Saturday, July 26, 2014

8 Ways to Live With a Chronic Illness

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass…It's about learning to dance in the rain," wrote Vivian Greene.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow,'" wrote Mary Anne Radmacher.

These are two of my favorite quotes about living with a chronic illness, about the quiet conviction required from someone with a lasting condition to live gracefully, without getting bitter. I have, for the last six years, lived with treatment-resistant depression, fighting death thoughts ("I wish I were dead") throughout my day. Although I haven't stopped trying new drugs and alternative therapies, I am finally accepting the possibility that I may never get "well" or as well as I was in my twenties and early thirties.

So I'm shifting my energy from finding a cure to learning how to "live around" the illness, turning to people with debilitating conditions like fibromyalgia, lupus, and chronic fatigue syndrome–as well as to scientists, meditation teachers, and great thinkers–for instructions on how to manage painful symptoms. Here are a few gems I have picked up, tips on how to dance in the rain … and where to find the courage to try again tomorrow.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Understanding Consciousness

Researchers advocate for more scientific research on consciousness.

Why does a relentless stream of subjective experiences normally fill your mind? Maybe that's just one of those mysteries that will always elude us.

Yet, research from Northwestern University suggests that consciousness lies well within the realm of scientific inquiry — as impossible as that may currently seem. Although scientists have yet to agree on an objective measure to index consciousness, progress has been made with this agenda in several labs around the world.