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

BP-The Oil Spill and Health

We’ve been inundated with news from the Gulf since the rig exploded in April.  It is certainly one of the greatest disasters since the turn of the twenty-first century and the impact will be felt for years.  The original estimates were that the impact would last ten years.  Personally, I believe we’re looking at a twenty year minimum (I’m not a scientist, just a realist).  This is one of those times when I strongly urge you to watch the show, Life Without People, on the History Channel.  It talks about when man gets out-of-the-way; nature can resume its regularly scheduled programming.

My goal today is to reference this biohazard with the illness you may be facing.  I receive lots of studies and alerts about the impact of the oil seeping into the gulf, and it made me think about the “blob effect”.  Like the movie, The Blob, the stuff oozes and grows, much like many of you may be experiencing with your own illness.  Where is all this headed?  Once the event happens, in your case the diagnosis; it may be feel as if there are no options.  Even if you’re getting good medical care, it may not seem like enough.

What I’ve been amazed at while watching the news and reading the online dialogues are the numerous inventions, theories, and opportunities to stop the spill and begin the clean-up that we’re ignoring.  We don’t think the “average Joe” can solve the world’s greatest disaster, but sometimes it’s the easiest fix that changes the world.  In your own life this requires that you have a council of health and healing supporters that continuously brainstorm ideas for wellness.  They don’t have to be doctors or scientists because approaching healing with a beginner’s mind may be in your best interest.

Don’t follow the model used by those cleaning up the gulf.  Be creative.  Be ridiculous in your assumptions.  Be questioning.  Be yourself.  You’d be surprised at how the most innocent of comments or ideas can help pave the road to health and healing.

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

The Blob

Do you remember the movie “The Blob”?  I remember watching this movie for the first time and loving all the oozing stuff overtaking the world.  The problem is that for many facing a chronic or life-threatening illness, the blob is confusion, overwhelm and certainly anxiety.  It can take over and leave you at its mercy.  Are there ways to clean up the blob?  Is it even necessary to clean it up?

Facing this type of far reaching turmoil, the clean-up job can take some time and if you don’t know where to start you may just let it continue avoiding more overwhelm.  The first place to stop is containment.  You don’t want these feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and disarray extend its boundaries.  You need to start creating borders or a container for these unfavorable feelings.  It’s like putting a baby in a playpen, the child can roam anywhere it wants within the confines of the playpen.  The same is true for your feelings of overwhelm or powerlessness, contain them.

Following containment comes the time when you have to figure out how are you going to make the road ahead manageable.  There are many ways to do this but they all take work and it’s up to you to roll up your sleeves and put in some sweat equity.  You are the one who will need to begin a spiritual practice, an artistic endeavor or some other structure that will reduce your level of anxiety and allow you to proceed with your day and your journey to wellness.  We’re not talking about creating an internal autocratic society, but structure prevents us from those unyielding feelings of floating and drifting in a sea of confusion.

You’ll need to build structure into the system because going through treatment means having as much on autopilot becomes a blessing.  I understand that you’re not alone in this world, so getting others to understand the complexities of your life is often cumbersome, but I assure you the anxiety and overwhelm are more consuming.  You may need to crack the whip for a short period of time as you establish the structure, but I assure you that once people see the benefits of having a structure their anxiety levels will reduce and you’ll begin to establish a harmony that is welcome and overdue.

It’s easy to get consumed by the blob because it has no understanding of boundaries.  Start with containment, move into structure and then take the leap and begin mopping up the mess.  If you stick to your guns the blob will retreat.  The anxiety and overwhelm will shrink and your life will develop a level of calm you may never have experienced before in your life…it’s a shame you had to confront a health challenge in order to learn these lessons, but they are universal so use them in all areas of your life.

What blob are you trying to contain?  What have you done to contain your personal blob?  Have you began creating structure in your life and if so has it helped?  Don’t be shy, we all need to learn each other’s strategies for dealing with the blob!