Ha ha ha – stupid social media (have you noticed the quality of meme decrease around here?) 🙂
Anyway – ever since I was 15 I knew I was in trouble health wise but I didn’t get a proper diagnosis until I was 19 – I had bowel disease. People often quickly assume that the spiritual path means constant good health but this is the human plane and we all have bodies that are so sensitive to thought pattern, mood, external forces / events, viruses and bacteria. People get sick. The way we learn from being sick is to look at the cause of why we may repeatedly get sick in the same way, rather than blindly reacting to our symptoms.
I’ve always had a problem with bracing against change or bad news – I’ve always used my gut to brace. Additionally I’ve always tried to keep everything inside of me so as not to bother others. I hold the past in my gut. I brace there. By the time I was 15 my body had enough bracing and my colon ulcerated and bled. It’s been doing this ever since on and off as bowel disease symptoms are chronic and go through remission periods.
Consequently I spend quite a lot of my time living as naturally as possible regardless of whatever symptoms I might be experiencing. With the addition of low ferritin levels and low blood pressure / iron count that causes vertigo and nausea. I have a high energy that has to be controlled otherwise that sets me in a spin. In health and energy terms I have a lot to learn about the controlling of my energy and the act of physically bracing against the new and unfamiliar. Some days I am so tired from blood loss and the extra work my brain needs to walk unaided that I can only manage a 12 hour day. Other days when I am more in control I can live relatively well and it won’t affect me as much. But blah, blah, blah, my story is not unusual there are millions of people out there living with chronic illness – the difference lies in what sufferers are actively doing about it.
On the internet I’ve seen people sharing their pain and personal stories of illness – sometimes I am really inspired and take their message on board in dealing with my own hurdles. Other times I turn off and delete. The difference lies in the approach to what these people are experiencing – their awareness to the cause and not just the symptom and experience. There are also some scary cases of people joining together to focus on their illnesses and creating “clubs” around them. These clubs sometimes have badges and tee shirts proclaiming their allegiance to their illness and large followings and it’s very much like this post that I am writing on support groups.
How Does Grief Affect Existing Ill Health?
Grief causes extra stress on the body. Sudden death of a spouse is one of the most stressful life events for instance and cortisol, (stress hormone), weakens the immune system. Therefore those in deep grief may get ill a lot as they process their loss. Exisiting health conditions may worsen or fluctuate wildly. Especially those linked to inflamation. If you find yourself ill – think how you can deal with it, what can you do in order to live the way you want? If there is a recurring health problem where is it? You can often read ailments are linked to stress and when Doctors fail to find other causes stress becomes the cause. Is that correct? Could it be that stress lies at the heart of chronic recurring illness?
Whatever studies show there are ways to handle triggers and stress to lighten symptoms during grief. But don’t try to mask them – being aware is the first step towards being able to cope.
Note : Try this out for size – head over to the Holmes & Rahe Life Stress Inventory. How did you do? I can tick 10 out of just the first 20. All in the last 5 years. And moving home in the same period? Did that six times! Watch out for stress and watch out for the place you brace. In loss seek to balance the energy you have – go with the good days and the bad. You might surprise yourself.