“Life is happening to me and there is nothing I can do about it. Life is not on my side. I did not ask to get sick and I have no control over this situation. No one understands, no one truly helps, nobody cares. How did this happen to me, this is devastating, I am stuck with this poor health.”
Been there done that. You will never hear judgment from me on that kind of thinking. Having chronic illness, pain and isolation was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my lifetime. It stinks, no getting around it. So, I get it, but these thoughts keep us sicker than we need to be, they keep us in a state of hopelessness which feeds the illness.
In all honesty, no one is going to truly get it. You will find others who have your particular disease and you will find similar stories but you will not find anyone who has walked your exact path in life so they can feel what you feel. It will never happen. What you can find is support from others who have walked a similar path. Tremendous support can come from someone who is either in the heat of the battle or has moved through it. Make a pact to moan, groan and whine for 15 minutes then transition on to solutions and encouragement for the situation. Personally, I felt like I needed hours to whine but with years of illness and practice, I was able to shorten my time realizing I was just making it harder on myself to even have to listen to myself.
“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind-set that created them.” Albert Einstein
No, I am not saying that we created our own illnesses. No, I am not saying that our illness and pain are in our head. No, I am not blaming the sick person for anything. What I am saying is that here you are, in the heat of the battle, so what can you do to make it easier to walk through and come out the other side a better person because of it. Take the frustration and anger that you feel about how it is not working for you and get good and mad and fight, I mean really fight. Don’t sit down under a tree and a veil of darkness, FIGHT. Sometimes fighting takes on the form of peaceful silence so we can calm ourselves and get in a state that our body can heal.
Listen to your body to find wisdom instead of listening to a mindset of disease. Say, “this is not what is true for me, this is not how I am going to live my life.” Ask what is right about this that you are not getting, allow the wisdom to come through. Your thinking greatly impacts your health. The body will get disconnected and it will wear down, lead to disease and keep you stuck instead of releasing this state and allowing you to live the full productive life that you are meant to live.
Paranoia vs Pronoia
Paranoia in simple terms; is suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification. It is a highly negative thinking path that causes much grief. Do not misconstrue what I am saying. There are some people with clinical paranoia who do not have complete choice in their thinking. I am NOT talking about them. I am speaking to those of us who have control of our thinking and need to get greater control.
Pronoia has no searchable definition, not sure it is even a true word. Dr. Kim D’Eramo’s husband came up with this one. Instead of thinking life is against you, find the direction life is trying to point you to. I love this.
An example of this pronoia thinking would be a day in the life of a chronically ill person. Nothing really seems to go right on any given day, or so it seems. Instead of the perception being negative and thinking life is against us, turn it to a positive. Traveling to a doctor’s appointment in illness and pain is difficult, it is exhausting and painful and wears on every nerve, even the ones you did not know you had. The doctor is late, the waiting room is full, you are miserable. Then the stranger next to you starts up a conversation and the next thing you know you are exchanging phone numbers and you have a new friend who brings you joy. There are all kinds of events in life that redirect our paths so that something positive comes from a negative.
You have the ability to view life this way. You have the ability to fight for your health and well-being, for one, by finding a peaceful thought life.
Don’t forget you have the freedom to a Pity Party Plan and go for it when need be. Go wild with the pity for yourself because illness truly does stink. Then wipe the tears, get a bottle of water, take a walk and find the light in your life.
How do you peacefully fight for your health and well-being? What kinds of pronoia situations do you see happening in your health journey?
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
Donations accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.