Today is Day 10 of 31 Days of Surviving Chronic Illness. You can catch up to Day 1 here.
At one point in my heath journey I realized I needed to:
- Stop and listen to what my body was trying to tell me. I had been sick for quite a few years at this point but it didn't happen overnight. I had been accumulating little quirks and symptoms for years until finally they all just combined into a mess of sickness and exhaustion. So I decided that I needed to just shut out all the noise and trust that my body knew what to do next. But I had to listen.
- Be kinder to my body. It had worked hard over the years and I had pushed it way too far. The year before my physical body officially crapped out, I was so busy I didn't have time to do the most basic things. Like eat. Or sleep. Or relax. I was working full time, training and teaching Karate roughly 20 hours a week, plus church, plus family, plus, plus, plus.. Finally my body just said, "ENOUGH!" It just couldn't take the abuse any more.
Because I wouldn't listen to all the signals my body had been giving me, it did an "override" and forced me to slow down. All the way down. But it took a while for my brain to catch up to what was going on. Even in the middle of debilitating illness & physical pain, I was still trying to find a way to do all the things I used to do before I became sick.
But I just got sicker. All the while my poor body was screaming out to me and I just wouldn't listen.
I am fortunate. Much of my physical pain and illness has been reversing lately. At least as long as I'm doing all the "right stuff". I know some of you have illnesses that will be with you forever. Maybe it's MS or Parkinson's or another condition. First let me say, I'm sorry. I can only imagine how discouraging and scary that must be.
Second, I want to say this: don't give up. Your body may be broken in places, but you're still here and your body is still talking to you. It still wants to be well and it is trying hard to get there, given the resources it has.
So let's help our bodies along as best we can. Let's stop working against them. Let's get quiet and listen to the cues they are constantly giving us. Let's give them the nourishment and rest they are asking for. Will it be the miracle cure? For some perhaps. For others, no, not a miracle cure. But it can give us all some calm in the storm, and there are days that's all we're looking for. The strength to get through one more day.