Emotion, yet peace.
This is where it all starts. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness and learning to manage its challenges can be an emotional process. The point isn’t to stamp out emotions. The way to find peace is to acknowledge them, feel them, and then let them go. It’s not a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing process that requires continual effort, but it’s worth it.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
When you’re first diagnosed, there’s going to be a lot you don’t know. You’re probably going to experience information overload. So slow down. Get yourself a notebook, or a note-taking app, and write down questions as they come. You don’t have to know everything at once. Try taking one question a day and going to an appropriate source — a friend, a health care provider, or a confidant in your chronic illness community. Giving yourself time to absorb knowledge is important.
Passion, yet serenity.
Many people diagnosed with a chronic illness become passionate advocates for that community. Whether it’s research or patient outreach or fundraising, finding new passions is great. But make sure you’re taking time for yourself too. Take care of you first, so you have the energy to share with others.
Chaos, yet harmony.
When you’re first diagnosed, you’re going to want to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can. And then you’re going to want to take that knowledge and overhaul your life. But changing everything all at once can lead to chaos instead of making your life better. Making small, gradual changes where you can, instead of huge, overarching ones, are a better way to make sure your new habits stick.
Death, yet the Force.
There are going to be things you used to be able to do that you may not be able to do anymore — at least not at first. There may be things you’ve wanted to do your whole life that seem more difficult now. While it may seem like your old life has “died,” you have the opportunity to design a new, fulfilling life with new adventures ahead of you. And you might be surprised how your past loves inform your new ones. The Force represents how everything is intertwined, so be open to the new connections life wants to show you.