Posted in after the diagnosis

Everything Changes in a Second

If you’re old enough when asked where you were when President Kennedy was shot you zero in on that moment like it was yesterday.  If you’re a bit younger, a more recent moment in time was September 11th.  This brings up many thoughts and emotions and those experiences are relived every time you tell the story of what you were doing.  Many people remember where they were and what they were doing the day the O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of killing Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. 

Saturday the country suffered another one of those seconds in time when everything changes; an individual shot and killed six people and gravely injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Time is a funny thing because even though it’s the same we experience it differently depending on the situation at hand.  I’m sure on Saturday the people attending the Congresswoman’s event feel like time was a blur.  It becomes a domino effect when the news outlets begin reporting and we all get caught up in the horror.  Those directly impacted receive the support of a nation, but what about you?

I have no doubt that you remember the day you received your diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness.  My story is a bit different because I was diagnosed as a child, and there had been an inkling when I was very young what lay ahead for my health.  How much do you remember about the day you were diagnosed?  What type of support did you receive on the day you were diagnosed and the days that followed?  Your story wasn’t covered on the news so how do you round-up support.

When a tragedy like the shooting in Tucson occurs it’s on every news cycle for days.  When you were diagnosed there was no media coverage so the first thing that happened was you had to tell people what just happened to you.  There weren’t media outlets reporting on the change that happened to you so the support you received was directly correlated to the number of people you were able to tell. 

One of the things that many people I’ve worked with in the past have done was to create a blog or a website following their diagnosis to keep their friends and family informed of their health status.  This allows people to offer words of support without having to be intrusive.  It also allows you to give those in your life up-to-the-minute information about your life without having to field lots of phone calls. 

What happened on Saturday was a tragedy for the individuals and families who were victims of the shooting; as well as the country.  Your diagnosis was also a tragedy.  It changed everything in your life in a moment, but the question to ask is, “How did you move forward following the diagnosis?”  and “How do you continue to move forward on your journey to health and healing?” 

A “second” seems so small and yet the fact that everything in a person’s life can change in a “second” give it a place of importance.  I hope you continue to take care of yourself and allow every “second” to count!


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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