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Most of the people who write to me are sick, and very few are people who are looking out for their sick one. I'm especially pleased to have heard from you. It's good to know that there are people out there who are actively seeking to take care of their chronically ill loved ones. So many who write to me are alone, or feel alone.

I have, now, the advantage of having recovered to a great degree. I'm not free of symptoms but they are far less than they were and I have a much more normal life than I had even 2 - 3 years ago.

I have been through extended periods of anger, depression ... done my brooding and stewing ... lived in terror and dread of the present and the future ... longing for a past that was gone forever ... being furious with all the people who walked away from me, and with family members who acted like nothing was going on ... 

I tried back then to have a decent attitude about things because it made things easier to live with but it was a difficult thing to do when so much of life was so ... below par, at best ... and miserable at worst, with no foreseeable improvement ahead.

My life has improved because my health has improved, but for those who are still very ill, it's going to be harder to maintain a good mental perspective. It'll come and go. And alot of the time it will be more gone than coming.

You obviously care for your chronic very much. It's tough for you too. Hard to know what is the right thing, how to best help them ... what things make their life harder?

I can tell you this. Healthy people are going to make missteps. They have to do some guesswork, and they're not always going to get it right. But don't worry about that. The fact that you care and are trying to help goes a long way with a chronic, believe me.

My family doesn't always get it right but I've always known that in a world that mostly was indifferent to what I was going through, that would be quite willing to let me drown in silence ... my family cared enough to stay with me and protect me as best they could.

That is the greatest gift they could give me and it often was the only rope I clung to in the dark. I think your chronic probably knows this about you, and is thankful for you.

December 25, 2011 - 7:54am


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