Reviewed by Kristen E. Holm, PhD, MPH

After writing down how having COPD has affected important aspects of your and your families' life, you may experience the feeling of loss. It is important to understand what the loss means to you. This will help you avoid giving the loss a meaning that is not entirely true.

When you experience loss, you naturally feel sad. Feeling sad is okay. Feeling guilt ridden is not okay. When you give loss a meaning that isn't entirely true, you may unnecessarily beat yourself up and feel even worse about your disease. Here are some examples of how a loss might be given a meaning that might not be true:



Meaning That is not True

I can't work...


I'm not valuable.

I can't travel...


I'm a burden.

I don't look good...


I'm scary to the kids.

I am afraid to have sex...


I'm half the person I was.


On a piece of paper:

  • List any changes that feel like losses that you wrote down on the previous page, "Your Life with COPD."
  • List your losses in the order you feel most able to do something about, to what you are least able to do something about.
  • Leave a few spaces below each loss you list.
  • For each loss, be sure to think about whether you have given that loss a meaning that might not be true

Now that you've listed some of your personal losses, it's time to figure out steps to take to make them better. Below each loss you listed, try to think of one step that you could take today to move toward making that loss feel better - even if it's only a tiny step.

Don't worry if you can't think of anything yet. You can always come back later. The following pages are full of ideas that have helped many others. Some can help you.

Step 3: Accepting Help



Clinical Trials

For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.