Elie Wiesel's Night, a harrowing story of survival, offers lessons about Healthy Survivorship, as explained in my 8/25/09 blog post and worth repeating on this new blog site:
Although Wiesel presents his story as a fictional account of a teenager's survival of the Holocaust of WWII, what he describes is mostly autobiographical. Gripping in its detail and dialogue, I could too easily picture the horror surrounding and arising within Wiesel. At the same time, I couldn't possibly begin to really know what it was like.
This story shares many messages, some of which are valuable to patients. With respect for the fact that the circumstances are not comparable, I'll share some lessons about Healthy Survivorship highlighted by Night.
- Life on earth is not fair.
- Pain and deprivation can make you think, feel or act in ways you would not under normal circumstances.
- Don't judge yourself too harshly in times of hardship and distress. Forgiveness of self and others is vital to Healthy Survivorship.
- You can withstand far more hardship than you would ever have imagined before your challenge began.
- You find out who you are in the tough times.
- Sometimes you need the help of others to handle hardship.
- Helping others may help you.
- Relationships are what matter most in life.
- Although you can't choose your circumstances, you can choose how you respond.
Night is a difficult book to read or listen to, but the lessons can help you live most fully.