Bad diagnosis? Very bad diagnosis? Are you trying to keep it together for family and friends?
There are days when you are so freakin’ tired and scared out of your socks. You beg and plead with God, “Please let me see my daughter make it through high school.” You hold on to every slimmer of hope, every promise of possibility. You believe in miracles. Other days, you say, “Ok, God, just do what you need to do. Let me learn the lesson and if it is death, then, make it peaceful. I am tired of trying so hard.”
It hurts. Medicine is supposed to make it all better, but, right now, it hurts a lot and you just want them all to take their sweet smiles and awful procedures and back the hell off. Really. Now. Back it up. Back off. Leave you alone.
And the looks in their eyes -- brimming with tears – are full of concern. They are completely and utterly powerless. They make tea, soft conversation, fuss, and fidget. Oh, boy, this is hard as you try to make them feel better. And you love them for loving you so much. You don’t want them to hurt, but it’s inevitable because this is what loved ones do. They want to help you deal with your pain and help you find a healing answer.
But this is hard -- hard for you and hard for them. You hate being this vulnerable, this needy. They’re not used to seeing you this way, either. This stinks.
Could we have a clean up on aisle 4 and start this all over again? No bad news, maybe a simple scare – as if that could turn the tide of this health tsunami that has become a runway train into your new world of being the patient. You are ready to scream. This was not the plan.
You think of the “if only’s” to propel in you in a new direction. Yes, now, I will take care of myself. Honest. But you know this is bigger than more greens and the right combination of supplements. Genetic predisposition, roll of the dice, spin of the karmic wheel, random acts of the universe, mutant cells that have grown sticky and spiky, whatever the raison d’etre, it is what it is. And, now, it is yours to handle. Oh, yippee….
This is your new reality. How do you deal with a bad health diagnosis?
Give yourself time to process the news you have received. Your days now have new priorities.
Be kind to yourself. There is no right way or wrong way to deal with health hell. There is only the way that works for you.
Breathe nice, long, slow deep breaths. It is life-giving, relaxing, centering, and does wonders for your cells.
When you are on overload, visualize wrapping yourself up in an egg of translucent blue light. It works as a protective barrier.
Aim to think pro-actively versus reactively.
Rest as much as possible.
Get some sunlight.
When you are ready, ask for help. We humans like to help one another. It is both a gift to ask and a gift to receive.
Information is power. A second opinion, treatment options, and alternative methods are good to explore.
Don’t be shy. It’s ok to ask your doctor questions – and many of them. Remember: you hired your doctor for his/her medical expertise.
When your mind is on overload, bring a friend and take notes at your appointments.
Forgive the jerks. It’s not worth your energy to get worked up about their antics.
Trust your inner voice.
Be gentle with yourself. There is a connection with the mind and body. When you are physically vulnerable, you are also emotionally vulnerable.
Get smart about pain management. Minimize the need to white-knuckle your way through it.
Feeling is an important part of healing. Give yourself the space to express your feelings. It could be a talk with your best friend, spilling on the pages of your journal, writing letters to those you love, painting a picture, dancing it out in the living room, or working in the garden.
Allow joy and happiness, love and connection to be frequent visitors. They shift the energies.
Listen to your dreams.
Create regular quiet time for yourself. It is soothing, comforting, and helps you maintain your equilibrium.
When possible, play.
Call in your angels or ancestors, whomever you speak to within the sacred place of your being. Surrender what you can. Kiss it to God. Find solace and comfort in the expanded view. As someone wise said, “Rest in the unseen arms of God.”
Be true to yourself.
Think of what lights you up and gives you pleasure. Commit to that which feeds your soul and makes you happy. It’s good medicine.
Be present. This is your life.
Listen to your body.
Relish the love that surrounds you.
Lead from your heart.
Psychologist, Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is the author of the Amazon best-selling Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl and a contributing author to the Shift Awareness series best-selling anthologies, 2012: Creating Your Own Shift and The Sacred Shift: Co-creating Your Future in a New Renaissance. Adele’s next book is Making Peace with Suicide. You can learn more about Adele and her thinking http://adeleryanmcdowell.com/