October 21, 2010

Toni Bernhard at the Tricycle Book Club

The Tricycle Book Club is currently reading How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard (Wisdom Publications, 2010, $15.95 paper, available in all e-book formats). Foreword by Sylvia Boorstein.

Bernhard has been actively participating in the discussion of How to Be Sick all this week, and she'll be here through the end of next week as well. Here is an exchange between Bernhard and a book club member:

Pat: we all know that when you have an invisible chronic illness AND you want to stay engaged in life, people often ask you to take on more than you should.

Bernhard: The invisibility of the illness makes it so much harder when we go out into the world. I often talk about the dilemma of how to "present" ourselves. If we spruce up, maybe even make-up and lipstick (for some of us who may be reading this!), we risk people thinking that we can do anything and not understanding our limitations. But if we just let our demeanor reflect how we feel (often it's a struggle just to get dressed and get our hair combed) then we risk feeling we're not doing enough to lift our spirits.

Join the conversation here!

Toni BernhardToni Bernhard was a law professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Davis until forced to retire due to illness. During her twenty-two years on the faculty, she served six years as Dean of Students. In 1992, she began to study and practice Buddhism. Before becoming ill, she attended many meditation retreats and led a meditation group in Davis with her husband. She lives in Davis with her husband, Tony, and their hound dog, Rusty.
Information on purchasing the book can be found at www.howtobesick.com.

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tricycle Magazine and Cindy Becker, C8H10N4O2. C8H10N4O2 said: RT @tricyclemag: How does one deal with a chronic illness that's invisible? http://www.tricycle.com/blog/?p=2582 [...]