Sometimes I wish I could sit myself down before I started running this chaotic path. If I could, this is what I would say:

  1. Walk, don’t run. Literally. This is a lifelong journey, and you cannot run from it. It will break you. You have to face it, and walk through the emotions.
  1. Breathe. There is plenty of time for stress. In fact, it will find you at pretty much every moment. Stop and breathe. This will literally save your life.
  1. Put your seatbelt on. This is a wild and unchartered ride. Strap yourself in, and be prepared for challenging times ahead. The good and the bad times won’t last forever. Be grateful for the good. 
  1. Be kind to yourself. Self-care. Self-care. Self-care. Do it. Everyday. You are worth it. Do not let your battery deplete. Make yourself number one. Allow yourself to enjoy life, even laugh. God wants you to love life, not be trapped in it.
  1. Forgive yourself. Yes, you will make mistakes. Yes, you will feel guilty for wanting better for yourself. Yes, you will do things you wish you hadn’t. Now, forgive yourself and move on. You are human. You are allowed to feel, and want more out of life. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
  1. Stay connected to people. Don’t shut them out. Find one or two people you trust, and tell them the truth. This is your inner circle. Find even more like minded individuals. Discover your support community. You will need it.
  1. Ask for help. Find a good doctor or therapist. You cannot do this alone. This is unexpected, and bigger than you. We are not meant to walk this path alone.
  1. Don’t listen to the negative words the disease is telling you. It will soon seep into negative self-talk, and it will become commonplace. This thinking is poisonous. It will ruin the way you move and operate in this world, and it will change the way you think of yourself.
  1. Get out of the rabbit hole. Do whatever it takes to move yourself in the right, positive, healthy direction. Find your passion and purpose, and follow through with intentional action.
  2. Be aware of fight or flight mode. It is super easy to get into it, and super hard to get out of it. Taking simple actions everyday can move you from surviving to thriving.