Posted by juliebernal | Filed under Chronic Illness/Rare Disease
May 9, 2012
When getting any bad news, it seems to happen in slow motion…and seems to be the clearest and blurriest moments in one’s life. It is something that is stuck on replay…until the next bad news starts the whole cycle over again. It works the same when getting really great news too.
I’ve been watching movies my whole life…these movies have played out the emotions of what one should go through when a loved one is sick or dying. I have been prepairing myself for these emotions my whole life. Watching and thinking, “How sad and heartbreaking.” It is one of the most surreal feelings when you are the one on the other end – the sick one.
How do you cope with your feelings? How do you cope with your family’s feelings? How do you tell your family the news? How often can you truly talk about how you are “truly” feeling? How often should you just say you are fine, when clearly you are not? When is it okay to admit that you are not okay without feeling guilty about not “fighting” hard enough? When is the time right…for anything and everything? This is when I think a support group is really helpful. Because all the feelings and questions are just a normal way to feel when trying to cope.
I am a happy person. I smile often and I truly enjoy my life and I’m thankful for everyday. But, I’m also learning how to cope with being sick. I try my best and try to live each day to the fullest. Some days illness takes away some of the most simple joys – but I can still find a reason to smile at least once in the day – even if my day may be hard. And for me – that makes it all worth the fight. The little moments. Life is short. And I’m not really afraid of dying but more afraid of not living – being stuck in a body that keeps me from doing so. The fact is – we are all dying. Some faster than others. I try to make the most of my time the best way I know how. I can’t really give advice on the best way to cope. For me, I go through every emotion. I cry, laugh, get mad about it, research everything I can about it, feel like it’s the end, then later feel filled with hope. Some days I will avoid talking about it by saying I’m fine or by changing the subject, then other days I just need to talk about it as if it was a fact sheet – no emotions…then days of…”Oh wow, this is my life? How and when did this happen? Will it ever get better?”
So, how to cope? There is not one perfect way to cope. Illness is hard. We just need to try to get by the best way we can. And hopefully the ones who really care will stick around through all the emotions. Because we all cope in our own way.