Archive for June, 2011

Are You a Refugee in a Foreign Land?

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

In this post, I’m going to share  a testimonial with you that I recently received. In it, my client, who is a gifted  writer who lives in Tasmania, describes far better than I could how she was able to reframe her struggle with her illness in a way that gave her a capability to manage it and live a better life.

It is my strong desire that reading her story will help you do the same for yourself.


From the closely pressing despair of never having the strength or energy to do what I want or to complete the endless list of things that need to be done, came this quiet and understanding voice, across the Pacific Ocean, to the small cool island where I live.   I spoke my despair into his quiet, listening ear.  I spoke of the work I do with humanitarian refugees – of how hard it was for them to be exiled from home by war and atrocity and how they struggled to make a new home in a foreign country – learning a new language, accommodating a new culture, learning strange ways; and how compelled I felt to assist them, despite my health issues.

He commented that my attempts to support these traumatized new arrivals demonstrated compassion and understanding and he suggested I think of myself in the same way – as a person exiled from my home place of vibrant health, having arrived bewildered and disoriented into the foreign land of chronic ill health and in need of compassionate understanding and help.  That I consider my own needs and support myself as I learned the strange ways of this new country I now occupied.

Such a simple, quietly expressed suggestion.  So lucid.  So liberating.  No suggestion of weakness or giving in, just an acceptance that things are different now.  Just a gentle reminder to look around and see where I am, what can be done, and to support and praise my own efforts at adjustment, my own small gains.

Thank you Tom for this wise and compassionate advice.  I felt heard, honored, assisted, supported in a difficult migration I was struggling to make.

I strongly recommend coaching sessions with Tom Robinson for all those struggling with adjustment to chronic illness, in finding or regaining the joy and meaning in their lives.

Thank you once again,

Best Wishes,



As I said, I hope you will do what Terry did and look at how you can give yourself compassionate understanding and help in the land of “chronic ill health.” And I also hope that you will praise your efforts and all of your gains, no matter how small.


Tom Robinson – Life Coach for People with Chronic Illnesses (and Crohn’s disease survivor)

I help people struggling with chronic illnesses overcome depression, anxiety, and hopelessness so they an feel a lot better and enjoy life a lot more.

For other ideas for living well when you have a chronic illness, sign up for my free report: Has Your Chronic Illness Got You Down? Discover Effective New Ways to Overcome Illness-Related Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness so You Can Feel a Lot Better and Enjoy Life a Lot More.