What My Chronic Illness Has Taught Me

Hello friends, I hope you are all having a wonderful day!

It has been some while since I have been active here so I thought I would give you a little update on what’s been going on for me. The past year has been a whirlwind of challenges and one that has altered my perspective profoundly.

At the end of last summer I suddenly fell ill with extreme dizziness, such poor blood sugar control I had to eat every two hours day and night else I blacked out, muscle loss, extreme fatigue and joint pain amongst many other  fun symptoms. There was no-one medically who could help me so I had to take my health in my own hands, which turned out to be an enormous blessing in disguise – I have learnt about so many astonishing healing methods which I was not exposed to during my conventional education and am more in tune with my body than I knew it was ever possible to be.

During this year my identity as a person has been turned upside down: my inability to work, to socialise and otherwise partake in usual life activities for much of this time forced me to re-examine my past and my my present – and at the darkest times my future. During that time I felt I had lost my voice and so it has been a while before I have been able to process the experience and be able to re-engage with you all but I am excited to be back!

Sometimes it takes being apart from a situation to be an impartial judge and this year has given me a valuable opportunity to reflect on my own life – not only evaluating the twists and turns, physically and emotionally that had led to the path that had impacted my health to this degree, but also unravelling the beliefs and ideas that had pulled me away from the intuition of my body and prioritised another pursuits. I came to see the roles of my upbringing and society on the perceptions I had cultivated about myself and the world around me and to challenge them.

One of the earlier lessons I encountered  was how much stress worsened my condition so every decision however small had to be chosen to tip the balance in my favour – I trained myself to ask hundreds of times a day:

‘Is this thought, activity, environment, food, person in alignment with achieving good health?’

and if not, to gracefully let go of the things that do not serve me.

At times those things surprised me: with hindsight I saw the ways that my childhood experiences had infiltrated my good judgement – most notably my education, which despite being academically successful  had done precious little to prepare me for the life I wanted for the time invested in it. Those years, I realised, had imbued me with ideas about my worth as a person and what I was expected to be which were destructive to my potential to succeed at the most important thing at all: happiness.

The experience forced me to realign with the wisdom my own voice, and in the shortage of voices who could improve my quality of life, to know that whilst teachers of all kinds come into our lives we are always a student of ourselves.

I think that was the fundamental change that occured: I got to know myself more deeply on an existential plane, seperated from many the influences that had guided my path and to disentangle those ideas and belief systems from my own to take charge of my own reality.

Another way that this last year has transformed me has been in my relationship with my body. After a lifetime of disordered eating patterns the experience of having to eat to simply remain conscious turned my perspective around. My appearance took a back seat to my health. That realisation at first was heartbreaking – I had to give up the thin body I had suffered to attain and hand over control to my body’s intelligent guidance.  The weight gain was at first distressing… but not as distressing as the prospect of never living a normal life again!

Meanwhile I learnt more functionally about how my body works than anything I had been told in a doctor’s office or biology lab.  After feeling like my body was a prison and being so far dissociated from it I was now studying its language and  discovering the profound communication many of us ignore until it really screams at us.

It’s a blessing to be able to witness your body’s genetic blueprint rebuilding you from the inside out as one by one symptoms fade away. To be able to rectify such an abundance of symptoms leaves me with profound awe for the healing capacity of the human body – it is the smartest resource I will ever have access to.

During the past year one of my favourite quotes has become this:

“Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly”

– A Course In Miracles

I have also taken up a course in nutrition to support the knowledge I gained – something I didn’t see in my life path. I was also able to explore new ideas of possible career paths and reconnect to my writing voice to share the insights I had gained in a range of styles. You can check out some of my poetry here.

My journey isn’t complete yet – my health is still very up and down but many symptoms have vanished and the good days are getting better. I am confident in my body’s ability to heal completely and conclusively , marking a start to the new life which this temporary pause has only motivated me to catapult head first into – a passionate and authentic life which I could not have envisioned without this year of sitting quietly in the classroom of my own body.

If you have any topic requests please do tweet me! I love to hear what you think and what you would like to hear more of.

Bobby-Jo x

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One thought on “  What My Chronic Illness Has Taught Me

  1. Sometimes I find it hard to put what I feel into words, you do it so effortlessly. I cant even begin to explain with how much I can relate to this post. You are such an inspiration!

    Like

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