Healing Series: Are We Putting Too Much Pressure On Ourselves?

Brain icon  A bit of musing for you today..

Sometimes I think we have to take a step back and look at how much we are trying to achieve with all our healing strategies. I wonder sometimes if we put too much pressure on ourselves and I am forever being asked: ‘When will I be better?’, ‘How long before I’m cured?’.

I watch people, as I used to do myself, constantly investigating routes, going down paths on a never-ending search for answers and what to do next. I certainly don’t blame people; as I said, I did it myself for years. I suppose I have got to the stage where I am fed up with doing that, weary of the constant thinking and searching, if you see what I mean? Part of my current strategy is to stop doing that and relax off a bit. Goodness knows if I will keep that up or go back to the constant enquiry, but I have to say, for now, it’s a bit of a relief to have stopped!

Is there such a thing as a ‘cure’ anyway?

As any practitioner worth their salt knows: firstly, we do not use the word ‘cure’ for legal reasons, but also because there is really no such end point, at least with chronic illness. There is only ‘getting better’ and achieving the level of life you and your own body can get to, if you see what I mean? Indeed, that might be fabulously healthy compared to how you used to be, and often is thankfully, but it may not be a total ‘cure’ or disappearance of symptoms, scans showing stuff fully gone etc etc. And maybe if that’s what you’re waiting for before you can say you are ‘better’ then you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment or, more likely, a never-ending quest.

Does that really mean your strategy’s not working? Of course not. I think many people put too much pressure on themselves to solve every little thing and trick themselves into believing they’ve somehow failed if they haven’t done so.

In my own case, for example, I am way better than I was a few years ago. Sure, I still suffer with ongoing symptoms and the dreaded diet restrictions to control them, but I do now have a life that is on an upward trajectory rather than a downward, scary spiral. I believe I am getting well, even if I am not there yet. In fact, I have come to realise that the sheer belief that I am getting well is actually helping me to get there. The mind is a powerful ally, used correctly.

Will I ever get to a total disappearance of those symptoms? Who the heck knows? I hope so, of course, but if I can take the pressure off myself of constantly striving and craving to be ‘better’ maybe I can heal that much faster anyway: the ‘acceptance’ we’ve talked about in previous posts. If I can accept how far I have come and just trust that what I’m doing to help myself will pay dividends in a better quality life in the future, or even accept that this is my life as it is now, then perhaps that should be enough?

Anyway, I am musing, of course! As usual, I am being influenced by my current reading. This time, the famous The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, admittedly a tough read, but the main thrust is to encourage us to concentrate on what is happening right now in the present, let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. I haven’t learned how to do it yet, but wouldn’t it be a relief if that’s all we had to think about? Just accept what is happening now and that it is happening for some reason we may not have a clue about, but stop worrying so much about it. A nice thought!

How do others see it?

On this subject, I see that Petra8Paleo has put together a fabulous post directing us to various bloggers’ who share their ups and downs on their healing journeys for us. I find it interesting to read some of the comments the bloggers make on why they do or don’t share their bad times. I have always done so. I have been criticised for it myself, in fact. However, my take on it is that I am always honest about the trials and tribulations of chronic illness. I hope that people will trust me that much more for being honest, even if it puts some people off. I do try to keep it positive but therapists and practitioners are all too human themselves and it would be very misleading to say that all in the garden was rosy all the time. That’s just not life, is it? Anyway, I think we gain strength and knowledge from the bad times as much as the good as long as we can see them for what they are – which is tough sometimes, I admit! In fact, most good practitioners have had to deal with the stuff they’re helping you with themselves; they’ve been there and worn, or are still wearing, the T-shirt. It doesn’t mean they don’t know their stuff; it means they can empathise more with you and make suggestions you may not have thought of yet.

Anyway, back to the bloggers..In the posts I’ve read so far, the over-riding theme is that maybe no ‘cure’ exists at all, but that doesn’t mean because you can’t get right to the nth degree, you’ve failed. You need to take the positives as they come, recognise them and keep on keeping on if that’s what you decide to do, or maybe just stop where you are and let go of the fight.

I always find other people’s stories useful and inspiring to read and I will normally direct you to positive ones to help you ‘re-set’ your brains’ neural pathways. However, sometimes a dose of reality from other people going through the same things as us somehow helps us feel less alone with it all and can show us that others accept the place they have managed to get to and help us to ‘let go’ of the fight a bit ourselves.

Have a read anyway if that helps you. Thanks to Petra for putting it together for us:

Healing Autoimmune

2 Replies to “Healing Series: Are We Putting Too Much Pressure On Ourselves?”

  1. This is a good reminder, Micki. I find it difficult to accept that I might never get my old state of health back. I’m not even sure I remember what that means sometimes. At least I feel much better than I felt even a few years ago. That makes it worth all that I have to do to feel better.

    1. Well that’s a good mental place to be then, Maureen, I would say. A core theme that runs through an awful lot of the ‘success’ healing stories I’ve read and listened over the past year or so has actually been that when they let go of trying to get back to their old life, somehow healing happened much faster. The trick, of course, is in how to stop craving it! I’m still working on that but part if my move to Cornwall is to force me to live a different life, if you see what I mean. If I maybe concentrate on something else, my health will sort itself out while I’m not looking!

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