If nowhere is good enough for Winnie-The-Pooh, it is good enough for the chronically ill. Have you ever let your mind wander and rest in never-never-land? Interesting things can happen while in nowhere land. Christopher Robin and Pooh can help us find great comfort while we are on our unique wellness path.
For those who are going through chronic illness and have past (or current) trauma, may I suggest going back into childhood never-never-land to find some peace?
I know it has worked for me. I cannot fix the past, none of it. I cannot explain it because it is too complicated for even me to completely understand. Way too hurtful to process it all at one time. Then top it off with chronic illness that creates more trauma, more abandonment and more pain and it can all become too much at times. It can make us too tense, too serious, too overwhelmed which keeps us stuck in illness.
Children’s tales can be very helpful to relax the brain, the mind, the soul. We can become more peaceful for a moment and find our bodies starting to relax. It is okay that we cannot fix everything. It is okay that, at times, we need to go into nowhere land to feel a childhood dream of safety and comfort. You know, when we should have been free to be children and play to our heart’s content. And everything should have been nice and have a fairy tale ending.
Chronic illness is a perfect time to revisit childhood. While in bed and wishing you were anywhere but here… anywhere but ill… let your mind wander off into playful times… let your mind and body rest in childhood tales. This is fun if you let it.
Christopher Robin (the child in all of us)
Where do we go when we grow up? We seem to lose our child within. We become so serious and forget about our imagination.
We get even more serious when we become chronically ill. We get lost in the aches, pains, and misery of it all. We certainly lose a sense of imagination that it takes to walk out of the woods and on to a wellness path.
The Disney movie Christopher Robin reflects our over-serious nature as adults and our need to reclaim our inner child, at any age.
Winnie-The-Pooh (the bear)
Pooh loves honey. He is always eating honey, always getting stuck to one thing or another. But he always finds a way to get un-stuck, no matter what.
I remember feeling STUCK!!! I mean really stuck. Stuck in illness. Stuck in bed. Stuck in pain. Stuck in frustration. I never felt as stuck as when I was chronically ill and did not have the health to see past my nose.
Being chronically ill is simply a sticky business!! It is messy and there is no getting around that fact.
Rumbly in My Tumbly
Pooh certainly has no fear of food, especially the natural sweetness of pure food like honey. There is something about an intense illness that drives many to the fear of food. Pooh adjusts to what he needs as nourishment. If he ate too much honey, he gets stuck in the door in the tree. He is patient with himself while he slims down and can move on.
Waiting for Somewhere to Find Pooh
When Pooh is lost, he sits waiting for somewhere to find HIM. When we are lost in illness, sometimes all we can do is sit down and wait and see which somewhere finds us so that we can proceed. I love Pooh’s patience with the unknown. There is a ton of unknown during chronic illness. Have some Pooh Patience!!!
When Pooh has the energy to move, he does it in wisdom… “I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been.” ~ Pooh
We got into chronic illness by a lifestyle. Keep walking AWAY from where we have been. There are lifestyles that support our bodies and keep us on a wellness journey, not an illness journey.
Cycology – Using Efficient Mind Games
I’m convinced that Pooh invented CYCOLOGY (= psychology = using the mind to keep moving through chronic illness).
Just look at one of Pooh’s words…
Efficiency = a-fish-in-the-sea = E-ffic-ien-cy
We become a-fish-in-the sea when we focus too much on efficiency. ~ Pooh said it!! Get it? E-flic-ien-cy!!! Sometimes the thing to do is nothing and get our minds off of efficiency. We are humans, not robots.
He is saying, get out of our minds and into life. Ill or not, THIS is our lives.
Tigger (the tiger)
Tigger is the best at searching, getting out there and getting his paws into things.
Tigger’s top is made out of rubber and his bottom made out of a spring.
He has a bounce to his step. Tigger knows how to look up, bounce up and always see hope. He is a pro at overcoming and adapting.
Sure, he gets ahead of himself but he is happy. Once in a while (often) Tigger stumbles because he gets ahead of himself. Sound like us trying new things to get out of illness? Sometimes we get it right, but other times we stumble over ourselves in an attempt to be healed.
Tigger sees the adventure in everything. Chronic illness is an adventure, full of exploration of health, wellness, our bodies, our emotions, our tolerances, and even our relationships. Illness can take us places we never would have ventured had we not gotten so ill. We find out how brave we are and how much perseverance we have. Our character is being improved through the experience of illness and finding the adventure in it.
Eeyore (the donkey)
Slow-Flow Eeyore!! He kind of goes along for the ride but sure is downtrodden at times. He sees the doom and gloom in things.
“Wo is me, I’m at the bottom, gotta go with the flow, there is no choice.“
When asked how Eeyore is doing, he says, ”Don’t get me started.”
Eeyore sees the shame and humiliation in almost everything.
Eeyore sees the dark and gloom in everything and says, just leave me here. But have you noticed that his feet actually keep moving? Sure, he is slow, he is full of doom and gloom, but he is moving forward!!
No matter how dark Eeyore sees life… he keeps moving slowly forward!!
Eeyore has other attributes as well… you know, stubborn and ornery. That stubbornness pays off when we apply it to chronic illness. It is called perseverance!!!
Piglet (the pig)
Piglet is a terrified hoarding little pig. Fear of the unknown keeps him from moving forward, so he is prone to get stuck.
He hoards things because he never feels like he will have enough. Hoarding is a common emotional reaction to fear.
The trauma of chronic illness that some experience may lead us down the path of fear. There are some very terrifying moments during intense illness and we can easily turn up the volume of fear-based thinking. It keeps us from moving forward unless we have good friends like Christopher Robin, Pooh, Tigger, and the others to show support and safety.
Notice how, with support and encouragement, Piglet moves through the scary stuff.
Rabbit (the rabbit!)
Darn, I can’t remember much about rabbit but I know he is in there.
Owl (the owl)
Owls are known for their wisdom. They study life and their surroundings in great detail and see past the obvious.
At one point in the movie, Christopher Robin, Owl says, “Worry is the way to concern. Or is it Concern is the way to confusion.” So wise!!
The idea is, the more we worry the more confusion settles into our thoughts and actions.
Isn’t there enough confusion during chronic illness? Each day brings plenty of worries without getting lost in the worries of tomorrow.
While we are chronically ill, take action for today’s worries, no doubt. But let go of tomorrow’s worries, it is just simply too much. Worry is entirely different than making a solid health plan.
Kanga & Rue (mom & kid kangaroos)
Rue is a baby kangaroo. Children love to play, and then play some more. We lose that playfulness as we become adults, that is sad, very sad. When we become chronically ill, it can easily stomp out any remaining playfulness in us.
Rue has the right attitude about playtime… “Always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play.”
Playtime is essential, especially while chronically ill. Playing lightens the load of being ill. It lifts our hearts. Welcome others who are fun — even when they don’t understand chronic illness. They can help to bring sunshine to a gloomy illness day.
And the very best kind of playtime is when we offer it to someone else who is in need. Giving is an incredible healer.
Woosles & Heffalumps (kind of like the unknown bad guys)
Woosles and Heffalumps are naysayers. At least Eeyore has a good heart when it comes down to it. But they are just out to hurt others and make others as miserable as they are. When we can identify them, they become insignificant. Their opinion no longer matters because we are busy getting on with the messy business of our wellness journey!!!
Disney has an animated movie named Pooh’s Heffalump Movie. I have yet to see this one. It certainly will bring a clearer understanding of Woosles and Heffalumps to me when I finally watch it. Saving that one for a day when I am in the woods doing nothing… waiting to head North…
100-Acre-Wood (best location)
Sometimes the best location is never-never-land. Letting our minds wander off in imagination so that we can conjure up the thought that there is more to life than being ill. Let’s face it, it takes grand imagination to have a good attitude during chronic illness.
Chronic illness is hard work and it interferes with normal thought processes. It is plum exhausting. Sometimes all we need is rest from the chaos and pain of it all, but we don’t have the resources for an extended high-end vacation. Best answer I know is going to 100-Acre-Wood with Christopher Robin and his friends.
Doing nothing in 100-acre-wood. Find comfort in rest. When you are ready, head north.
“Busy doing nothing is doing something that suits me best.” This was the absolute hardest lesson for me to learn while being ill. Sitting still to let my body heal felt like torture at times. Patience finally became a learned skill so that I could give my body the time it truly needed.
My favorite day is today!!! Get the most out of today, whatever that looks like for you today! Tomorrow may be entirely different depending on tomorrow’s adventure.
Don’t be of very little brain!!! Use your thinker and your vivid imagination to go on a wellness adventure.
Disaster or adventure… depends on how you look at things. When we look up we can see adventure instead of disaster.
Today I focused on Disney’s Winnie The Pooh movies…
- 1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh — all animated
- 2011 Winnie The Pooh — all animated
- 2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin — made for adults too
- 2018 Christopher Robin — made for adults too
There is another Pooh movie that I truly enjoyed, not by Disney but about how it started with the real bear. The extraordinary true story of the black bear who would become the inspiration for the stories of A.A. Milne, and the heroic man who saved her life.
- 2004 A Bear Named Winnie — made for adults too
May y’all be blessed with an imagination and hope,