The Journey of an Illness

Every single one of us will have our life interrupted, whether it’s by the rip cord of a diagnosis or some other kind of heartbreak or trauma that brings us to the floor. We need to find ways to live in the in-between place, managing whatever body and mind we currently have. Sometimes, all it takes is the ingenuity of a handmade game of Scrabble or finding that stripped-down kind of meaning in the love of family and a night on the ballroom dance floor, or that radical, dangerous hope that I’m guessing will someday lead a teenage girl terrified of bugs to go camping. If you’re able to do that, then you’ve taken the real hero’s journey.You’ve achieved what it means to actually be well, which is to say: alive, in the messiest, richest, most whole sense.” (Suleika Jaouad)

If you are currently dealing with illness or supporting a loved one who is, you are well aware of the uneasy walk between hope and navigating fear of the unknown. Scott et al.(2017), in their research “Healing journey: a qualitative analysis of Americans suffering from trauma and illness,” explored pathways to healing by conducting in-depth interviews with 23 patients who experienced healing. They concluded that moving from being wounded, moving from suffering to healing, is very much facilitated by developing safe, trusting relationships and by positive reframing of moving through weight of responsibility to ability to respond. The power of relationship and connection, being open to support and relationship, cannot be emphasized enough. If you are navigating this journey, I encourage you to reach out to counselling supports to guide you in this process as well as your family and community. A recommended book that is an exploration of one young woman’s journey is “Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted,” by Suleika Jaouad.

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