Lessons Learned from Chronic Illness
Chronic illness has an uncanny ability to change your life. One moment you’re flying high, the next you’re worried about your health. You wonder whether you will ever get better.
People who spend an extended amount of time battling a disease learn a lot about what it’s like to be ill. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or you’re simply recovering from a broken leg.
Below are 5 things you’ll learn while you’re off work.
Things Can Be A Little Awkward
When you’ve just got a cold or the flu, the people around you will act pretty much the same as they’ve always done.
However, when you’ve got a disease which affects your ability to function or which threatens your life, then you suddenly notice that they change.
Many people often are unsure about how they should behave around a sick person. Because of this, you’ll find that some conversations can be quite awkward. How you react all depends on your personality. You may find yourself spending a lot of time simply reassuring people, even though you are the one who’s ill.
Money Is Tough
When you are sick, your ability to earn money decreases. Employee long term sickness is a big problem for both you and your employer.
You will often find that you have to spend a lot of time navigating the benefits system, trying to find out which payments you are entitled to. That will involve a lot of conversations with your employer as well as with your doctor.
Less Suddenly Becomes More
When you are healthy, you take a lot of things for granted. For instance, the laugh of a small child or a hug can get lost in the hustle and bustle of your day.
But when you have a chronic illness things change. You begin to notice all the smaller things in life that really make a difference. As a result, you start to learn that “less is more.“
When you suffer from a chronic disease, you have much more time to spend contemplating and reflecting on the nature of existence. You become far more mindful of the things which are going on around you. You have a lot more time for other people.
Even though you may not be working, new opportunities open up to expand your horizons in new and exciting ways.
You Learn About Change
Psychologists have known for a long time the fact that people discount the possibility of change in their lives. .
This is one explanation why people don’t listen to the authorities when they are told to evacuate their homes because of flooding or a storm. They just assume that things will never change and that life will carry on as normal.
Psychologists call this normalcy bias, and it is something that most healthy people have. But when you get sick, you suddenly realise that life is all about change.
The things that you used to be able to do you are no longer able to do. Suddenly the past it looks very different to the future. There is no “normal” anymore: there is just change.