Article by Wendy McCance
Do you remember Michael J. Fox? He is an actor who was on the very popular Family Ties television show. He went on to do a series of well-known movies, Back to the Future being one of his best.
Do you remember when Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? He was so young to be afflicted with such a life altering disease. He had a family, a successful career and was living the american dream.
All of this could have been unbelievably crushing. He could have holed up in a corner and waited to die. How would he be able to go on? How would he take care of his family financially and emotionally? What would happen to his career?
Michael J. Fox is the perfect lesson in taking a life altering blow and turn it in your favor. He didn’t give up on life, he did a do-over. He revamped his life to work with any limitations he might have. He then went on to have tremendous new success. He wrote books, continued working as an actor and became a leader in the fight for a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
The point of bringing up this actor is that sometimes life will give you something you never saw coming. It isn’t something that is in your life plan and could destroy all of your hopes and ambitions…if you let it.
If you are dealt a serious blow like a health issue that could prevent you from continuing on as you always had, you have two choices. You can sink into a horrible depression and give up on life, or you can choose to take this as an opportunity to get it right.
This is your chance to go after the things you have always dreamed of. This is your chance to take a second look at your relationships, career and way you live your life. Decide what works and what doesn’t. When I found out I had Fibromyalgia, over several months, it became glaringly clear that my career choice would not work with this disease. I had to figure out what career would be a better fit. After much soul-searching and moments of feeling bad for myself, I found writing. It was the greatest, most unexpected thing to have happened.
I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to me in a pull the rug out from under you sort of way. I was forced to stare into my life and really admit how happy and content I was. How was I going to make my life better? How do you make something better when you feel worse off?
I know it’s unbelievable, but from health challenges can come growth, wisdom and increased happiness. It all depends on how you play your cards. Choose to recreate your life into something that feels better. Surround yourself with friends who aren’t toxic but loving and drama free. Take a hobby seriously and pursue it as a career. Get more adventurous and daring.
Put yourself out there and really live your life. You only get one life so you might as well make the most of it. Illness doesn’t need to be the end. It’s just all in the way you adjust to it and the spirit you create with what you have got.