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  • Writer's picturealaurafilbin

21 July 2022: Lessons Taken From Illness

Mental and physical illnesses are all around us, regardless of whether we're aware of them or not, and more diagnoses are happening every day. It's almost expected that, at some point, our bodies will begin to break down and our minds will unravel, that it's an inevitability that we all must face. Not everyone does, but many do.

Family has been facing that reality for a long time.

For some context:

  • My cousin was born with Cystic Fibrosis and has since been diagnosed with a litany of other diseases and conditions

  • My mother's side of the family suffers from gastrointestinal issues, wherein the intestines and bowels cease to function properly, causing kinks and blockages

  • My dad underwent chemotherapy and radiation for throat cancer during the height of the pandemic

  • Multiple members of my family (myself included) have one or more mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, BPD, PTSD, etc.)

  • My maternal grandfather suffered from Parkinson's

  • My paternal grandmother is suffering dementia and was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, deteriorating fast

I'm still processing that last one.

It's hard thinking about the pain and suffering my loved ones have endured/are enduring, but there are a few lessons to take away from it all:

  • Time is limited. Love on your people while you can.

  • VACCINATE. The people who cannot get vaccinated (immunocompromised people) will thank you!

  • If you have a family history of medical problems, go to the doctor. Get checked out. If nothing comes of it, you give your loved ones peace of mind; if there's something to be done, there's a chance you can get ahead of it.

  • It's okay to seek help for mental illness. There is nothing shameful in it and will (hopefully) give you the resources you need to live your life in a functional way. You deserve not to let your mental illness control you.

Please take care of yourselves

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