Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dealing with "this mental roller coaster"

Here is what I believe is an important exchange between me and a friend with CLL.

I think it a critical teaching for anyone in a health crisis, including myself.

I am very grateful to the letter writer for allowing me to pause and formulate a response that I hope helps him and I know helps me.

This is looping around old themes, but sometimes I am a slow learner or I just forget what is important and what is not.


On a personal note - are you aware of any studies that have been done or help that may be available for those who have been on this mental roller coaster? When on "high alert" the other things of life tend to get shoved aside. Now that the alert level is lower it's as if I don't know how to behave.
The transitions between high alert stages and the low alert stages take too much mental energy. I need to find a middle ground to function in.
Any thoughts?


My response:


Boy oh boy do I hear you loud and clear. Shifting gears from crisis to normal is tough.

I bet there are studies. I just don't know the data.

If it's overwhelming, see your doc. He can help with counseling or even meds.

But I bet you can by with this plan:

My advice is to under react to everything, the high, the lows.

Don't get too excited by the good news and give yourself time to digest the bad news.

CLL is big actor is life's drama who may try to steal every scene, but it is not the lead performer.You are. You are also the director and the producer. You get to decide who gets the spotlight and the most attention. You can focus on the ones you love and the good works you do and your faith in a greater power and purpose. You can get lost in the joys of trivial pursuits or lofty projects. It's all OK.

You can't control the rascally CLL as much as you would like, but you can control how you react to its hamming it up. Believe me. I am dealing with a few very hard knocks myself these days, and I am just collecting the data, chatting with my friends using my support network of other CLLers and trusted confidants, and cooling my heels before I make a move. Under react.

Trust me on this. This is a great teaching I got from a very dear friend, a doctor who has fought and won a big cancer battle in his life. Under react. Take some time and get some distant. Let things digest. CLL is almost never urgent.

Love is urgent. Family is urgent. CLL is not urgent.

Stay strong

We are in this together


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this advice Brian about under reacting. Great lesson for me. Hope you are ok out there.
Lisa G

March 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous jcleri said...

Awesome words of encouragement.... I think we should all do this in our daily life!


March 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous debbie Young said...

Lisa sent this to me today Brian. I came here to personally thank you. The Under React message was exactly what I needed to hear. You are right on. CLL tries to be a Broadway Play but it's really more of a puppet show, not urgent, not a big deal most of the time.
Thank you

March 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully said and wise as well. Hang in there Brian!

--Janet Morrison

March 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Jamesee1 said...

Lisa sent this to me today Brian. I came here to directly bless your heart. The Under React message was precisely what I would have done well to listen. You are right on. Cll tries to be a Broadway Play however its truly all the more a manikin show, not earnest, not a major ordeal more often than not.

October 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM  

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