Anyone's life can change in an instant. With an accident or a diagnosis, life can be transformed. Shifts come in self-perceptions and how others see us. The stress and anxiety associated with such shifts can be overwhelming
We may ask ourselves searching questions such as:
Who will I become after this has happened to me?
What will I be able to do?
What will other people think?
How long will this last?
Did I somehow bring this on myself?
Susan Sontag (1977, 1978) wrote in her book Illness as Metaphor:
Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place. (p. 3)
It is often hard to know how to be a good citizen in this land. It can be a struggle to handle oneself well, especially during a long-term illness or with a permanent disability. In truth, a permanent disability, after health is stabilized, is not an illness that worsens or improves but it is simply the way one is and will be.
If you are struggling with the psychological implications of an illness or a disability and would like a chance to examine them, please CONTACT ME.