Three Key Insights for Building Resilience in Chronic Illness Solitude

chronic illness reslilience mindset and healing solitude insights Aug 17, 2023
Chronic Illness Solitutde

 You are alone.

 

At times, this is an inescapable reality.

 

You may have the unwavering support of family and friends. You might be backed by an exceptional team of doctors, allied health professionals, and natural therapists. Yet, in the face of chronic illness, there will be moments where you stand alone.

 

 

This isn't unique to me or my situation; many living with chronic illnesses find themselves in similar circumstances. How often have you felt that, despite being surrounded by loved ones, you're the only one truly experiencing the weight of your condition?



Then - Chronic Illness Solitude  

 

This realisation struck me hard at 25. Laid paralysed in a hospital bed for weeks, unable to feel or move my toes or legs, I faced the most severe multiple sclerosis relapse I'd ever encountered. I felt trapped within my own body.

 

Then at night, surrounded by darkness and the unnerving sounds of a hospital ward, the weight of loneliness pressed down on me. It was then I recognised: that there are times we are truly alone.

 

There was no one to calm the thoughts racing around my head. Trying to work out how my future would now look. Would I be able to live independently? Return to my career? Go out socially?

 

 

Living with MS meant that my life was dominated by uncertainty. My future, a massive unknown. I made a promise to myself. A vow never to let the fear of being alone rule me. It's worth pondering: What promises have you made to yourself, and how do they guide you in living with your illness?

 

 

 

This was my motivation to travel by myself as a 26-year-old. I lived in Scotland for a year and travelled throughout Europe.



This experience taught me to enjoy solitude.

 

I discovered new strength, building confidence that I could overcome any challenge. From finding work, places to live, building new relationships, and getting to know myself and what I am capable of.



Now - Chronic Illness Solitude

 

Recently, I have faced another massive challenge. Scans have shown that my stage 4 breast cancer is again active. 

 

While I have a supportive circle and my partner Andrew's steadfast presence, the solitude of a hospital room was again inescapable. This time, it wasn't paralysis but the reality of breast cancer, a mastectomy, and the physical and emotional scars it left behind.

 

Yet, I was no longer afraid of being alone.

 

 

Instead, I drew upon these three insights.



Three key insights for building resilience in chronic illness solitude 

 

  1. Being Present: Amidst the overwhelming whirlwind of emotions, focusing on the here and now was paramount. My immediate mission was to heal. No room for spiralling anxieties or "what ifs."

 

 

  1. Drawing on Past Strengths: Life had already taught me resilience in ways I could never have imagined. I had to continually remind myself that the strength which helped me before hadn't left me.

 

  

  1. Seeing Beyond the Illness: Interacting with those around me—sharing smiles with nurses, stories with staff, and gratitude with doctors—was a daily affirmation that I'm more than my diagnosis. A reminder that beneath the scars, the cancer, and the MS, is a person with dreams, hopes, and a story to tell.



Chronic illness mindset

 

When I talk about mindset, I don’t mean a relentless wave of positivity.

 

Gosh, I have shed many tears over the past weeks. Instead, it's knowing that I can have an impact on my experience, even during those times that I am alone, stuck in a hospital bed with nowhere to hide.

 

Because, in our solitary moments, when challenges seem insurmountable, it's our mindset that can be our most trusted companion.

 

It’s with us when the lights dim, when hope seems fleeting, and when the path forward is uncertain.

 

Reflect on your experiences.

 

How has your mindset shaped them? Remember, just like mine, your narrative is a testament to resilience and adaptability.

 

Remember, your mindset is always evolving.

 

Just as you adapt and grow with chronic illness, let it be your guiding light. Because even in solitude, with the right mindset, you're never truly alone.

 

 

In summary

 

In the quiet moments of chronic illness solitude, building resilience is essential. This blog post delves into three core insights to navigate these challenging times:



  1. Being Present

 

  1. Drawing on Past Strengths

 

  1. Seeing Beyond the Illness

 

 

Life with chronic illness is fraught with uncertainties and moments of solitude.

But with the right mindset, honed by the insights above, solitude transforms from a space of loneliness to one of introspection and strength.

Your mindset, ever-evolving, becomes your steadfast ally, ensuring that even in solitude, you are never truly alone.

 

 

Are You Ready to Reclaim Your Life?


If you are living with a health challenge or supporting a loved one who is the good news is...

You can start your own Hurde2Hope® journey today by accessing this FREE on-demand MindsetMasterclass.

In it, you'll discover the exact three mindset shifts that have empowered me in my life with MS and now stage 4 breast cancer.

I'm so excited to share these insights with you! ❤️🧡💚