Chronic Conditions and Relationships

photo credit tunnelarmr on flickr

February is here so that means we have a new theme to announce! This month we will be aligning with many retailers’ second-favorite holiday – except that we promise to spare you the saccharine jewelry commercials and obligatory heart-shaped gifting. Our theme is Chronic Conditions and Relationships – two things that affect nearly everyone but do so in individual, sometimes inexplicable ways. There’s a lot to discuss on this broad topic but, as was the case with last month’s theme, you can come here for some ideas, inspiration, and things to bring back to your community.

We’re going to look the “relationships” part of Chronic Conditions and Relationships a bit differently than you might expect. “Relationships” doesn’t always mean “romance,” and we’re touching on all different kinds of relationships in this month’s theme.   Inspired by the six common conflicts of fiction (read this Wikipedia article for a refresher), we will delve into all the assorted (sometimes conflicting) relationships we have in our lives. I’ve decided to explain our topics through the conflicts there. Here’s our look at the different kinds of relationships that we, as Health Activists, may be involved in:

  • Your condition vs. yourself – Sometimes we can be our own greatest support … and also our own worst enemies.  Living with a health condition requires a heightened sense of “self,” and it can be a challenge to assess and keep an upper hand.
  • Your condition vs. your love life – This is the relationship that fairy tales and magazines tells us is most important,  but all that pressure just makes it trickier to balance when living with a chronic illness and daily health hurdles.  How do you disclose it?  Explain it?  Deal with it?
  • Your condition vs. your family – We care about the ones closest to us (this includes friends who feel like family) but sometimes our health doesn’t make it easy. Whether we want to get extra support from these folks or just want to enjoy them and get our minds off our health – keeping the familial relationship healthy is a challenge.
  • Your condition vs. the day-to-day – Chronic conditions find their way into many aspects of life including: our living spaces, our work places, and our daily schedules.  This relationship is one that really relies on balance and mindfulness, and one that Health Activists handle in every situation, every day.
  • Your condition vs. technology – We rely on man-made innovation for so many things – some of which are very health-centric. How technology, medications, and tools interact with our health and chronic conditions is an important relationship to examine, and sometimes, to reign in.
  • Your condition vs. misconception – This is a relationship Health Activists know well. What does the outside world think of your condition? How do you deal with stigma? How is your condition portrayed in the media or talked about in conversation? How can you confront misconception, help educate the public perception, and keep your community feeling supported?
  • Which relationship conflict is the one your community talks about most often? Head over to our Community and add your thoughts to this discussion. Be sure to check back in throughout the month for some prompts, featured conversations, interviews, and other activities for you to try in your health communities.  And as always, thank you for everything you guys do.  The relationship between Health Activists and WEGO Health is a solid one.  🙂

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