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How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers, By Toni Bernhard

Date: September 4, 2014 Category: , ,

In How to be Sick, Toni Bernhard provides a much-needed guide for the emotional rollercoaster that comes from living with chronic illness. This is not a book that tells you how to reduce inflammation in your body, what to eat, or what drugs to try. This is a book that simply shows you how to be in a body that is in pain, or in dis-ease. Bernard fell ill while at the peak of her career as a law professor and found herself unable to work or engage in the spiritual practices she previously had due to limited energy and chronic pain. How to be Sick grew out of Bernard’s experience navigating the disheartening changes that attended her illness, and it was invaluable to my psychological and emotional well being in the early days of my own diagnoses and illnesses. It helped when the physical pain was very trying, and it helped even more when mourning my former life as an able-bodied, healthy person. These life changes rarely affect only the chronically ill person, and Bernhard also addresses caregivers in this lovely book, making sure that they also receive the emotional and physical care that they need. How To Be Sick applies the basic Buddhist principles of impermanence, equanimity, and compassion to chronic illness, illustrating that all circumstances in life, even the really shitty ones, contain opportunities for grace and joy.—Carolyn