How To Be Sick: Discussion 1

RA Guy RA Guy's Book Club

This is a book for people who will not be their old self again and for all those for whom, at least now, getting better isn’t possible. This is a book that most reassuringly says even to those people, “You too are going to be okay–even if you never recover your health!” -Sylvia Boorstein

Author Toni Bernhard (who is participating in this book club!) tells us, in the preface of “How To Be Sick,” that she wrote this book “to help and inspire the chronically ill and their caregivers as they meet the challenges posed by any chronic illness or condition, including: coping with symptoms that just won’t go away, coming to terms with a more isolated life, weathering fear about the future, facing the misunderstanding of others, dealing with the health care system, and for spouses, partners, and other caregivers, adapting to so many unexpected and sometimes sudden life changes.”

In the section of the book titled How Everything Changed, we first read about how Toni got sick, and then how–to her surprise and bewilderment–she stayed sick.

Discussion Questions

  • How long did it take you to realize that you had a chronic illness, and that life just wasn’t going to go back to the way it ‘used to be’?
  • Once it became clear that you were living with chronic illness, did you or anyone else in your life experience feelings of denial?
  • Did you ever refuse to make certain changes, even though you could see that participating in some of your usual activities/routines was doing more harm than good?

This post is part of RA Guy’s Book Club for “How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers,” by Toni Bernhard. For a complete list of discussions, please click here.