Chronic/Invisible illnesses really, really, really stink! (I’m working on a post explaining my own struggle…check back soon)
Broken Mind. Broken Body. Broken Spirit.
I used to believe that health was mostly body driven, and that the greatest happiness comes from strong spiritual faith…and that a positive mind could be forced. Then my body rebelled, and my spirit went AWOL…and my mind threw a tantrum. Overwhelming chaos, that I tried so very hard to bring back to some form of health and happiness. I struggled and cried and fought and despaired my way into complete and total exhaustion. Chaos ruled.
And all the while, others would offer their words of wisdom. To list a few of my favorites:
- “Think happy thoughts!”
- “Just exercise more; get more sleep; loose some weight.”
- “You just need a little more faith; faith moves mountains.”
- “It does no good to dwell on gloomy things. Just be happy!”
- “You need to try (insert whatever), it completely cured (insert whomever). It’s the newest miracle; (such and such) study proves it.”
- “You need to stop (insert whatever), it completely messed up (insert whomever). It’s just snake oil; (such and such) study proves it.”
- “I (or any family member) went through something similar and I was blessed with complete healing when (choose one: received a priesthood blessing; read my scriptures more; sang primary songs when feeling sad; prayed harder; did more family history and temple work; went to church every week; did more service; talked to the bishop and confessed all my sins).”
…and my all time favorites?
- “Have you sought help? Follow their advice better.”
- “Fake it until you make it!”
Now before I make anyone upset…know, that I know, that the majority of advise is given from a place of love and concern. I know that miracles are real…but I also know that they DO NOT have to look the same for everyone. And I know that everyone is different and will gain health and happiness in their own way. So this is where you get to hear about my way…keeping in mind that I’m still on the difficult journey of trying to figure it all out.
I have been learning more and more, that if I want to achieve my own health and happiness…I have to work on all of my body, mind, and spirit. They really don’t work well with each other if I give more power to one over the others. It’s a tricky balance. My body needs to be taken care of and nourished. My spirit needs to feel loved and inspired. My mind needs to be encouraged and grow. If either hurts…the others hurt…and there is suffering and chaos all the way around. I don’t like the chaos. i REALLY do not like chaos!
But there is hope. I didn’t really believe that until recently. I will always struggle with chronic illness. There will always be a struggle for balance. Some days will be easy…some days will be hard. But I really believe that I’m finally moving in the right direction. Today was kind of a break through day for me…despite sitting here feeling not so great. I remember what hope feels like…for the first time in a very long time…I have hope.