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Why I think it’s okay to grieve in church

Crying in a public place? You should avoid that. No one wants streaked mascara…

Grieving in front of people is not something we’re particularly good at in my culture. Weeping often happens behind closed doors, or in the arms of a loved one. Yet when a diagnosis of chronic illness enters our lives, or the lives of our family members, it’s impossible to avoid public places, and often just as impossible to avoid tears!

As Christians, church is a public sphere where we may find it hard to contain our grief. But should we be trying?

I don’t think so.

4 Reasons we grieve chronic illness in public

1. We grieve chronic illness in public because we care

Continue reading “Why I think it’s okay to grieve in church”

3 things a stomach bug taught me about chronic illness

This week I learnt 3 truths about chronic illness I never want to forget…

Uncomfortable, rather depressing, but half a week later and I was over it and back at work.

But something had changed. While I was unwell I learned three very important truths about chronic illness – and I don’t want to ever forget them. Continue reading “3 things a stomach bug taught me about chronic illness”

What to do when chronic illness makes you angry

Where do you turn when suffering makes you angry?

Perhaps your father has been diagnosed with cancer, or your mother with Alzeimer’s, and you’re angry. Angry at everyone: the doctors, yourself, the people around you, the sick person, and most of all, God.

So what do we do? Smash a few windows? Yell? Break down into tears? What’s the appropriate response? Is there one?

How do you cope with anger after a chronic illness diagnosis?

What happens when we’re angry at a situation but don’t want to be?

Anger is harmful

Continue reading “What to do when chronic illness makes you angry”

After a diagnosis: Why anger?

A chronic illness diagnosis is emotional. We may feel sad, guilty, overwhelmed… and we can feel angry. Sometimes this is short-lived, but mine wasn’t.

Why are we angry?

Why are we angry after a chronic illness diagnosis?

Coping with anger after a diagnosis is not simple

Chronic illness and suffering is a sensitive topic, so let me use another analogy.

Say I stub my toe. It hurts. It makes me angry.

Why?

Anger over chronic illness is a reaction to frustration

Continue reading “After a diagnosis: Why anger?”

The problem with chronic illness and social media

It’s hard to share about chronic illness on social media. Here are three reasons why.

Sharing about chronic illness on social media

It’s difficult. Particularly when you are only watching someone else’s battle.

That I think this might come as a surprise, due to the slight fact that this website is full of articles! Not to mention, I have associated facebook pages, groups, pinterest, google plus and twitter accounts! That’s a lot of social media.

Yet each time I share about the place of chronic illness in my life (as someone who has sick family members, but is not ill myself), I struggle. It’s a hard topic to think and talk about – let alone share online with everyone and anyone!

Of course, I share because I want to. It is an immeasurable blessing, and in fact is so much part of who I am, I feel I can’t not share… but I still find it a battle. And so I’m posting this here, and on Facebook and twitter and pinterest and all of the other social media places, in the hope that perhaps other people find it scary too.

Continue reading “The problem with chronic illness and social media”

Thinking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to think about sickness and Watching

Thinking about chronic illness is hard

It is hard to think about chronic illness. The reality is that while chronic illness can be difficult to talk about – it can also be difficult to even think about. This post is a follow-on from the previous post: “Why I find it hard to talk about Watching”.

Let me clarify: I don’t find thinking about chronic illness a chore or a burden. It is so much part of me and my reality that not to think about it would be a denial of the truth! I actually really enjoy pondering this part of my life because I want to understand how it fits into God’s plan for our world and how I can love and support my struggling friends.

Perhaps ‘hard’ is the wrong word. I don’t find thinking about Watching hard, but I think it can be… dangerous.

Continue reading “Thinking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to think about sickness and Watching”

Talking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to talk about Sickness and Watching

I find it hard to talk about sickness when I’m not the one who is sick. This might come as a surprise. After all, I blog about Watching. I’ve written thousands of words on the topic, and spent hundreds of hours thinking about it.

But I still find it hard.

Talking about sickness is hard because words diminish

I really struggle with this. Every time I open a word document or begin a conversation with someone about a heart issue, I get a familiar ‘tugging’ feeling. It’s sort of like regret.

Because when words express our thoughts and feelings they inevitably reduce them. I love words, but words are not everything. Words only scrape the surface of the huge beast that being is.

Continue reading “Talking about chronic illness: Why I find it hard to talk about Sickness and Watching”