“Life gives you lemons and you make lemonade…your response to all those cancer diagnoses is so positive, such a contribution!” “Your work demonstrates that illness is a great teacher.” ”Your illness has been a blessing in disguise.”
Well-meaning, thoughtful people have said things like this to me since I started writing about the experience of being seriously ill and describing what I had to do to make my health care work for me. I generally hear in such comments polite appreciation of my efforts, which is nice because I know that people often struggle to know just what to say when confronted by others’ hardships.
But beneath that appreciation I detect a common belief about the nature of suffering from illness in particular, that in its inaccuracy can inadvertently hurt sick people and those who love them.
The belief is that sickness ennobles us; that there is good to be found in the experience of illness; while diseases are bad, they teach life lessons that are good. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at CFAH PPF Blog*