The stories underneath our illnesses share more in common then their differences. Below is an incredible blog post from health advocate Rick Phillips— a story of him taking a question from one of our workshops: “What does your diabetes look like?” And applying it to his Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“So what does my RA look like? I would say it looks like judgement. It looks like stereotypes, and sometimes it looks like I am ‘cured’ (whatever that means). It is angry sometimes and sometimes it is meek like a wilted flower, hiding in the shadows and wanting to remain hidden.

Many times it is red hot joints on a cold day or stumbling to move across the room when I have a flare. My RA is not one dimensional, and it cannot be summed up by how I look on any given day.

It is a monster with 70 heads and 40 bodies; it is everywhere in my body and nowhere to be seen most days.”

read the full powerful entry HERE.

What is the role of the human story underneath the biological condition in self care,
and why must it not be ignored in health care?

Stories shape our lives.  The way we understand and act to our selves and others is guided by the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we hear, and the stories we are told. Whereas the biological differences of various diseases separate us, the shared stories of illness unite us, strengthen us, and help us see, feel, and understand the pain, strength and joy of others — in turn, helping us understand our own selves better, more deeply, and with greater kindness.

Empowerment and positive action can only come when we stand in the truth of our health narrative.

 


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