Thursday, August 18, 2011

Less Bitter More Thankful

Glancing over today's news headlines I saw Being Bitter Can Ruin Your Health. I clicked on the article and half-heartedly read it. Many people who have chronic illnesses that cannot be seen on tests, read an article like this and cringe. My MRI is normal, so does that mean my chronic daily headache and chronic intractable Migraines exist because I am bitter?

Oh you've been lucky if you've escaped the phrase "its all in your head" in the chronic Migraine community. So, some of us are a bit sensitive when someone suggests anything mind-related might be affecting our health.

According to this article, bitterness can contribute to health conditions, create them, and if bitterness is removed even take the created health conditions away. Do I think it is that simple for us? No. But there is a take away.

Chronic illnesses have given many of us every reason to be bitter. Chronic illness has changed our lives in some form or fashion.  For me, the sum of my chronic illnesses has meant for George and me that we are not able to become parents though it was a huge dream of both of ours. We made this devastating realization and decision when my body exhibited yet another chronic illness that became disabling when we were most of the way through our adoption home study this past winter. Oh yes, that stung having that particular dream ripped from our hearts.

I have lost many dreams. Have you? I have lost the ability to work in a profession I loved. I have missed dear friend's weddings, been separated from family on holidays, and spent endless days sequestered in a house, in my bed or on a couch.  I do not lead a life that resembles anything close to what most people consider an average life.

This year, my body has come up with new and creative symptoms that make my specialists shake their heads and say, "Kelly, your body is just so sensitive."  After having the same trusted doctor compassionately say this on a few different occasions, I realized that my body is so sensitive that not even educated specialists know how to tame it. 

Over the last several months, I have been hating my body. I mean, really hating it. I have felt like it has betrayed me. Why is it so over-sensitive? I've cursed and told my body where it can go many-a-time. And yesterday, in the midst of more body-frustration, the thought came to me that I needed a different approach: to be thankful. I needed to thank my body and not hate on it any longer.

The truth is that my body could be doing a lot worse. I'm not having severe vertigo right now, and I know how hellish that can be. Thank you, Body for no severe vertigo! I have a Migraine right now, but it is not so severe I am curled up in a ball in a dark room with the shades drawn. Thank you body. Recently, I have experienced not being able to communicate because my body was malfunctioning, but I am able to write this post. Thank you, Body.

I am going to have chronic illnesses the rest of my life. I do not want to be bitter and miserable the rest of my life and at least I have a choice about that.

Oh I like that. I have a choice.

Venting is healthy. Hating is not. I am going to try to be less bitter toward my body and more mindful about being thankful.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is what I am feeling!
    I was writing a post about being angry, and read this post..and felt so much better.

    I mentioned it on my post. Hope that's ok.

    glad to hear you are having less vertigo - me too. And glad you are having a workable migraine (that's what I call the one's that don't put me in the "hole"). I started out with a killer one this morning, but it got better...not gone..hasn't been gone in a month..but better.

    I'm sorry you have had to change your life plans so much. I understand about the child issue. Stuart and I had our first home visit to become foster parents, and all this hit again. I don't know if I'll ever have the courage to try again, for fear that I'll end up like this again. (assuming I will get better.)

    I think of you often.