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

If Michelle Obama Said It; It Must Be True

The Democratic National Convention ended last Thursday, but more importantly, the week started off with a riveting speech by the First Lady, Michelle Obama.  She was eloquent and on point making her message clearly and powerfully.  It wasn’t until she said, “Life isn’t a sprint, it’s not even a marathon…Life is a relay”.

When I heard that line it clicked that she was talking about how reliant we are on others to make sure we make it to the finish line.  The African proverb goes, “If you want to get somewhere fast, go it alone; but if you want to go far, go with others”.  That’s the message Michelle Obama was sharing.  We wanted us to know that as a country all of our efforts are part of the solution and success of our country.   The follow-up question for some is what does that have to do when facing a health challenge?

Fact of the matter is that you only have so many internal resources at your disposal.  Most of us aren’t medical doctors or complementary health providers so there will be times when we need to pass the baton to those who will guide our journey.  Ultimately you’re the captain of the team, so what support do you need from your team members?

Aside from the obvious, medical knowledge, your team can help keep the team on its path on the journey to health and healing.  Your team members will help you recruit others to be part of the relay by referring you to specialists, or recommending other resources like support groups, benefits advocates, or spiritual directors.

It may be hard to pass the baton because we all want to feel in complete control all the time, but when you allow those with special knowledge and skills carry the baton you gain from their experience and give body, mind, and spirit a breather to regroup.  Your relay team will propel your forward in your quest for getting better or getting well if you allow them to show their strengths.  On a relay team they often put their fastest runner in the last spot of the race because they can make up time that may have been lost in earlier legs of the race.  Who is that person in your life?  The person who anchors your relay team may change based on the particular race you’re running on any given day.

The First Lady offered us as individuals and a country some sound advice; will you take it and make it work in your life?


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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