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

Always Moving Forward: To Infinity and Beyond

We all have projects to complete in our lives: raising our families, fixing the house, finishing school, or overcoming the impact of a chronic or life-threatening illness.  It doesn’t matter the project there are steps that are important to keep moving forward in your process.

Moving forward is probably one of the key pieces of the puzzle.  It reminds me of an episode of friends where Phoebe (played my Lisa Kudrow) is dating a police officer.  He talks about moving their relationship forward and she’s hesitant.  He says, “If you’re not moving forward, your moving backward.”  She responds with, “No, not necessarily, if you’re not moving forward you’re standing still” and she strikes a mannequin pose.  Moving forward doesn’t mean you’ve reached your personal summit.  It does mean that your intention is to progress physically, emotionally, or spiritually (or all 3).

Don’t be alarmed, we all get stuck, but it’s how you become unstuck that matters.  I mentioned yesterday that I submitted my dissertation for review.  Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting with my adviser and thanked her for her patience.  She said, “I knew you would do it.  You were passionate about the subject, and all you needed was for the timing to be right.”  Those were important things for me to hear because it was what I needed to hear.

Having someone who has faith in your ability to move forward on your project is vital to achieving any of your goals.  Knowing you’re not alone in your journey is worth its weight in gold.  Who do you believe or know is on your team?

It was also important for me to hear that it would happen when the time is right.  I know you’re wondering how does that apply to an illness, when you’re ready for progress the moment you get diagnosed.  It’s not about progress in whether you’re getting better or well, but progress in your commitment to your own wellness.  It’s a commitment to integrating the diagnosis in a way that it doesn’t submerge you in despair.  It’s about believing every day is an opportunity to try again.

We are our most important project.  How will you make yourself and moving forward a priority, not just a pipe dream?  I’d love to hear about your journey, email me at


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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