By Lisa Mark, C.P.O.
I want to empower you, even if it just means making a cup of tea.
If you are experiencing a Traumatic Illness, then you might be thinking, “I can’t do anything more than be in this one comfort spot on the couch.” But maybe with the guidance of friends, there may be a way for you to participate in life a little bit more than you otherwise could.
When I was sick, an acquaintance told me how she’d coped with the death of her spouse from brain cancer. She said that as long as she completed one chore, one learning experience, and one fun activity every few days, she could cope. She wasn’t doing much else besides managing her assistants, nannies, and other support staff, but the ‘Activity of Three’ as she called it, sustained her. It made her feel as if her days were not a total loss and still gave her time to grieve for the life she would never have with her beloved spouse.
I was too weak to aspire to do these things, but I could do a small chore every few days. Making tea became my chore, and as I began to feel better, the making of the tea took on a life of its own. In the beginning, making tea consisted of plopping a teabag into some lukewarm water straight from the faucet. It slowly evolved into boiling water in the microwave, then in a teapot, then using tea leaves, then steeping the ingredients for tea (leaves, ginger, rose hips, etc.) in a carafe, sometimes for hours at a time. As the simple process became more complex, my illness began to recede in intensity and in seriousness.
Sometimes you – or your loved one – will be so tired, discouraged or in pain that you can’t think of anything other than what you are going through. But anyone, no matter how sick, can make a cup of lukewarm tea straight from the sink. If you are willing and able to do this, it can be the first step towards adjusting to a new reality and reclaiming some productivity – and by extension, your life.