As we know, chronic illness goes on and on and on.
There is no end, no use by date. This is a problem.
Because we are only human. We find it difficult to stretch out our emotions. A state of perpetual excitement, for example, is extremely difficult to maintain.
So is a state of sympathy.
Yet what happens when the tragedy has not passed (and may not pass) and our sympathetic feelings, our desire to be involved, our sadness in what is, has come to an end?
Do we simply give up?
Do we stop Watching?
First of all let us ask ourselves a probing question:
Why is lack of sympathy a problem?
Why is it a problem that we no longer feel interested in our Loved One’s suffering? Why is it an issue that we don’t wince as they wince any longer?
Is it really that wrong?
I suspect we want to instinctively answer ‘yes’. Yes, there is something wrong when we don’t care about suffering anymore.
That answer is right.
But it’s also wrong.
Everything becomes normal
Continue reading “4 things to do when you run out of sympathy”
Have you ever felt like a burden? To those around you? To your friends, your spouse, your community?
It’s easy to feel doubly burdensome when someone you love is ill or going through a tough time. You don’t want to add to their struggles… and yet somehow you accidentally end up doing so!
Are you a burden?
Sorry, but you are a burden
A burden is something troublesome. Something hard to get rid of. We can be burdened by duty, worry, conflict or disease.
But more often than not, our real burdens are people.
All relationships are burdensome. All attachments hurt. Friendship is ecstasy and agony.
When we love someone we worry about them. We weep when they weep, we laugh when they love. It is people – family, neighbours, friends, spouses – which hamper our futures and make our decisions doubly difficult.
Continue reading “Yes, you are a burden to your chronically ill friend…”
How do you respond when a family member or friend is diagnosed with a chronic illness?
How can you possibly support them in their grief?
There are many practical, emotional and spiritual ways you can (and should!) love and care for them – but there’s one thing that I think is most important. It’s a mindset, not a method…
The one rule of a chronic illness diagnosis:
Do not judge.
1. Everyone’s diagnosis is different
A diagnosis might be quick – or drawn out
For some people diagnosis comes quickly, a lightning spring shower swooping out of nowhere, tearing the sky apart. One moment they are healthy and happy – and the next they’re crying in pain and fear.
For others it’s more gradual, like following a paper trail, picking up pieces of the puzzle one at a time until everything makes sense, and the sneaking suspicion is confirmed.
It’s important to remember that however a chronic illness diagnosis begins, it still must be lived through, and this can take a very long time.
Continue reading “The one rule to survive a chronic illness diagnosis”