Helping Ourselves to Heal

I have been suffering a long term illness for over twenty years now. I have gone through all the emotions of it. The desperation, the denial, and facing my own mortality. In the beginning I remember running to the emergency room over and over demanding answers. I so desperately wanted to know what was wrong with me. Several years later after seeing over 100 doctors in three different states, I came to a realization.

Nature is nature. It is survival of the fittest. None of us were born with the promise of life being perfect. As we grow up, we are told what to expect. You learn you will go to school, make friends, go to college, get a career, meet a partner, get married, have kids, and grow old together. But in reality, few lives are really like this.

Of course there will be several stumbling blocks in every persons life. A road block seldom talked about is that many of us will get sick along the way, chronically ill. And boy does that throw a wrench into plans, hopes and dreams.


Helping yourself

One of things we first do when we get sick is run to the doctor. Of course, that is what we have been taught to do, right? We fully expect to go to thedoctor and they will give us a prescription for pills. We go home and take them and, voila! You get better and can go on with life. But what happens when you don’t get better? What happens when you don’t get an easy answer from a doctor?One of the lessons that took me years to learn, was that a big part of yourhealth lays right in your own hands. You can’t control all the infections, parasites, or viruses that you are exposed to. Nor can you control what your genes are and what conditions you may be predisposed to. But, you can control the environment into which you invite these foreign invaders into.Think about it this way. If there was a lazy no good burglar looking for a house to rob. Do you think he is going to go to the house where the door is left open and there is goodies laying about ready to be picked up easily by him? And if he gets away with it the first time, might he not come back for more? Or do you think he would pick the house that has a good alarm system, safes for the jewelry, money locked away in a safe bank account, in a neighborhood with a security watch? The answer is obvious.


I know you have heard this all before, but please really think about it. Picture the analogy above with the house and burglar. Now picture the burglar being the disease, and the house being your body. If you eat junk and drink soda all day, you are making your body acidic. Disease thrives in an acidic body. So if you are eating bad and have an acidic environment, it is inviting that bacteria to come in and thrive.
The infection will come settle in and not want to leave.
Now picture the burglar ransacking through your house. He is throwing stuff everywhere making a mess looking for the “
goods.” This is what bacteria does also. It enters your blood stream and puts off waste, or toxins, that your liver and other organs is going to have

 to try to clean up. If this condition keeps on getting worse it will lead to other conditions such as Adrenal Fatigue , from your overtaxed organs trying to keep up with cleaning out all the toxins.So what you can do, is try to make your home not so inviting to burglars. Make you body an alkaline place so bacteria can not thrive. Don’t eat just to eat. Eat to survive and thrive. Also by eating right, you arm your body with antioxidants (alarm system and neighborhood watch) that your body needs to fight against free radicals in your blood stream.To sum this up, give you body the defense it needs to fight off disease. By eating healthy you will provide your body with the enzymes, proteins, minerals and vitamains it needs to repair cell damage and the antioxidants it needs to fight off diseases like cancer.

Remember to take care of you.

It’s okay to say “no.”

I think most of us fall into the trap of not being able to say “no.” We all want to help others as much as we can. This is a good thing as long as it it not taking from your precious energy. When you are sick you don’t have the same amount of energy that others do. You have to carefully pick and choose the events of the day to be able to get through them.What I have noticed with people who are chronically ill is that we tend to “push” ourselves. Instead of just conceding that we have done what we can do for the day, we over do it. This just leads our bodies and minds to be overtaxed. We’re not doing anyone favors by doing this.Everybody has stress. But by figuring out what you don’t have a choice in and what you do, it can make a big difference. For example, you can’t control that your partner got laid off from their job. But you can control not being the “coordinator” of the next local church potluck dinner. So say “no” if you have to, and don’t feel guilty about it. There is always going to be another person ready to fill in. Don’t feel like you have to make excuses either, just say you are not able to at this time. Trust me, once that “no” crosses your lips you will feel a lot better.

It’s Okay To Say ‘No”

Think on these points

* Are you saying yes because of the pressure someone else is putting on you, or the pressure you are putting upon yourself? Are you the ONLY person that is capable of doing what you are being asked to do?* It’s okay to say no if you don’t feel moved by an idea, no matter how great it might sound to someone else.* Happiness comes from a lot of little choices we make, not from one big one. So don’t sweat it if you miss one opportunity or event. Pay attention to all the little “goodness” in your world. No one “chance” or “decision” makes you or breaks you. Other opportunities will arise at the right opportunity.

* It’s okay to choose to stay home than to go out no matter how many other people think you should be be going. Only you know when your body needs rest. It’s up to us to recognize and honor that.

* It’s okay to say no without having to explain yourself in detail. “This doesn’t feel right for me right now” or “I don’t feel like I’m able at the present time” are good enough. If a person respects you they will honor that.

* It’s okay to change your mind. Even if you already said yes originally but then you realized you weren’t being true to yourself and your restrictions. It’s far better to make the right choice late than try to follow through with the wrong one because you feel pressure that you should.

Get up and move around a little.

I know how hard it is to exercise. There is no way in the world right now, that I’d be able to go on a bike ride or a jog around the block. (For right now anyways) So when I say exercise, I mean just get the blood moving. Remember it is essential to our health to keep the blood moving and keep our lymphatic system flowing smoothly too. We don’t want to clog up our arteries or lymphatic systems with waste and sludge. To keep our cells oxygenated and healthy this is important.So do exercises at your level. If you are bedridden, do light leg and arm exercises. When and if you can get up, take a small walk up and down the hallway. If you are dizzy or unstable ask someone to walk with you. Even if you are just lifting your arms up and down or prop yourself up into a different position. Get the blood moving better is what is important.Exercise as you are able. I have lately found walking my dogs is good. They don’t need to be on leashes where I live so there is no chance of pulling or anything, just a short walk around the property feels really nice. Being outside has other benefits as well of course. Soaking in the sun helps you absorb Vit D. But also just a change in atmosphere for a little while can help lift the mood a little bit.

Aerobic exercise is not always good for people who are chronically ill, so stick with something less straining. Yoga and T’ai Chi are calming exercises. That is calming for your mind, but will get the blood and lymph fluid flowing. Check them out. There is plenty of youtube videos you can watch and move along with.

Get enough rest!

You may be thinking right now, “but that’s all I do!” But I’m talking about the kind of rest where you are really actually resting, mind a
nd body. Not the kind where you are stressed out and experiencing the “mind racing” we tend to experience when chronically ill. Try to clear your mind. Don’t think about what your next treatment is, how you will pay for the mortgage, or anything related to stress.
Learn about techniques like imagery or meditation to aide you. Worrying doesn’ t solve anything. So allow yourself a part of the day where all problems are set aside.

Find Happy Things

What I mean by this is, make sure no matter how sick you are, that there is something to look forward to every day. Whether it be watching a favorite TV series, or chatting with a buddy online, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure that you have that “thing’ in your life to remind you that you are still YOU on the inside. You still have interests, hobbies you love, pets that love you, a sense of humor, and anything else that ever made you, YOU. So don’t lose those things and remember to try to do or pay attention to these each day at least for a part of the day. I know we can’t do what we used to, but we can still try to adapt to what we can do now.Part of dealing with a chronic illness is accepting the moment. Accepting our limitations (for now). Then taking our dreams and re adapting to how we can still accomplish them. They may have even changed now, new dreams might have been made, but no matter what they are, don’t lose grasp of them.


Even though I put this last, it is probably my #1 way to lighten things up on a mentally bad day. Just watching funny videos or talking to someone who can make you laugh is HUGE in distraction from whatever situation you are going through. Try it! Put on a funny show, watch hidden pranks on Youtube, play with your dog or cat, have your kids do a stand up routine for you…do anything silly or watch anything funny. It will help, even if momentarily.

Click Here for Some Giggles

Do you have anything you’d like to share on the subject? Please feel free to leave comments in the comment section below. Thank you!

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