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Redefining Yourself – Living Well With Chronic Illness

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:01pm

Living Well With Chronic Illness – Redefining Yourself – by Catherine Morgan

This issue is so important, and that is because; When you suffer from chronic illness, although you are being treated (even successfully), going back to your former life before you were sick may be impossible. I hear this all the time from others suffering with CFS and FM, and I am certain it holds true for many others suffering with chronic disease as well. The biggest problem, is that many of us “define” ourselves through our work, or what we do for a living. Quite frankly, this is a bad idea even if you are a healthy person. None of us “are” our work. Our work is not who we are, it’s simply what we do. But, we all know it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when out of nowhere, we are unable to do what we do.

So….What do you do, when this happens to you? Well, it’s not so different than when a stay at home mom sees her last child off to college. They call it “Empty Nest Syndrome” for her, and it can be quite devastating for a women who has devoted her life up until then (usually at least 18 years or more) to being the best mom she could be, and doing it as a career. Now she is left with no-one to mother, and she loses her sense of “self”. At this point, she can choose to except her new life and find new and exciting things to do with herself (maybe go back to school, get back into a career, take up a hobby, or maybe travel), or she can choose to be sad and depressed and feel like her life is over because she has no-one left to take care of. It’s not the same as losing your identity due to illness, but it is an example of seeing your life (or identity), as half full or half empty.

Read the rest of this entry »

Living Well With Chronic Illness – Redefining Yourself – by Catherine Morgan

This issue is so important, and that is because; When you suffer from chronic illness, although you are being treated (even successfully), going back to your former life before you were sick may be impossible. I hear this all the time from others suffering with CFS and FM, and I am certain it holds true for many others suffering with chronic disease as well. The biggest problem, is that many of us “define” ourselves through our work, or what we do for a living. Quite frankly, this is a bad idea even if you are a healthy person. None of us “are” our work. Our work is not who we are, it’s simply what we do. But, we all know it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when out of nowhere, we are unable to do what we do.

So….What do you do, when this happens to you? Well, it’s not so different than when a stay at home mom sees her last child off to college. They call it “Empty Nest Syndrome” for her, and it can be quite devastating for a women who has devoted her life up until then (usually at least 18 years or more) to being the best mom she could be, and doing it as a career. Now she is left with no-one to mother, and she loses her sense of “self”. At this point, she can choose to except her new life and find new and exciting things to do with herself (maybe go back to school, get back into a career, take up a hobby, or maybe travel), or she can choose to be sad and depressed and feel like her life is over because she has no-one left to take care of. It’s not the same as losing your identity due to illness, but it is an example of seeing your life (or identity), as half full or half empty.

Read the rest of this entry »

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