Friday, August 26, 2016

From Isolation to Triumph

Human isolation is the worst kind of punishment – not only for those who are isolated in prisons, but also for those who are chronically ill.  The greatest challenge is to learn to become your own best friend.  Friends you used to have eventually get on with their own lives and move on.  If the chronically ill person ends up with just one friend who still visits and accepts the new limitations of their friend, then one is very lucky indeed.  People move on and leave you behind.  You are no longer able to put in your emotional or social deposit into the relationship bank.  A relationship can be likened to a bank account.  For the account to move there must be movement from both sides.  Imagine that you invest a lot of time/money into a relationship/bank and when it is your turn to withdraw, the bank won’t give you money and the friend can’t give you time.   Friendships are a two way street, and unless you have a particularly strong bond, you will find yourself alone.  You are no longer able to meet for coffee.  You make plans to see someone, but invariably you cannot make it because you suddenly land up in hospital.  You are no longer able to socialize … no longer able to make great food, entertain … and life marches on without you.  Your friends slowly leave and even if you try your best to keep in contact with them via internet or the phone, you have nothing to tell them because you go nowhere and you see no-one.  You are left behind to stare at the four walls of your bedroom and if you are unlucky, the four walls of the hospital isolation ward become your whole life.  The only difference between the hospital room and your own as far as socializing is concerned, is that you see more of the people in the white uniforms and being at home you seldom see anyone other than your husband. Isolation and the lack of understanding of rare diseases by everyone, including the medical professionals, is the worst form of human suffering.  However, you will learn to become your own best friend.  You will find that you can do things you never thought you could do.  You will learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.  You will begin to speak like a qualified medical doctor.  You will realize how strong you are when hope is all you have.  And finally, you will find contentment in your own spiritual and creative growth.  Your life will be full again.  It won’t be the life you had, but it will be a brand new one that you can re-write and create.  
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