Excerpts from I Will Survive: Techniques for Coping with a Health Challenge

from Chapter 4 – Just Kidding…

When dealing with a health challenge – either their own or that of a loved one – teens require special love and care from the adults and siblings around them. It is natural for a teen dealing with a health challenge to feel frightened, confused, angry and even alienated from others.
Think back to when you were a teenager. Who were the most important people in your life? Who were the people with whom you shared your hopes, dreams, fears and secrets? Most teenagers share openly with their friends. Right? Where do teenagers facing health challenges or who love someone face health challenges turn for support? Their friends? Are these friends emotionally equipped to help? Chances are they are not! How can YOU help?

from Chapter 5– Leap of Faith…

When you open your eyes every morning, you have a choice to make. In the 16+ hours until you crawl back under the sheets, you are the only one who can determine how your day will go. It’s true. You can resolve before your toes actually touch the carpet that you are going to have a good day. How? It’s all in your attitude.
For this exercise, make up your mind that this is going to be a good day. This is easier said than done, but it can happen. Perhaps start out small. Resolve that you are going to try to smile and be happy for the next two hours. It may sound corny, but when you wear a smile on your face, it trickles down to your psyche.

from Chapter 6– C-O-P-E (Courage- Confidence- Optimism- Prioritize- Empowerment…Plus a Little More)…

Are you overloaded? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Can you remove some of the daily “have to’s” and replace them with a few want to’s?
Before you crawl into bed in the evening, do you feel as though your day lacked any sense of accomplishment? Do you wish that there were just a few more hours in the day? Is the health challenge and activities associated with the diagnosis taking over? Do you feel like shedding this life and returning to a more simple time? You are not alone!
If you have recently been diagnosed with a health challenge or love someone who has and are serving in the caregiver role, you may be overwhelmed. A health challenge often introduces chaos into the lives of everyone it touches and chaos is one of the chief catalysts for stress. It’s hard to cope when you are under stress.
If it is your own personal health challenge, you may not feel well enough to tackle your daily routines. Clothes might be piling up near the washer, beside the hamper or most likely on the bedroom floor. Mail may remain unopened on the kitchen table and bills may need to be paid. Maybe your neighbors suspect that you have moved because your lawn has not been mowed in weeks. Sound familiar?
If you are the caregiver, are you neglecting others who count on you for love, friendship or rides to softball practice such as your spouse and children?
It really does get better! A balance can be achieved.
While extra hours in the day would relieve some of the pressures, fact it, most people would just find other “have to’s” to fill in the time. And, we all know that adding an extra hour or two each day may be a possibility in Mr. Rogers’ fictional town of “Make Believe” but it isn’t a possibility in the real world where we live. Actually, effective prioritizing is the best way to weave a few of those “want to’s” into your life.

Corinne Laboon will bring the message of I Will Survive to your civic, community, fraternal, health care, religious or social organization.  For more information about having the author speak to your group, contact her directly at laboon1@pair.com.