How does one cope with multiple health crises and retain a sense of joie de vivre?
Susan Flam, who has survived a cycle of illnesses, says, “You can.”
She wrote a book titled Choices: Lemons or Chocolates “as a cathartic journey outlining my 30-year-plus struggle with chronic illnesses and the resulting depressions,” she said.
The book is really not about her, though, she says. “Everyone experiences obstacles in life, and not until you make choices on how to follow your path to a better quality of life, do you know what you are going to get. Life is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates.”
The character Forrest Gump, in the 1994 movie of the same name, says, “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”
In her 109-page book published by BookCrafters, Flam tells about her self-discovery and how she survived many roadblocks, “to empower and motivate readers into believing that whatever hand they have been dealt, you have to find a positive out of it all to move forward so you can be productive and happy.”
Flam, 64, a mother and grandmother, was born in Germany and immigrated to Toronto with her parents, Esther and Harry Fish, both Holocaust survivors, when she was six months old.
Flam has sprinkled her book with quotes about survival and hope from famous people, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Winston Churchill, Christopher Reeve and others.
She gives her readers the opportunity to choose a way out of their misery through positive reinforcement and simple methods that work for her.
“I feel that my book contains good elements that could really make a difference in the lives of people who are looking for answers to coexist with their afflictions,” Flam said.
One of her many coping tools, she says, is to remain active. Flam is a volunteer for several charitable organizations, including Beit Halochem, Na’amat and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Choices: Lemons or Chocolate is available at the Batner Bookstore in Thornhill, Ont., and online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.