8 Ways to Live with a Chronic Illness

8 Ways to Live with a Chronic Illness

Wonderful list of mostly Buddhist tips on how to live well with something no one wants - a chronic illness. Draws heavily on Toni Bernhard's first book.

Tip #1:

1. Let go of the blame.

Former law professor and dean Toni Bernhard contracted a mysterious viral infection on a trip to Paris in 2001. In her courageous and inspiring book, “How to Be Sick,” she writes:
I blamed myself for not recovering from the initial viral infection–as if not regaining my health was my fault, a failure of will, somehow, or a deficit of character. This is a common reaction for people to have toward their illnesses. It’s not surprising, given that our culture tends to treat chronic illness as some kind of personal failure on the part of the afflicted–the bias is often implicit or unconscious, but it is nonetheless palpable.​
I was relieved to read this because I have tremendous shame for not being able to beat my condition with the right eating, thinking, meditating, or exercising. Not until Bernhard stopped blaming herself for the illness could she begin to learn how to treat herself with compassion and begin to free herself from unnecessary suffering.
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