I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Self-Help Part 1 - check!

I finished my self-help course this week.

It was overall a good experience. So good in fact, that I've decided to invest another $20 in the next course. Yep. I find I can put my faith in people who are not gouging me, and not touting cures, but hard work and gradual change.

I can't remember how much I shared about the course when I first started, and it's past my bed-time (I already got my Mom's e-mail telling me to go to bed) so I'm not going to go look; my apologies if this is repetitive, but it's an interesting story.

The gentleman who created the course suffered from the same illness I do. He had it for years. Before he fell ill, he worked in hospitals, teaching people how to adapt and manage with long-term, life-threatening, and life-altering illnesses. It's called self-help, because it is aimed at helping us patients take control over our illnesses, and therefore our lives. It helps us to depend on ourselves, and to be proactive in being our own primary caregivers. Very empowering stuff.

When he fell ill, the medical community knew next to nothing about this illness. Even less than they know now. So he had to figure it all out for himself, and he figured he may as well apply what he had been doing for others to his own situation. He eventually recovered, became a PhD, and founded the organization which runs these courses. Obviously, they do not do it for profit.

The principles of the course are simple: get to know your illness, and learn how to adapt to it successfully.

They gave me tools to better assess what my limits are, what my needs are, and how to stay within the former so I can meet the latter. Easier said than done. What I really liked about the way the course was presented was that it gave concrete suggestions, without limiting me to them. The book that goes along with the course provides many many examples of how people have made their lives easier, more bearable, and in some cases, how they achieved recovery. The principles behind the stories and examples are solid, and apply to everyone.

There is another book I skimmed, which tells people's stories, and how they recovered, and considering the number of people who claimed to be cured through prayer, massage and psychotherapy, I really have my doubts. In this case, though each story is not about curing, nor about giving advice, but about sharing what worked, why it worked, and how to apply it in a way that works for each individual.

Unfortunately, the group in which I was placed was a very quiet group - there were three or four of us of the 15 who made regular contributions, so I did not gain as much as I had hoped from my peers. The moderator of the course was very supportive and encouraging, and the course materials were seriously excellent.

I like it when people are honest. I like it when they tell me that there's no easy way out. I respect those who can say, yes, you can get better, but it will take work, and you are the only one who can do that work. And that's really what this course was about.

I am looking forward to the next installment, which starts in September. I'll let you know how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Let your burning desire set the world on fire!!!!