Let me start by clarifying what I mean-and what I don’t mean–by the phrase “living a double life.” What I mean is to live two different kinds of lives at the same time. But I don’t mean to have a secret life that’s immoral or that you don’t tell other people about because they wouldn’t approve of it.
I don’t think that everyone who has a chronic illness would be better off living a double life. There are many people, especially those whose symptoms are not severe, who have constructed lives for themselves that are satisfying and fulfilling.
But there are also many for whom each day is a difficult and painful struggle, and for whom life feels like just existing instead of living. If you are one of them, I strongly encourage you to consider living a double life if you’re not already doing so.
The first life I encourage you to live is a life of doing all that you can to lessen your symptoms and improve your health. Learn as much as you can about standard and alternative treatments for your illness and decide with your healthcare provider which ones to try. Learn what new treatments are being developed – here’s a link to a short article about an easy way to do that from a short article in an ezine I used to write: how to get google alerts. You may also want to do an internet search for people who have had unexpected improvements, remissions, and sometimes even cures from whatever illness you have. I have read many such stories that I have found to be credible, and reading them has given many including me lots of hope.
At the same time you are doing all those things to have a healthier future, I encourage you to look for as many ways as you can to have the best life possible with all the symptoms and circumstances you currently have. If you aren’t able to get out much, make a list of movies to rent, books to read, and friends to connect with. If you are limited financially, give yourself the challenge of finding at least five new ways each week to be more frugal. Get my free report: How to Have a Chronic Illness – Without Letting Your Chronic Illness Have You to learn some effective ways to be kinder and gentler to yourself. And if you aren’t getting all the support you would like, join or start an in person or a telephone support group for people with your illness. To live this second life as well as possible, you may find it helpful to think about what suggestions and encouragement you would give a good friend.
If you use both of these strategies to live a double life, you will be maximizing the likelihood you will get better, while at the same time you will be living the most satisfying and fulfilling life you can today and everyday.