Chronic Resilience

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Before all this mofo madness began, I finished a book called Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness by Danae Horn.

I appreciated the combination of practical advice and true life stories of real women in this book. The author, Danae, has a health condition that causes her issues with chronic pain and fatigue, which are some of the more common issues in many illnesses. However the theme of illness derailing what you wanted to do or expected to do with your life is a biggie in this one. These women in the book, a few of whom are terminal, deal with adjusting expectations, and struggling to live life to the fullest despite their lifespan being decrease by something like cancer, or their abilities being limited by fatigue or pain or organ failure. How do they adjust? How do they keep doing what they are passionate about but not make themselves sicker in the process?

Danae does not just pick stories of women with perfect happy ending stories, no, they struggle as she did, but they have strengths that helped them overcome it. She outlines different strategies to help you get through this tough time, but also to not let your illness sideline you.

Trained as a life coach, you feel gently guided by Danae to really hone in on what you are passionate about, cut out the crap in your life that’s weighing you down, and pursue what you want to do at a pace appropriate for your illness. And let’s face it, a lot of what some of us with disabling conditions are passionate about is getting better and managing health appointments to get to that place.

Danae also believes in taking care of yourself. I never felt overly pushed to “move on” or “focus on only the positives” as other self-help books can make me feel. No, Dana feels strongly about putting your health needs front and center in your life, making sure you get the right diet, pamper yourself, and even indulge a little as appropriate. And cites research that pushing away real feelings to only be positive is detrimental to health. She keeps it real, and I think she’d understand that even though I want to be perfectly sugar-free, sometimes I cheat and eat a little dark chocolate. I think she’d sneak a piece maybe even, but then we’d follow it up with green juice the next day.

I can say this book was part of an inspiration for this blog. I’d be wanting to start a new blog for awhile but she helped me get motivated. Her ideas helped me feel less overwhelmed by life, because by outlining what’s really important, you make more time, even if most of your day is feeling like crap.

After reading her book, I since learned that Danae is going into kidney failure. However her husband was able to become a donor. What love! I wish them both lots of luck for the surgery.

I highly recommend this book. If you have chronic illness, autoimmune condition, lyme, terminal illness, whatever, as a woman (and even some of it would be helpful for guys too), you must read this! I can say it’s changed my life for the better.

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