Many people who deal with an illness, be it medical, mental health or substance abuse, feel alone. Statistically one in five people suffer with some kind of illness in their lifetime. Unfortunately most people do not seek help! You are not alone! There are treatment options and support networks out there for you to access.
In order to avoid needless suffering it is important to be clear about what issues you are dealing with. Many wrongly believe their symptoms are caused by a personal weakness so they suffer unnecessarily. Work to recognize the difference between a serious illness and everyday problems of life.
Healthy people have a positive self-image and can relate successfully to others. They are able to handle life’s everyday challenges and changes as well as the traumas and transitions of life. How is this possible you may ask? Here are some suggestions:
TAKE A REALISTIC APPROACH: Accept a challenge. Take command of a situation. If there is a job to do, get it done without ruffling anyone else’s feathers. Set goals and keep those in perspective as you see those as part of a larger purpose. Enlist cooperation rather than arouse antagonism. Encourage cooperation and compromise.
LEARN TO RECOGNIZE AND EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS: Whether your feelings are “good” or “bad”, acknowledge them, and then express them as soon as possible in an appropriate place and time. Pent-up feelings can lead to anger and depression. Talk matters over with a trusted person as this may help you to think more clearly.
DON’T BROOD: Look for a simple change of pace or a refocusing of energy. Do something positive and useful about an issue instead of brooding.
PROCEED ONE STEP AT A TIME: To escape the feeling that you are trapped, put one foot ahead of the other and work toward a solution. This approach helps you to feel that you are able to handle a situation. You will be surprised as to how much control you can exert in managing your life.
There are any number of resources in the community to help those people who are struggling with an illness. Should you require just a little additional help, reach out! Doctors, therapists, support groups, community organizations, social services, churches, are all available to lend a helping hand. You are not alone!
“We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging.” — Hunter Campbell “Patch” Adams