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  • This Practical Parody Has Been a Helpful Resource for Me.

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on December 19, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Don’t let the title of this book turn you off, but The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck has been a really helpful and practical guide in helping me cope with my idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). As a result, I thought I’d share it with the rest of you for those who might be interested in reading it. The focus of this book is a humorous approach to helping you “stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do”. Admit it: we all do it!

    This book has been particularly helpful for me as I re-evaluate where I choose to invest my time and energy these days; recognizing that I can no longer keep up the same pace as my lung disease progresses. I really tore myself up with feeling guilty about this, and actually wrote a column about this back in August and why it is so important to let go of guilt as a PF patient. It’s so important for our mental health overall to not feel guilty about the differences in our abilities and what we want to spend time doing vs. what doesn’t intrigue us anymore.

    This book parallels the idea of the Spoon Theory, which basically states those of us with chronic illnesses only have so many ‘spoons’ to use our energy on in a day. This book instead talks openly about only having so many “fucks” to give, which equates to emotional, mental, social and physical time and how it can impact us and mentally clutter our lives. The parody and humour that can be found in it, is only a bonus in my opinion!

    If you give it a read, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it as I am currently working through the practical steps of identifying what things I care about (ie. give a fuck about) vs. what I don’t, and then the benefit of letting go of those latter things. I am excited to continue reading it, and sharing this resource with others.

    Have you come across any particularly helpful books/movies/resources that have benefited you since your IPF/PF diagnosis? 

    If so, please share them with us.

    Charlene Marshall replied 5 years, 4 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • karl

    December 19, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I believe guilt should not be in the vocabulary of anyone who becomes ill or incapacitated unless they are knowingly responsible for becoming that way. I once broke both arms necessitating my wife to become a care-giver for a while. I felt guilty because I broke them by doing something I should not have done and knew better. I’m not at an advanced stage of IPF yet but know I will be. My wife will be there for me again but I don’t feel guilt. I feel badly that it is what it is and it will affect her, and others in my family. Needing care has a debilitating effect on you. That’s enough burden to bear. Spend the time you have with people you like doing the things you like to do. That’s a positive attitude to have, and attitude is critical to coping.

  • Charlene Marshall

    December 22, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Hi Karl,

    Thanks for writing – I am very curious to hear of people’s response to the resource I shared via this post. The name can certainly turn folks off of it, but honestly, it has been so helpful for me and I am considering reading the whole thing again.

    I couldn’t agree more with you about not feeling guilty: this is so important, albeit, so hard to do (for me anyways). Your approach to not feeling guilty around something we have no control over, like our disease or its progression, is a lesson embedded in this book and one that I always liked in theory but never really implemented. I’ve always admired those who have truly mastered this, and I believe this book is really going to help me do this and live a much happier/more content life. So glad you’ve been able to approach your disease with this mindset, it is a good one to have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us 🙂


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