It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Sherry - leaving hospital

Here I am happy to be leaving the hospital after breast cancer surgery. Northwestern’s Memorial Prentice Hospital has incredibly talented doctors and supportive staff but I was really looking forward to returning home. 

I recently read a great article by Dan Rockwell, aka Leadership Freak where he offered great advice on how to maintain motivation when you are discouraged. The bonus tip, “Don’t judge yourself because you’re down. It’s a double downer to feel down and then judge yourself for it.” has proven true for me.

I am recovering from cancer surgery and often feel the need to be strong for those around me.  Three weeks after major surgery, I finally worked up the courage to tell my husband that I was sad and was feeling sorry for myself.  My husband asked me a few questions about how I was feeling and we chatted for a while.

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A couple of hours after our discussion, I noticed that my mood had improved.  It lifted my spirits to know that I could share my thoughts as I went through the stages of grief that often accompany a cancer diagnosis and that my husband — and the rest of my awesome support network — would not panic at the first sign of a cloudy day.

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Photo: T-shirts from the Wear Your Label, a conscious business that is working to remove the stigma related to mental illness. 1 in 5 people struggle with a mental illness. 5 in 5 have mental health; yet no is talking about it. Inspired by their personal experiences with mental illness, and frustrated with stigma, they founded Wear Your Label in hopes to change that. Their clothing is designed to create conversations about mental health, give back to mental health initiatives, and ultimately end the stigma (in style).

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Categories: Professional Development

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