Living a Meaningful Life with Chronic Illness, Pain, or other Disability

Living with chronic illness, pain or other disability is a challenging life circumstance that can impact virtually every aspect of life: social, financial, emotional, physical, housing, ability to work and overall quality of life. 

It’s no wonder that people with chronic medical conditions and other disabilities experience higher rates of depression and anxiety.

The sense of loss can be profound. Acquiring a chronic illness, pain or other disability can mean the loss of your former “self”, your identity, your financial security, as well as your ability to socialize or fully participate in the world of work. Likewise, being born with a disability often includes the loss of “what might have been”.

Although the experience of disability can be quite diverse, there are many commonalities as well. If you have a mobility or other visible disability, you may know what it’s like to be seen as “less than”. Even when those judgements are not spoken, they can still be felt. But stigma is not restricted to visible disabilities. Those with hidden disabilities also face a lack of understanding or empathy, not being believed, seen as “faking it” or being lazy or a hypochondriac. Such hurtful judgements might come from your doctor, your neighbour, your co-worker or even your family. Such attitudes from others can affect relationships and have an impact on so many things, from getting the medical treatment you deserve, to having your disability accommodated in the workplace, or even being hired in the first place.

Of course, there are many people with disabilities living perfectly happy lives. But there are many who are struggling with the pain of depression, anxiety or isolation, among other things. Over and over I hear from people with disabilities how hurtful and infuriating it is to be surrounded by others who don’t “get it”. Many disabilities are isolating, but when your family, friends, co-workers, or neighbours just don’t understand, or worse yet, judge you, the sense of aloneness can be intensified.

Naturally, it can be very difficult to not internalize these kinds of judgements and marginalization, that is, to not believe them as true, even when you know realistically they’re not.

The good news is

YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

 

Online counselling can support you through difficult times. It’s not about just “coping” or “positive thinking”. I see myself as an ear when you need it, a resource for learning specific skills when you like, and your partner in brainstorming to help you create a satisfying and meaningful life full of joy, connection and full sense of worthiness!

You're Not Alone!Although our disabilities may be quite different, as a person living with chronic illness for many years, I believe that by listening to your story, your life’s experiences, I am able to “get it”.

You can write to me anytime – day or night. Together, we will focus on strategies for creating the life you want.

We all want love, friendship, connection and participation.  We want respect from others and a strong sense of self-worth.  We want to find peace, acceptance, and contentment and to live a life that truly feels worthwhile.

To learn more about the what it’s like and how written counselling can help you, click here (How Does it Work?).

You may be interested to know that studies have found online counselling to be as effective as traditional face-to-face. Click here to read more about the research.

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to talk to me about, do feel free to call me at 604-771-4444. Or click here for other contact info.

And anytime you feel ready to give online counselling a try, click here to Get Started.

I look forward to hearing from you!