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Q: I am dealing with a mystery illness that no-one (myself included) knows how to cure. How do I cope with this?
A: Excellent question and thank you (as this is a response that I probably need to hear right now), but first can I just say that I empathise with your circumstance. Illness sucks in any form, particularly chronic illness, yet it can also expose, or you can discover some amazing parts of yourself that… eek delusional ranting.
But hey, I hear you and see you,
Anyways let’s get to this thing… so firstly I’ll run off from a perspective on chronic illness (that you’re probably very aware of, still…), so flat out it’s like you’re living a double life. Half of you is the ‘sick person’ and the other half is, simply put, with that you’re trying to live. Now also depending on the seriousness of your illness these percentages may vary (like I probably live at 75% shit and 25% free), and this is a fluid relationship depending on the day.
Still, and what I wanted to point out here is that there is a part of your life that will be okay (no matter how miniscule) and what I’d say is to really try and focus or hone in on that. Which sure isn’t always easy but this is unbelievably important – especially in coping – also, this is by no means meant to minimise what you’re going through. Like more so, simply when you’re in full flight work mode (sick person mode), just day dream or plan, it gives you something to live for.
Also, maybe a random inclusion here but… I’m not all that into acceptance, I much prefer the notion of letting go.
And now to the crux of the whole thing, and yo I’’m not going to blow smoke us your ass, mystery illness is a TOTAL FREAKIN BITCH. Like Nurse Rached nasty. It is unfair, it does create a lot of uncertainty, your life is a ‘new normal’ – all of which are your path and your journey. And this is pure and simple truth, and the sooner you can get your head around this I reckon the better off you’ll be. But man this can be hard, it is a process, just be as easy on yourself as you can.
Sorry, I’m just not sure what ‘stage’ of your illness you’re up to so I’m trying to create a fuller picture to hopefully help with context.
But to delve more into this mystery illness (and coping) thing, again I’m not going to lie, so honestly you will probably always be a work in progress. Your search will be all-encompassing as to will be your personal development journey. And look I can’t promise you that you’ll ever find your answers either, but what I will say, man the search is a pretty bloody exciting adventure (yep just like this you’ll need to shift the way that you look at things). So sure it’s not ideal, sure it can be frustrating, but gees what and interesting experience and a story to tell!?
Blah, alright now to put it another way, it’s like shifting from ambition and convention to finding meaning.
Just never give up on searching and you’ll find it.
And blah, blah… then to a few other viewpoints that have helped me along the way… so of course there’s that keep searching bit (as I just mentioned – but want to emphasise) then I also always found that being left with no diagnosis gave me hope (I could go into this as to why but I won’t). Also another couple of sound philosophies that I’ve found are don’t compare, keep on chugging and to always find new projects to do. Projects I’d say are extremely extremely important as they keep you moving forward and keep you ‘living’. Distraction isn’t always a bad thing – especially when used as a tool to cope.
Most importantly though, as the biggest factor(s) in coping I believe, as an individual you need to find a purpose (a reason to live). And something far beyond the constraints of an illness. Or try to make your ‘living percentage’ from above bigger. Plus, to then take this further, ‘living’ is about finding something to love. And as I use writing, embracing that something you truly love will help bring you a certain amount of peace (and thus to cope better). Well fingers crossed.
Hope this helps.
Oh and remember, in tomorrow there always lies the opportunity for a miracle