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Embracing Chaos and Change…

I didn’t intend to write so much about my life when I started blogging for Psych Central. I never did before, but my life wasn’t as eventful, either. I’m sick of being so self-indulgent.

After all, why should you care? You barely know me.

Old dogs can indeed learn new tricks…

On the other hand, learning to cope with dramatic change ~ chaotic change ~ can be very instructive, inspiring. Even life-changing. An adventure.

Changes and personal chaos of the magnitude I’ve faced during the last two months are among the toughest you face in life ~ short of debilitating illness and/or death.

Losing someone desperately close and beloved.

A child, a spouse, a parent, a sibling or an intimate, longtime friend. Suddenly. Or following an agonizing and painful illness.

Right now, you may be coping with psychically soul-destroying chaos…

Simultaneous job loss. Financial ruin. Selling your dream house and drastically downsizing. Now. You may be coping with this right now. Too many people are.

How do you override depression? Despair? See the possibilities through this maze of adversity?

Everything is relative…

I’ve lived with a serious chronic illness besides my 50-year psychiatric history for more than 20 years. Iatrogenic Endstage kidney failure caused by Lithium toxicity and medical negligence. It’s very rare.

It’s crucial to have your Lithium levels regularly monitored. Mine weren’t. I didn’t know. Also, I didn’t know I was born with only one kidney. In 1991 after 16 years on Lithium, I almost died of acute endstage kidney failure.

But didn’t.

Over the next four years, I had to cope with serious illness, then dialysis and finally a transplant ~ from my little sister Glorianne. She saved my life, even thought transplant is no cure. It’s another very complex treatment. There’s life after transplant, but it’s not the end of the story. Just another story for another time.

Needless to say, I’ve had some practice at dealing with chaos and change. That helps. It changes your priorities. I’m very lucky for that.

I value life more than things. I wouldn’t trade that lesson for the world.

A few years ago, I was immobilized by my fear of change…

No more. What changed? Why am I now learning to like it?

To find it exciting? An adventure? It keeps you you, you know. But…

Never have I lived through such emotional upheaval as I am now. Never did I imagine I could.

The human spirit is quite bewitching. Quite mystifying. Quite the trickster.

It takes practice to learn to believe in yourself…

Not many people did in me. Except my mother.

All you need is one person.

She taught me that attitude is everything. Not just “positive thinking” but having a little blind trust.

I like to massage English Romantic poet, literary critic and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his famous literary aphorism ~ “willingly suspension of disbelief” or having the courage to believe in what may seem unbelievable. Take the leap. Risk. Like the “Savage Chickens” in Doug Savage’s cartoon.

What’s the worse thing that can happen?

You fail? So what. No one is perfect. Everyone fails at something, sometime. No one talks about it, that’s all.

Failure is part of life. You can’t ever move forward unless you take a risk. Try something new. If not, you may end up treading water forever, if you’re too frightened stick your toe in…

You can always try again. A failure is simply an attempt that didn’t work out the way you intended it to ~ that time. There’s always next time.

Failure is a great teacher…

You rarely forget your failures. They’re not unlike mistakes. Your rarely remember all the things you do right. There are lessons to learn from failure and mistake-making.

Sometimes you fall and scrape your knee or even sprain your ankle, but the human spirit has amazing healing capacity. It all starts with your mind. Your attitude. Your guts. Yourself.

No pill will give it to you. No prescription. No self-help book. You have to find your own way. Everyone is different. Trust yourself. Believe.

You can. You will. Just think about the way you think.

Then remember ~ don’t believe everything you think. There’s lots to learn by living a little. It changes the way you think.

Take a chance. On you….

Embracing Chaos and Change…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2010). Embracing Chaos and Change…. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jun 2010
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