Chronic illness, including chronic pain, affects more than just your body. It affects your emotions and mental state, relationships, work and home. You wonder what caused the illness and how to cope with it. You blame yourself. You miss who you used to be and the things you used to be able to do. Your body is exhausted but your mind won’t shut off so you can sleep. You feel anxious and sad, isolated, left out and hate the unpredictability of it all. Maybe you have tried different diets and all kinds of doctors. Seeing a new doctor brings as much dread as anticipation. You worry about what the new doctor will say and if you will leave the doctor feeling heard and validated or dismissed.
Ways that chronic illness affects people:
Grief over loss of self, who you “used to be”, and what you used to be able to do
Relationship changes with family and friends because you are no longer able to spend time or do things as much as or as reliably as before
Less able to do things, including household tasks, driving, going out to movies or dinner, playing with or caring for children or grandchildren, enjoying hobbies or reading or exercise
Work changes, such as having to reduce hours or stop working completely
Finances change due to medical expenses and having less income
Dietary changes due to the illness or to help improve your condition, and the frustrations this can cause when you are too tired to cook or have to go to a family dinner
And more grief as you experience these repeatedly
You want to let your guard down and talk about the fear and the fatigue. You want to talk to someone who knows what it is like, and you don’t want to be told to adjust to a “new normal”. I can do these things for you.
Learning to cope with chronic illness has been one of the hardest things I have ever done; I get what it’s like to have fatigue and feel anxious about my health. I know that every day can be different, that it can be hard to predict how you will feel from morning to afternoon or even hour to hour. The emotional toll brought on by chronic illness affects our ability to manage our illness. Learning how to manage the emotional side can help to reduce the impact of your illness.
You don’t have to go through this all alone; I can help you learn how to manage the emotional side of chronic illness. Make the call today to get started.