• Denying the Eleplant

    Posted by mark-tremblay on April 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    As a 49 year old recovering alcoholic, CF patient diagnosed at 18 months I used to but no longer deny the elephant because when I do I put up Walls that make loving and being loved harder. I’m not saying to be some squishy hippy I’m saying this because we are inherently social beings and CF with it’s symptoms and burden of care makes life harder. Sharing your life with others generally lightens the added weight of CFers especially carry. I remember the first time I witnessed how CF altered my psychological makeup. I was an assistant kindergarten teacher while I was working on my Bacholor’s in psychology and one of my 6 year old students had to leave school because her uncle died in a car crash. She was crying so I hugged her and walked her out to her parents. Trying to be empathetic I said to her, “don’t worry you’re young you won’t die.” She looked at me in horror and said, “I know but what if something happens to my parents. Who will take care of me?” I disn’t say a word I just looked at her and cried inside because I was obsessed with my own mortality at 6 and I had no idea what it was like to live the light life of that little girl. What I learned later while working on my Masters in Psyhology is that normal children at 6 when confronted with death fear for their caregivers not for themselves. That’s a long winded way of saying if you grew up with CF your entire psychological makeup and cognitive structures have been altered in little and big ways because of your disease. You can no more remove your CF from your psyche than you can remove your head from your body. I have learned to embrace my CF and it’s psychological sequalae and share all of it with those around me so that I feel closer to others and they are enriched by getting glimpse of life through the lens of someone who has spent hos life in the hourglass. Be the CFer you were meant to be and live boldly!!!

    luisa-palazola replied 5 years ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • luisa-palazola

    April 2, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Hey @tremblaymagmail-com I know for me I have had a different perspective growing up with CF, and I think maybe that was related to being a later diagnosis (I was nine when diagnosed) and my doctors growing up had always emphasized a future for me. Granted, I was always aware of my mortality and still am — and that’s definitely influenced my behaviors and relationships with others. Lately, I’ve found myself super appreciative and grateful for those who surround me, and I always let them know. I don’t think many people do that as often as I do, simply because the idea of dying doesn’t occur to them or they aren’t confronted with it as often. Or, that’s what I think. I think most people are very uncomfortable with the idea of death, and me as well, but I also know that.

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