How can I regain my lust for life?

Recently, Pauline was confronted with the prospect of dying. Now, it looks as if she’s in the clear, but she’s having trouble regaining her lust for life. Jo Lamble has some tips to help Pauline get her mojo back.

Q. Pauline
I have been battling cancer for the past year and, although nothing is guaranteed, it looks as though I’m over the worst and have a future to look forward to. However, this is my problem – I have no enthusiasm. I really thought that when I got the news that I was in remission that I would be ready to embrace life but I find I have no energy or will to do anything. My friends have been a great support but I can sense them starting to back away with each refusal I give when asked to do something. How can I regain my lust for life? Or, at the very least, start to put my illness well and truly behind me?

A. I’m obviously so glad to hear that you are through the worst of this battle. But you are not going to be feeling like your old self for a while longer. I hear from a lot of women who say exactly the same thing – “why don’t I have a new lease on life?” But cancer affects us physically and emotionally.

We don’t stop feeling traumatised when the immediate danger has passed. As with any survivor of a potentially life threatening situation, the effects can last months or years.

Ask your friends to be patient with you. Tell them to keep issuing those invitations and reassure them that you will slowly regain your energy and enthusiasm. And then tell yourself the same thing. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself and try to lower your expectations. Start with doing small things you used to enjoy and gradually build up to your previous level of activity. Perhaps you might use this time to consider a new interest – one that draws your attention to the future and doesn’t necessarily take a lot of effort to pursue.

If you have a question for Jo, please email [email protected]

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