlock secrets you may not have had the opportunity to access any other way. 

The second part of Godin’s criteria is needing a way to communicate.  I hope you’ll utilize this venue, the Pilgrim Pathway/Surviving Strong blog to find your voice and connect with others.  I strongly encourage you to add your voice to the conversation.  I throw things out because they present themselves to me through articles, lectures, and interviews, but there’s a lot more out there than I can access.  I hope you’ll join me and comment when you find something that speaks to you or you want to challenge something I’ve written.

This is a tribe and I hope together we can all move forward individually and collectively on our journey to wellness!


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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