I believe our generation has a unique challenge. We will be affected by disease, chronic illnesses, and health scares of all kinds in a unique way. As things become clearer to me that my MS diagnosis is real, I reflect on the fact that so many of us are one degree (if not the degree) away from a story of health depletion. I am blown away at how "normal" it is to hear about tragic situations...and bummed at how desensitized we can become to that news. There are variations in severity, but what we consume (in all forms of the word) and how our body reacts is becoming more complex than we can comprehend.
My question is: how do we respond? You are thinking to yourself right now about that example of sickness which most resonates with you. It is no joke. I get it. Our response is what will set us apart from those who came before us and those who come after us. Crazy stories of life and death are all around us. It is not time to play cliche games of optimism versus pessimism. It is time to grab the bull by the horns. What you see below is an internal conversation I had with myself recently and is by no means meant to be the answer for the masses.
- Do not even think about shedding what is important when things are at their worst. Whether it be friends, faith, family, sports, work, pets, yard work, or just plain being social, now is not the time to think about giving them up. It's not "don't give them up," it's "don't even think about giving them up." Your mind can't handle the thought of giving them up.
- Address the situation head on with those who matter. Don't play games. Be straight up and let those people in who need to be in.
- Have a tough skin. My grandfather, Colonel Norm Chase, was infamous for the saying, "When the tough gets tough, the tough get tougher." See the title of this post.
- Let love out. Everyone has a different reaction to support. Some people want a ton of it and some people feel awkward when given it. No matter how you take love, I think giving love is more important during the rough patches.
- Thinking about the worst-case-scenario is okay. Use it as motivation to face things differently.