When you are dealing with chronic illness, befriending your journey is like peeling an onion.

You open the bulb and cry some while you peel and process a layer. You live a little while, discovering more, and then you process another layer and cry some more. In my experience, there is a rhythm of discovery, grieving and recovery. I’ve written about it in Dancing with Monsters.

  • You experience new symptoms, or a return of old symptoms. (Overwhelm)
  • You enter a time of darkness and grief. (Incubation)
  • You find a way of making adjustments and learning a new normal. (Reconciliation)
  • You find ways of returning to what you love and moving toward joy. (Rededication)

I cycle through these movements over and over again.

Like any befriending process, it grows deeper over time.

It has been 37 years since my diagnosis. I have not made friends with the diagnosis. I am still enraged and heartbroken by it. I have, however, made friends with this journey… This awkward, sometimes shadowed and yet jewel-studded path. There have been many gifts along the way and I would not be who I am today were it not for the suffering I have endured and the wisdom it has led me to seek.

May you  befriend your journey.

How do you muddle through the dark stuff to get to the light? What works for you