In Pursuit of a Normal Life--Part II

If life feels uncomfortably “not normal” due to illness or injury, what’s a Healthy Survivor to do?

In my last post, I mentioned how important it is for life to feel normal. If your reality changes in significant ways, it’s futile, exhausting and sometimes dangerous to keep using the same routines as before. You can’t go back to your “old normal.”

The path to Healthy Survivorship is paved by efforts to create a “new normal.” As explained to cancer survivors who’ve completed treatment, “To have a normal life…means creating a new normal that incorporates the physical, emotional and spiritual changes catalyzed by your cancer experience.” (After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life),

The unwanted changes thrust on you by your illness or injury are now part of your “new normal.” That’s lousy.

The good news is that other parts of your “new normal” are under your control. You can design new rules and routines that make life easier and help optimize the outcome. You can develop skills that help you do the right things.

For example, imagine people used to skipping meals and participating in extreme sports. If they develop insulin-dependent diabetes, the path to Healthy Survivorship begins with learning about diabetes. Sound knowledge empowers them to create new rules and routines (e.g., re: meals, exercise and medications) that work well for them.

Healthy Survivors know that creating a “new normal” involves more than the medical issues, as I’ll address in my next post.

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