Fellow blogger Laurie Edwards from A Chronic Dose is working on a book, to be published by Walker and Company in July, entitled Life Disrupted, Getting Real About Chronic Illness in your Twenties and Thirties. I was asked to review it and, without giving away lots of it, I want to tell you that is it beautifully written and will be extremely helpful both to young people with chronic illness and their friends, families, and associates.
Here is one excerpt that I found particularly moving, from a chapter entitled "Salient Suffering":
Suffering doesn't make you a better person, in the sense that a person with these challenges is somehow more noble or "good" in a moral way. But I think there's another dimension to this notion of being a better sufferer, one stripped of greeting-card-inspired platitudes and skewed interpretations of what it means to live with illness. The more you suffer, the more you are able to recognize suffering in others. The fact that our experiences make us privy to this knowledge is a privilege I think gets lost in the "suffering saint" attributes of illness, but what we do with that knowledge is what really counts. We're not better people because we can empathize with someone's struggle with infertility or migraines or because we can nod our heads in understanding when someone is frustrated about a diagnosis or a side effect. However, if we are able to channel accumulated patient experiences in a way that somehow makes a positive impact on someone else in a similar situation, then there is something redemptive about our suffering.