The effects of chronic illness are devastating on so many levels, especially because being sick every day feels incredibly lonely.
If this is happening to you, you may have had the odd dark thought like ‘why me?’ or ‘It’s not fair’. You may spiral into depression. When you’re going through something like cancer, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, some days you may even feel even like giving up.
Ageing, illness and death are going to befall all of us one day. The fact that it is happening to you right now may seem hard to bear – but you are not alone in your suffering.
Do What You Can Do
During your darkest hours you may curse your body for betraying you, when what it really needs is some compassion. As an alternative, it may be helpful to focus on what you are able to do, no matter how limited it may be. This will give you far more inner peace and may even inspire you to do more.
And while you’re at it, don’t push yourself to do what you can’t do. Let go, give yourself a break and accept what is happening right now. Just because you could run marathons before all this happens doesn’t mean you should still try to do this.
Whatever It Takes
Sometimes we push our bodies against their wills, all in the name of feeling ‘normal’. Several years ago I was struck with a chronic illness that left me with crippling insomnia.. As you probably know, without adequate sleep the body breaks down pretty quickly.
So I had to really commit to a healthy lifestyle to try to combat this illness; and as a result I had to give up alcohol. Now, I was never a heavy drinker, but I did enjoy a social glass of champagne and some wine with dinner once a week. It may sound strange but having this simple pleasure taken away was so disheartening that I felt really depressed.
I felt quite pissed off and resentful of other people who could freely drink with no threat of ramifications. Not only that, I felt excluded from a special club that, in my mind, was the ultimate path to happiness. People who were drinking seemed to be having so much more fun than I was.
This, of course, was untrue; as were all the stories I told myself about my situation. I was making the situation so much worse because of my attitude.
I can’t stress enough how important developing a daily meditation practice is for your health and wellbeing. Prior to my illness I had dabbled in meditation, but never really made it a priority.
It was only when the going got tough for me that I really committed to a daily practice – and it helps me enormously, especially when I start feeling sorry for myself.
Meditation strengthens your mindfulness muscles, which in turn helps you to recognise the unhelpful stories and thought patterns that arise when you’re at your lowest. The practice will not take away your pain or your grief or your frustration, but it will help you relate to your suffering in a more positive and helpful way. You can also take the help of hypnotherapy for anxiety Melbourne.
This is how you transform your attitude when you’re suffering the effects of chronic illness. You take it one step, and one day at a time. And you do what you have to do to be happy.