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Allow yourself to grieve for your loss of wellness

Grieving for your loss of wellness is a normal process consisting of several phases:

  1. Denial and isolation (a defense mechanism)—a time during which we collect our thoughts.
  2. Anger (a normal and even a necessary emotion) can be exhibited in a number of ways—sarcasm, gossip, compulsiveness, and intolerance. It is important to find appropriate ways to express and direct this anger.
  3. Bargaining is when you try to cure yourself with good intentions and realize these efforts are in vain.
  4. Depression can set in when you realize that neither anger nor good intentions will make the illness go away. It is normal to experience some degree of sadness when you confront your loss of health and previous lifestyle. You need to let this phase run its course, but if this sadness reaches a point that your basic daily functioning becomes extremely difficult, then professional intervention should be considered. In due time, you will regain a sense of proportion. You start to realize that, although this illness has closed some of life's paths, the journey can proceed on other, equally challenging and meaningful paths. It is helpful to take stock in what remains, rather than fixate on what is lost.
  5. Accepting the illness and changes that this illness brings does not mean that you like what has happened, but that you are working with reality, striving to have more of life rather than less, and emerging as a "new" self.