‘I trust you.’ ‘I believe you.’ ‘Okay.’ Expressions of trust can seem simple, and can be a great gift to those who receive them. When we trust another person, we show respect, bolster confidence, and validate experience.
We are effectively saying, ‘I hear you, I believe you know what you’re talking about, and I am going to assume that you are capable and autonomous until proven otherwise.’ We are demonstrating a ‘firm belief in someone’s reliability, ability and truthfulness’ (thank you, Oxford Dictionary).
So far that sounds quite straightforward.
Yet in the context of chronic illness, trust can often be accepting your chronically ill Loved One’s assessment of their capabilities, believing their description of the situation, and assuming they have valid ideas, dreams and motivations.
Still sound simple?
Continue reading “Are Trust and Chronic Illness really compatible?”
Did you know that it’s impossible not to have expectations?
However vague, we always have some sense of what an event or a holiday or a job or a coffee-date will be like. Often, when we say we had “no expectations” what we really mean is we had “low expectations”.
Christmas and the holiday season bring a lot of expectations.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”? Food, fun, community, isolation, stress – whatever connotations you have, they will form part of your expectation for the season.
Christmas and the good thing about expectations
Chronic illness can make expectations necessary.
Continue reading “Expectations and why they’re good: Christmas”
In every day life, most of us depend on our health – for the future, for happiness, for security. When your health or the health of a loved one is ripped away because of chronic illness, it’s easy to be left despondent.
After that awful, sinking feeling of having the foundation of your life pulled out from underneath your feet, our natural response it often to quickly rebuild.
We hunt desperately for a new foundation, a new hope. But what will it be? Sometimes it’s easy to break our hope into little bits and place it in different baskets.
3 places not to place your hope in during chronic illness
ONE: Medical Intervention
Continue reading “3 places not to place your hope in during chronic illness (and one place you need to!)”
Happy New Year!
It’s that time again.
The time when we celebrate new beginnings and new life.
Fresh starts and bright futures.
The New Year is a wonderfully invigorating time. It’s so empowering to be able to ‘reset’ your life, to hope anew, to re-make plans.
Yet as lovely as it is, sometimes we don’t have the emotional (or physical) energy to look forward. There are seasons where life has worn us down and we don’t dare envision a better year ahead.
In chronic illness, there is often no healing to look forward to. Only the hard reality that this is just going to get worse. Even in diseases which aren’t degenerative, times goes on, bodies get older, and circumstances get more difficult.
Perhaps this year you are in this camp. The ‘I find it hard to have hope’ camp. The ‘there are not going to be any brighter futures for me’ camp.
If this is the case, I’m not going to try and convince you that you’re wrong. That you should hardheadedly believe that ‘things WILL get better’.
Instead, I’m going to recommend that instead of celebrating Beginnings this New Year, you celebrate Endings.
Continue reading “Celebrate Endings not Beginnings this New Year”
I am not going to say that I am thankful for my mum’s diagnosis. I’m not at that stage yet, and I’m not sure if I ever genuinely will be. Yet these past two weeks have left me with much to be thankful for.
So much more than I expected.
Yet I hesitate to share this reality, because it sounds too saccharine.
‘Practising gratitude’ has become a stock ‘self-care’ practice over the last few years and so I am scared of being ‘cliché’.
Not because clichés are wrong or embarrassing (we can’t all be hipsters and there’s really nothing new under the sun!) but because I don’t want my thankfulness to be seen as something artificial.
I am not thankful because I ‘ought’ to be, or because I ‘have’ to be, or because the Bible says I should be. I am thankful because I genuinely have a lot to be thankful for.
Last but not least, I can be thankful because I hold onto a Hope which exists in the aftermath. In the face of suffering and cancer leading to death forever, I would find it hard to be thankful for these things. Yet because I know these little bursts of light are only glimmers of what will come after death, I find I can be thankful.
And so I rejoice and I cry, and I do both at the same time and that does not reduce the potency of either.
Continue reading “I am thankful (sorry it’s cliche!)”