I was deeply appreciative of this article about the dangers of inherently seeing debilitating illnesses as “gifts” that can lead to “Post-Traumatic Growth,” and that was before I was pleasantly surprised to see myself cited in it.
Here’s the takeaway (for me at least): can we become wiser and better people because of major medical problems? Absolutely. But that’s *our* choice. It’s not automatically included in the package – a package that is filled with pain and sadness and disappointment. Anyone who chooses to find a ray of light in that darkness, to use the pain to benefit themselves and other people, has my utmost awe and respect. But that doesn’t erase the horror of the packaging. If we forget that, empathy is lost.
Sickness is not a gift – far more often, it feels like a curse. The people who take that curse and nevertheless continue to try, to fight, to hope – they are the gifts. Love those people well. And love them even more on days when trying, fighting, and hoping are simply out of reach.