Planning your own future when you have a chronically ill family member

Just because a door slams shut does not mean it is locked…

Sooner or later all of us want to look into the future. The time comes when we need to sit down with pen and paper and plan out our next few years. The problem with doing this as a Watcher is that chronic illness extends into the future too! It’s a big part of our life and we can’t ignore it or naively pretend that it will simply ‘go away’.

How then do we plan our future, keeping in mind our Loved One’s chronic illness?

Continue reading “Planning your own future when you have a chronically ill family member”

Help! I’m jealous of their chronic illness!

If you could pick an illness which one would you choose?

Imagine this. Or perhaps you don’t have to…

Your Loved One has lived with their chronic illness for ten years. There’s been highs and lows, but you’re just beginning to understand what life looks like for them and also for you.

Then a close friend receives a diagnosis. They’re sick. Chronically sick… perhaps with the same illness as your loved One, perhaps a slightly different one.

Everyone is dismayed and shocked. They surround the newly-diagnosed one with gifts of love and support. Maybe they look at you, and assume you too will visit and offer your help. After all, you and your Loved One are ‘old hands’.

Perhaps someone nudges you and quips that maybe the past suffering of your Loved One was preparation for loving this person – that all that agony was raising you up for “such a time as this.”

You know you should help. You know you should love. But instead you feel… jealous.

Continue reading “Help! I’m jealous of their chronic illness!”

How to write about Chronic Illness (Watchers, we are not Biographers)

Have you ever had the urge to make order out of chaos?

Are you ever tempted to sit down and try and order the pieces of your life? As you love and care for your sick Loved Ones, do you ever wish you could straighten your hardships out into a coherent narrative, one with a tidy moral and neat conclusion? Do you feel that if only you had a polished version of your life, it would be a enough to redeem your suffering, because then it would have a purpose?

In short, do you ever neglect your role as a Watcher in order to become ‘Biographer’?

This is what it looks like:

Continue reading “How to write about Chronic Illness (Watchers, we are not Biographers)”

Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018

We all like fresh starts, new years and clean slates. But with chronic illness these are often not possible. How then, can we celebrate the New Year?

As the old year ends and the New Year begins, society gears up to welcome in a new period of life. Parties and fireworks are often external signs of our joy and anticipation of a fresh start.

Many of us begin to make New Years resolutions… but the problem is these simply may not be applicable for you or your loved one suffering from a chronic illness.

Continue reading “Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018”

Christmas & Chronic Illness… friends or enemies?

One day Christmas will destroy Chronic illness, but in the meantime we need to survive it..

Chronic illness or Christmas? Which would you prefer?

I know which one I’d choose. But too often we don’t have a choice – and this is very evident during the holiday season.

Over Christmas we often spend more time with family, and for many of us, that means spending more time with Chronic Illness.

Chronic Illness doesn’t go on holidays over Christmas…

Continue reading “Christmas & Chronic Illness… friends or enemies?”

Prayer, chronic illness & healing (Part 1)

Praying for your chronically ill friend – the pros and cons.

Prayer. Healing. Chronic Illness.

These are tricky topics, and ones I’ve struggled with quite a bit. In these two posts you will find my thoughts… and why prayer has often seemed like a simple ‘wish’ when really it’s more like a magic wand.

Prayer, chronic illness & healing

Continue reading “Prayer, chronic illness & healing (Part 1)”

How to sympathise with “first world” problems

Some struggles win our sympathy easily – but what about those which don’t?

Some struggles win our sympathy easily.

My mother died.

I have cancer.

We are being evicted.

These announcements normally evoke an emotional response. We recognise them as huge, world-breaking problems. They are tragedies with capital ‘T’s.

For this reason it is often easier to sympathise with our chronically ill friend, than our whining-about-their-chipped-nails colleague. And yet, we’ve discussed that as humans (and even more so as Christ-followers) we really ought to sympathise with both.

Easy to say.

Hard to do.

Continue reading “How to sympathise with “first world” problems”