Chronic Illness – The Users Guide
“Miraculously recover or die. That’s the extent of our cultural bandwidth for chronic illness.” ― S. Kelley Harrell
What is Chronic Illness?
One of the definitions of a #Chronic Illness is “suffering from a disease or ailment of long duration or frequent recurrence”, from the Mirriam-Webster dictionary. Long duration or frequent recurrence are key to the topic, where you might be suffering from a condition that may be painful, debilitating, isolating, frustrating, stressful, depressing, expensive, perhaps causes you mobility issues, relationship problems, loss of mental clarity or faculties and/or other sensory issues and much more, and you have to endure it over a long period of time, or have frequent recurrences of it!
That sets the scene for some intense personal challenges!
Is Chronic Pain the same as Chronic Illness?
Wikipedia says “Chronic pain is defined as pain that has lasted longer than three to six months”, and “pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing“.
Chronic Pain can be caused by a variety of Chronic Illnesses, and for the exercise, if you are suffering from Chronic Pain with a long duration or frequent recurrences, the difference is probably largely irrelevant. The only major difference that counts may be the long-term prognosis, and we’ll get to that shortly.
For both chronic illness and chronic pain, there are also the misunderstandings by other people about how severe your situation is, or whether it’s just ‘in your imagination’, and the guilt you personally suffer from being unable to do everything you once could, and would love to again! There is the eroding of your own sense of self-worth which is undermined even further by lack of understanding.
How do you manage living under these circumstances of Chronic Illness and pain?
The challenges are enormous and not to be sidestepped. Let’s look at some of the downstream effects of these challenges – you will probably relate to some or many of them.
Firstly, you may not feel well, in fact you may feel damned awful, and that is a challenge to the most resilient of people. It can get you down, because over time it wears you down.
However, when you add things like being unable to attend regular work because of your health challenges, a whole new set of challenges emerges – the probability of financial challenges compounding the health challenges. Add the cost of medications to your financial challenges and health issues and the stresses mount! Suddenly, you need to find a way to create some extra income, perhaps from home, starting with low working capital and lots of flexibility in your work schedule! Yes, it can be done, but perhaps you’ll need some fresh ideas to make it happen, from where you are now.
Emotionally, a chronic illness situation coupled with the financial challenges it brings can gnaw away at the best of attitudes and that’s before we even consider the prognosis of the condition.
What is the future with your Chronic Illness?
You must have asked yourself by now, what does my future with this chronic illness look like? Can it be cured or treated? Or do I have to learn to live with and manage this condition forever, unless someone discovers a miracle cure?
A very important question, because this is where your planning for the future must begin. What future are you planning for, and what limitations are there on goals you can set, because of your condition?
For example, if walking or running causes intense pain and there is little likelihood of that changing, setting a goal of running a marathon is ill-advised. In fact, it could be incredibly damaging emotionally to set a goal that will only cause frustration and disappointment and heartache.
What goals does your condition allow you to set?
Probably a better question, what goals does your condition require of you and position you best to aim for?
We have all heard people say things like “I am so grateful for my disease, because it made me realise such and such, and pointed me in the direction of So and So and my life is so much better and more fulfilled now”. That may be, but it’s a huge jump from the despair of your initial diagnosis, to making a statement as profound as this. Not everyone makes that leap. Many fall along the way. Many are unable to make the leap because acknowledgement of their condition is too demoralising.
Is treatment or medication available or affordable for you, where you are? Or as with some conditions, the treatment is available overseas but not locally! A cruel irony. What if you don’t have a diagnosis yet? Another factor to consider. Again, this may require resources you don’t currently have to address this particular challenge, and a way to activate those resources.
How can you create an empowering new life, with your Chronic Illness?
The first thing to remember is that regardless of your intentions, any goal you set will, from time to time, be totally derailed by your chronic illness. This will happen to you – be prepared to accept that this is now part of your life. You will make plans to do certain things, or meet people at a certain time and place, and wake up on the day to discover that today, you aren’t going anywhere – your chronic illness has stepped in and changed your plans! That’s OK, because to do this right, you need to learn to build in that degree of flexibility. Getting to a point where you can accept this fact may be a huge goal in itself.
What you need is a supportive environment, a framework in which to run your life so that as much as possible of the daily challenges of being motivated and inspired, forward and outward thinking are handled for you. You need to have a goals framework in place that is flexible, and still inspirational. You need to be tracking your progress and successes, consolidating them so that you feel the experiences of success daily – regardless of the size of the success (everyone needs to do this) to continue to feel empowered.
In this supportive environment, you will develop a team around you, some close by and some on standby, but always there. You need your life organised so that you can get on with living it, regardless of the challenges you face. You also need to have all this done in just a few minutes a day, because sometimes, on some days, more than a few minutes will be too much to do.
You need a way to activate resources, to learn to generate an income from wherever you are, to create opportunities for yourself and those around you and in your team. You need a way to turn the tables in your favour.
Life Change 90 is such a supportive environment.
Look at what it can do for you. Life Change 90 provides a structured program that systematically:
- creates awareness of your issues and limitations
- teaches you how to change or improve them to the extent it is possible
- identifies and eliminates limiting fears, phobias, beliefs and habits
- consolidates your new awareness and better habits into unconscious success behaviours
- teaches you to set appropriate goals in all areas of your life and how to achieve them
- ensures your financial situation supports your new goals
- enables you to learn to create happiness in your new life
- and gives you the tools to maintain the successes you achieve for life.
Life Change 90 is a powerful, 90 day program with a few minutes of morning and evening activities that firstly set up your day with awareness of and habits for success, then reviews and consolidates your successes each evening.
Over three months you achieve greater clarity and a heightened awareness of any issues and limitations facing you and standing in your way of achieving your goals. You learn strategies, solutions and antidotes to those issues, and replace them with habits of success that become part of your subconscious programming. It can teach you strategies in all areas of your life, and teach you how to access those strategies and resources you don’t yet have. This programming automatically sets you up for success. Being embedded subconsciously as success habits gives you a lifelong program of continued consolidation of your successes.
For more information in the value of systems in changing your life around, this blog post could help.
How much does it cost?
Depending on your currency, it could be as little as the cost of a coffee a week. It is probable that within a fortnight, your new habits will have saved you more than the total cost of the 90 day program and that money will be in your bank account or wallet!
To learn more about Life Change 90 and how to integrate this program into your life, click the logo below.