20 Tips for Living Well with Chronic Pain and Illness
6. To the extent possible, stick with those who support you.
That said, some people may genuinely feel supportive of you, but not be good at showing it. We do a poor job in this culture of preparing people to be around illness and pain. For many people, supporting loved ones in need is an acquired skill.
7. Expect to be let down by friends and family now and then.
Everyone feels let down by others at times. More likely than not, it has to do with what’s going on in their lives, not yours.
8. With practice, you can turn envy and resentment into feeling happy for others.
It’s hard to be limited in what you can do, but feeling envious and resentful of others when they’re out and about having a good time only makes you feel worse—mentally and often physically. With practice, you can not only overcome envy and resentment, you can learn to be happy for others when they’re doing things you can’t. And that, in turn, will bring you happiness.
9. Teach yourself to ask for help.
Many of us were taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s not. It’s an act of self-compassion.
10. It’s okay to feel lonely.
The effects of isolation and loneliness can be so hard to cope with that I devote an entire section of the book to this subject.
11. Help others when you can.
Reaching out to others in need can ease the pain of isolation and also give you welcome respite from always thinking about your health.
12. Remember that even if you regained your health, your life would not be perfect.
In other words, don’t fall into that “if only” trap that has you thinking that your life would be trouble-free if only you were healthy again.