When I was growing up, a friend of mine told me, there will always be something that will throw your life off-kilter. It could be your job, your family, your love life or your health. Those words have rung true over the years as I faced many of life’s curve balls when I was least expecting it. Learning how to face and address life’s challenges is part life.
Two years ago, my life was interrupted when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As a result, I have had to re-evaluate my life and make new decisions as I am not the same person that I was prior to that life changing event. I am not the person I was before cancer, but I am still here and learning how to adjust to my new normal.
Here are seven things that helped me come through one of the most challenging times of my life.
Faith: Over the course of my illness, I realized how important my faith was. It was what helped me get through the most difficult time of my life. But as I looked back, I realized I have always relied on my faith to help me handle many of the challenges that came to me. Having faith helped me know that I was not alone and there was a higher power who has all the control. Putting my faith into the hands of my God, gave me the strength to focus on what I had to do to improve.
Family, Friends, and Colleagues: Family, friends, and colleagues are important to me as they are the ones who have helped me celebrate the good times and assisted me during the challenging times. Rekindling relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues is important.
Volunteering: Working and being active has always been important to me. When I became sick, I lost my job and a lot of what was important to me. As I work to come back, I have found volunteering a way to gain my confidence and learn what I want to do. I am involved in s number of meaningful projects that allow me to use my skills, share my expertise focus on what might be next. Volunteering also allows me to focus on people and things other than myself.
Exercise: Exercises is important when we are well, but when we lose our health, exercise takes on a new meaning. I learned that exercise helped me heal and regain my strength. I had to start slow and learn how to be safe due to the complications that I have from the chemotherapy. Small steps turned into bigger steps. As I continue to improve, I look forward to my exercise routine as it makes me feel good.
Reading: I have always enjoyed reading as it allows me to learn new things as well as to escape for a short time from the challenges of life. Today, it is easy to find books that I find interesting and access them on an I-Pad or computer without going to the bookstore or library. I read all types of writings and like to keep up to date with advances in healthcare. I also like to share articles I find that are pertinent to my field of practice. I also take the time to share information which keeps me connected to my practice.
Movies, travel and other forms of entertainment: Getting back after a life altering event is a part of healing. When I was sick, I gave up many of the things that I like to do as I was tired, not feeling well or did not want to be in crowds as my immune system was weakened and I was susceptible to infections. I gave myself the time to heal, and it has been fun to get back to going to the movies, going to a Baseball game and traveling.
Talk Therapy: During the time I was in active treatment, there were times when I felt confused, scared and worried. I was able to share this with my doctor, and he ordered a consult with a therapist. Having someone to talk to who is objective to your situation helps you put things into perspective. If you are going through a stressful time, ask to speak with someone. Don’t try to do it all yourself. There are people to help you, just ask.
These are a few of the things I tried as I worked to put my life back together after a life changing event. I share these tips in hopes they may give someone a few ideas that might help when struggling to come back after a setback. Feel free to share this post with those who you think might benefit from reading.
I would love to hear from you and what tools and activities you have used to help come back after a difficult time in your life. Please feel free to email me at [email protected]
Thanks and have a good week.