Living with a chronic illness requires that you continually examine your priorities. Career or health? Hide and seek with children or health? Partying or health? Social life or health? Favorite foods or health? Movie or bed? Important business deadline or health?
In a new and revised edition of Think and Grow Rich, revised and updated for the 21st Century by Dr. Arthur R. Pell, there’s an entire chapter devoted to the 6 basic human fears. It looks like those of us living with a chronic illness get to tackle 3 of them head on: fear of illness, fear of criticism and fear of poverty. That’s 1/2 of the total sum of the basic fears for human beings! (The other 3 are fear of death, fear of old age and fear of loss of love of someone. Perhaps we really get to look at all 6.)
Truthfully, every human being faces each of these 6 fears at one time or another, so we’re not really special. However, when you live with a chronic illness, you certainly get a crash course dealing with the first three I named.
When you first become ill, you get to go head-to-head with the fear of illness. Eventually you might just get over that. At the same time, your illness seems to open you up to the fear of poverty, especially when it starts to wreak havoc with your career. Fear of criticism isn’t far behind. Whereas before you could be depended on to get certain things done – by your employer, friends and family – no more.
You could say that Women, Work and Autoimmune Illness: Keep Working, Girlfriend!, is all about dealing with the aforementioned fears so that you land on your feet with your warrior spirit in tact. We don’t say “either/or,” we say “and/and.” The exact formula for your career and your health can only be answered by you. Our book is meant to offer some options, and encouragement, through the stories and experiences of others who have walked a similar path.
Later this week, look for my next entry, “At a Crossroads: Find a Job or Start a Business?”