Patients become so used to going it alone they develop defenses, evasions and flippant remarks to release them from the obligation to engage in the subject of illness when it arises. I’ve heard my friend Jim Chastain talk about how early on he learned to weave humor into his story because “people can’t take too much of your pain at one time.”
Others have told me the same thing. They are not really free to express their true feelings because it alarms people or makes them uncomfortable. Have you ever heard an ill person praised for how well they expressed fear or grief or were openly sad?
None of us should be surprised then that Jim’s family has found living in a fish bowl for the entire world to see uncomfortable, unsettling and invasive. They have made a significant contribution to this dialogue, but now they have asked to pull back a bit from the spotlight – and we will honor that.
Jim, however, is willing to stay vulnerable to you, the readers and let you continue to look over his shoulder as this chapter of his life unfolds. You can do this by visiting the NewsOK blog
or Jim’s personal blog
I trust you will continue to join us in the conversation. What will help most will be your honesty, your own fears, and anything you may have learned on your own journey through illness that might help someone else know that what they are thinking or feeling or doing – under the circumstances – is normal.