“I can’t believe what I’m managing to get through.” ~Frank Bruni
My worst fear was inflicted upon me three months ago: a cancer diagnosis—non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Out of nowhere!
Truth be told though, lots of awful things that happen to us come suddenly out of nowhere—a car accident, suicide, heart attack, and yes, a diagnostic finding. We’re stopped in our tracks, seemingly paralyzed as we go into shock and dissociative mode.
My world as I knew it stopped. It became enclosed in the universe of illness—tiny and limited. I became one-dimensional—a sick patient.
And I went into shock. To the …
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” ~Hemingway
We all know of post-traumatic stress (PTS) but how many of us know of post-traumatic growth (PTG), a very hopeful and attainable way of life beyond the loss, adversity, and trauma we’ve experienced? It’s a term that was coined in the 1990s and is becoming more popular now as positive psychology and the specific area of resiliency-building have gained momentum in our society.
What is post-traumatic growth? It’s positive change and growth that comes about as a result of an adversity or loss. It is channeling …
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~Viktor Frankl
I first got wind of this transformative concept when I was a teenager reading Man’s Search For Meaning.
It has played beautifully into what has become my life theme: how people transcend their adversities. I’ve forever been inspired by how (some) people can go through so much and yet be able to rise above and live well. I call it living well despite…
It seems to boil …
“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown
I used to be a “why” person. Why, you ask? Because after receiving my middle daughter Nava’s diagnosis of a neurological condition, I got really hooked into “why me” mode, and it just ate away at every fiber of my core.
I obsessed over “why.” Why did it happen? I needed to make sense out of a senseless fluke of nature.
I was devastated and beside myself with the raging emotions of grief—the anger, bitterness, and resentment—and the dance in my head …
“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life but the ability to cope with it.” -Unknown
When my daughter, Nava, was critically ill, on a ventilator in a drug-induced coma for three months, one of the ICU doctors called me in after a couple of weeks to tell me that if she survives, it will be a long road.
He started writing out a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication to “help” me through this horrific ordeal. I certainly don’t fault him here as this was an extreme acute situation and he didn’t know if I could …
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“They” say things happen at the “right” time. For me hearing a presentation, live, by Jack Canfield, came at the perfect time.
I was in San Diego, the traveling babysitter for my precious 5-month old granddaughter, while my daughter attended a nutrition conference. It was an all around win-win situation—a new place to sightsee and of course spend quality (alone) time with baby Rachel and daughter Penina.
When I …
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Walsh
Have you ever thought about doing something way out there—and then done it?
I became intrigued with Patch Adams and his philosophy of medicine and healing after seeing the movie about him, starring Robin Williams.
This came on the heels of my daughter Nava’s miraculous survival and full recovery from a medical crisis that involved a year-long hospitalization. As her mother, I felt a renewed sense of life. Or, as I like to refer to it: I truly felt I had received a second lease on life.
I was …
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb
Two years ago, after hearing Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, talk about setting up one’s own blog, I went home and did just that. It had been something I had thought of doing, one day, when I would get over my “fear” of technology and decide I can do this.
Her talk made it sound so easy that I sat down and went for it. And I did it; I set up my own …
“The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” ~C.C. Scott
A blueberry muffin, that’s the last thing we spoke about before she went under.
I didn’t know it then, but it was to be the final conversation my (middle) daughter and I would have for a very long time. I was trying to distract Nava by talking about food; in this case, the promise of the rest of her muffin when she came back from the bronchoscopy.
We were thrown a steep curve ball out of left field when Nava went for an exploratory procedure and …
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
Listening. It’s a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilized.
I propose that if we all learned to listen better, there would be less of a need for therapists. I myself am a social worker and have been providing counseling to clients for years.
I have often felt that I was working as a well-paid or glorified listener; that if “lay” people could just listen better, there would be less of a need for professional …
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown
My daughter Nava suffered a medical crisis and was hospitalized for one year. She was in a drug-induced, paralyzed coma on a ventilator for three months, teetering on the seesaw of life and death, much closer to the death side.
Miraculously surviving, she moved on to a rehab hospital for the next nine months where she had to relearn each and every body and motor function. Two miracles occurred: one, she survived; and two, she had a complete recovery, with her life back as before.
Because I have my daughter back, whole and …