A friend shared a link to the Avant Game blog a while back and I keep coming back to it. I enjoy games and gaming, but Jane McGonigal used a very different approach to involving others in her illness and healing. I love the idea of it, and it takes a certain amount of bravery to reach out for help like this, but I really wonder if it would be beneficial to someone with a chronic illness. What happens if the game never ends?
Maybe because I am still new to this (even after three years- I suspect dealing with my illnesses will always be “new” to me in some form or another) but it’s hard for me to envision my illness in a proactive way. I am still learning how to ask for help and to find brighter points in my day. This sort of healing game would require an added level of awareness (and more mental/emotional effort) than I think I could pull off right now. I imagine her attitude had a lot to do with it- she was enthused about the idea and was able to catch others up in that fervour.
This kind of game would probably achieve something that I have some difficulty with- learning to laugh at my illness and celebrate my achievements. I still get caught up focusing on what I can’t do rather than maximizing what I can. NPR had a wonderful segment on Linda Hill, who survived multiple bouts of cancer, and how she and her family are able to use laughter to persevere. I love some of the t-shirts they created, and that part of every sale goes to cancer research. Her website is So Much More and I encourage you to go check it out- I especially like the “meds” t-shirt!
It comes back to finding your inspiration, I think. Some find it in family or laughter, friends or faith. I’m still learning how to maximize the good things to get past the bad- I just hope to find the energy or drive that either of these women evince.