We’re about to chat about something super important, but rather unconventional, today: how NOT to cope with chronic illness. Yeah, you heard right! Instead of sharing the usual wellness wisdom, let’s talk about what to avoid like the plague instead.
Chronic illnesses are like the annoying uninvited guests who refuse to leave your house party. They’re exhausting, frustrating, and, let’s be honest, downright depressing at times. But no matter how tempting it might be to handle these persistent pests in less-than-healthy ways, I promise, there are roads that are best left untraveled.
First on the no-no list is the tempting but treacherous path of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Now, we all enjoy a little pick-me-up now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of vino with friends or indulging in some extra chocolate when you’re feeling blue (did someone say self-care?).
But where we need to draw the line is when our glass of ‘happy juice’ or those non-prescribed pills become a crutch rather than a treat. When we start to use drugs or alcohol to numb our pain or give us a little flight from reality for an hour or two, then we are diving head-first into choppy waters that could drag us under.
Here’s the ugly truth: while that extra shot of tequila or that “harmless” little pill might provide a momentary escape, they are nothing more than band-aids trying desperately to cover a gaping wound that is only going to fester and turn gangrenous. If you are self-medicating right now, then you should definitely find out as much as you can about rehab for alcohol or drug use and speak to your physician about healthier coping methods.
Another classic way NOT to cope with chronic illness is the infamous art of denial. Living with a chronic illness can be devastating, so it is not surprising that many people who are diagnosed with one may want to make like an ostrich and bury their heads in the sand, but y’all know deep down that denial is not the way to move forward and live your bestest life as someone with an ongoing illness.
You may want to push through the pain, ignore your symptoms, and carry on like nothing’s wrong, but putting on a brave face and putting your illnesss on the backburner could make things so much worse than theta re right now.
Not only will you not be able to get the bolstering support of your loved ones if you don’t let them know what is really going on with you, but if you live in denial about the realities of your illness, then you could also end up neglecting your health or pushing yourself too far, resulting in even more pain and suffering down the line. Denial is not just a river in Egypt and denying the seriousness of your diagnosis is a bit like ignoring that ‘check engine’ light in your car until it’s too late and you’re stuck on the side of the road.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about isolation, another prime example of how NOT to cope with your chronic illness diagnosis. When you have been delivered a devastating blow about your health, it’s easy to think that no one else will understand what it’s like to be you in that very moment, and this might cause you to pull away from the friends and family you love so much, and who love you back in return. You may even stop doing the activities you love and cloister yourself away at home like a nun or a hermit of old, which can lead to mental illness.
Here’s the thing, though: chronic illness can definitely be a lonely, scary road with lots of twists and turns and difficult decisions to be made, but you really do not have to walk it alone. Having a support network who you can lean on and they will prop you up when you are feeling down, suffering in pain, or struggling to get to grips with what your illness means for you now, will make all the difference. You deserve to live a life filled with joy and happiness, and having good friends and family by your side, and engaging in lots of activities you love, is the bt way to make that happen, even if you do have a difficult diagnosis to deal with.
Coping with chronic illness is not always easy, but it is totally possible, and now you know a few things NOT to do, it will be much easier to build the life you deserve, Good luck, be happy!
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