Coping Skills: Part Two

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thank you for coming and hanging out with me today. I am glad that you are here.

Today I want to revisit the topic of how I cope with my chronic illness. I made a previous post about this that focused on the philosophy that I use when thinking about my chronic illness that allows me to better manage the challenges I face. You can read that here:

Coping with Chronic Illness

You can also listen to the pod cast here:

Coping with Chronic Illness

But I am revisiting the topic to talk about it from a more practical perspective. I want to talk about some coping skills or tools that you can use to help get you through the tough times. As I got to working on this, I realized that there was a lot of material here, so I’ve broken it into two parts. This is the promised second post about coping skills.

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Shift the Focus

A year ago, a dear friend of mine lost his long battle with depression and died by suicide.

I always imagined that someone I loved committing suicide would make me angry. But of all the complex feelings that I have had, anger has never been amongst them. While I mourn and suffer because of his choice to end his life, I also understand why he chose to do so. His death is a testimony of our failure as a society. He spent most of his life dedicated to helping others with mental illness because he understood how deep those struggles effect you. Despite all his training and years of experience as a psychiatric nurse, he was not immune any more than anyone else.

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Language Has Power

The way that we talk about things matters. The language that we use effects the way that we think about and engage with a topic. When we choose to use positive language, we are more likely to think about and engage with the topic in a positive way. Like wise, negative language is more likely to evoke a negative response in us. This is important because our minds and bodies are connected. Our expectations can influence the outcomes. This is why the placebo effect exists. When we believe that we are getting treatment and are going to get better, we have a better chance of improving our physical well being; even if we aren’t getting treatment. This does not mean that we can magically cure ourselves of all ills with will power, positive thoughts or good vibes. But what it does mean, is that we can help our bodies foster an enivornment for healing.

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Of No Consequence

“Sometimes [things will] seem, by contrast, inconsequential, and you’ll wonder what business they have in [our lives]…Think of these fragments as the shavings off a carpenter’s floor, swept together after some great work has been made. The master piece has been taken from the workshop, but what might we learn from a study of some particular curl of wood about the moment of creation? How here the carpenter hesitated, or there moved to complete a form with unerring certainty? Are these shavings then, that seem at first glance redundant, not also part of the great work, being that which has been removed to reveal it?”

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