Sick People, Are You “Waiting” to be Happy?
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- August 10, 2021
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For the first six years that I was sick, I saw my mysterious, multi-system, undiagnosable illness as a burden.
I was 28 when I stopped being able to breathe without effort, urinate without pain, or stay up past 7:30pm without fogging out, forgetting things, and falling asleep at parties. None of my doctors knew what was happening to me.
So as my friends were posting bikini shots from lake house vacations on Instagram, I was gasping for breath on the floor of my studio apartment. When they were drinking at bars, I was dragging myself to auditions with migraines I had already medicated three times and was just pushing through. They spent their extra cash on cute clothes, I spent my extra cash on fat glass jars of supplements that had never passed clinical trials desperately hoping they would deliver me out of this situation.
I think you get the idea. It was an unusual set of circumstances for a young adult to be in.
But in regards to the topic of this post, the relevant part wasn’t the circumstances. It was the way I saw the circumstances.
I deemed this situation intolerable, tragic, and unacceptable. And I fought against it with every ounce of my strength and determination. Because I was sure it made me less. Defective in some way. I was clear that only by getting OUT of that situation could I be in peace.
So I spent six years, and over $75,000 trying to get well.
I was convinced that that was the only path for me. I had to keep fighting. To me– a sick life, wasn’t a life worth living.
So I “fought” it. And a pattern emerged.
Every time I tried something new I would get my hopes up, spend the thousands, follow the advice, then like clockwork, a month later, three months later, I would crash into despair. The treatment would fail. I would be “still like this.” And that would drive me to near insanity. I kept thinking the same thoughts over and over again. “I’m not okay.” “This isn’t okay” “I’m doing it wrong.” And the worst one: “I’m wasting my life.”
Does this sound familiar?
At those lowest points with my illness, when I let those thoughts, the self-pity, regret, and future alternate fear-based fantasy take over I would descend into paralysis, despair, self-loathing, self-rejection, and suicidality. I remember telling my boyfriend in very sober tones one day that if things continued this way, it simply wouldn’t be worth it to stay alive. Life was one misery after the other.
Then, one day, I had a conversation with my coach about my suffering. And how the emotional suffering of the disease is worse than the physical.
We slowed way down. She inquired with me deeply.
What was the belief underneath the emotional suffering? What was it that was really torturing me? Outside of the cultural expectation that we should all be well… and to not be well was “bad”– what was it that I was saying to myself that made me feel so insane?
And I discovered this thought: “This shouldn’t be happening.”
That was the problem. That was the entire problem.
I had doubled down on the idea that this shouldn’t be happening to me. And from there– every moment that it was happening, I was failing.
After this radical awareness, I started to consider– what would it be like without this perspective? Would I be able to take my life off “hold”? Would I be able to start living again?
Because when I really slowed it down, what I saw was that I thought I wanted to be free physically… but what I really wanted was to feel FREE EMOTIONALLY. To feel GOOD ENOUGH AGAIN. To feel as though my life WASN’T HARD ALL THE TIME.
So I decided to try.
I decided to stop calling it hard for a week, even when the pain persisted. And to see what happened.
What happened was a legit non-hyperbolic Buddha-level spiritual awakening.
I experienced a surge of self-esteem. Tremendous lightness flowed into my body. I spoke with definitive surety that I was done feeling like a victim. I started to include myself as an equal to those around me. I looked back on my contributions to the world and saw them as tremendous, rather than not enough. I started to dream again. I saw my future as filled with possibility, not cursed to suffering. I set goals effortlessly, and saw the possibility of them coming true, even WITH the illness, even when I was still on my healing path.
I didn’t stop working towards healing my autoimmune conditions, but I also stopped believing they defined me, or that it was worse to be a sick person, or that my life was way harder than everyone else’s.
And suddenly, I got my life back. Just like I wanted, without even being cured.
Now I support other people in walking this same path. The path of moving towards complete remission on a physiological but also MENTAL and EMOTIONAL level.
Without needing to be without disease to live the life they want to live.
Does this sound like something you want?
If you are:
– Tired of feeling “worse” “more sad” or “more burdened” than able-bodied people.
– Feel like your life is on hold until you get well.
– Are at a dead-end in your healing.
– Are suffering from autoimmune disease, Lyme, or chronic illness and think you’ve tried everything.
– Think there is no hope for you.
– Suffer from illness-induced depression.
Let’s talk. There’s so much more available in your healing. You can have your life back, NOW.
And no matter what your decision–our time together will serve you. That is my commitment. Your contributions to the planet are essential, stop waiting to get well, to make them. I’m rooting for you!