Friday, July 1, 2016

Living with Chronic Disease: Living with Ambiguity

Listening to Krista Tippett’s interview of Pauline Boss, a researcher specializing in “Ambiguous Loss,” it struck me how ambiguous chronic disease is and why this causes anxiety, fear, and  frustration since there is no “closure”-cure- or end point. Some days you feel good, other days not. Some times the tests results are very positive and sometimes, in spite of all you’ve done, they’re terrible. Various people tout cures, but they don’t materialize.

 While this definitely feeds back into last week’s article “When Chasing the Cure is Wrecking Your Life,”  how does one learn to be comfortable with the ambiguity?”

Consider the following:

• Recognize that this is how things are. It’s not a value judgment and it doesn’t mean that how things are today will be better or worse tomorrow. It just means that for this moment in time, this is what’s happening and stop struggling against it as the struggle itself can cause anxiety and unnecessary suffering. Acceptance is a perfectly good way to describe it.

• Trust the process recognizing that uncertainty and risk are part of life and that you have the ability to adapt.

• Everyday you have choices to make. Even if you don’t have all the information possible, make ones that support health and well-being.

 “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  Gilda Radner

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