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

What’s Your Story?

We read books, watch movies, and engage in dreamtime where we explore the unconscious.  What’s your story?  Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness has your story changed?  Do you want to change your story? If so, here’s your chance.

Some people take on the story of the adventurer and their health challenge is a journey like in The Odyssey.  Some of you cast your illness as the enemy where you can live out the story from the Die Hard movies.  There’s a whole other group who take their illness to be a more romantic nature like the person in distress who needs to be saved, pick any Mandy Moore movie where she gets ill.  We relate to the characters because we relate to the genre.

The amazing thing about your story is that you change it any time you want.  I can’t tell you how many times I met someone newly diagnosed with an illness who could have withered away and after some time working together became a modern-day Rocky (I can still hear the theme from Rocky playing in my head).  The roles we play and how we hold our illness in context determines who we will react to treatment, respond or interact with our medical team, and utilize all available resources for health and healing.

How has your story served you in the past and is it still serving you?  Often the stories you told yourself before the diagnosis don’t work following the diagnosis.  It’s not uncommon for individuals to have been living a persona and following the diagnosis take on a more authentic role and actually do better in all areas of their lives.

There’s definitely no one best genre of story for you adapt to your life.  Everyone’s life is different, just like everyone’s diagnosis is different.  It’s not about the diagnosis, but about the story you tell about the diagnosis and then what follows.  Tell me your story and let’s see how or if it’s working for you and how we can rewrite the story…think of it as a living document.


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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