I was sitting here having a hard day in the middle of a hard week, when I thought, “I need to post about this. This affects everybody with a chronic health condition all the time.” What am I talking about? I am talking about Denial. I am deep in it. (Or, at least, I was until this morning.) How about you?
First, a background reminder: I suffered terribly when I was totally debilitated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis and/or Chronic Lyme for six years. I exhausted myself and spent tens of thousands of dollars trying tons of conventional and alternative interventions to get well. Then, almost miraculously, I was completely cured by a raw, vegan diet with lots of sprouts, green juice, wheatgrass juice, daily exercise,and good sleep, plus some detoxifying practices. Wow. Since then I have a full career again, travel and socialize regularly, play outside a bunch and generally live the life that I only fantasized about for years when I was sick. Words cannot express how grateful I am.
But, apparently I am not grateful enough. Because if I really appreciated the good health that I now have, I would do more to protect it. But, I don’t. I have been in denial. I have been in denial that my body actually still needs eight or nine solid hours of sleep every night; that I can’t eat white rice sushi or gluten-free pancakes; and that when I don’t exercise regularly all my joints and muscles ache. I want to be “just like everybody else.” So for the last few months, I have been pretending that I am just like everybody else, with awful results.
I now have lots of aches and pains that a 45-yr old shouldn’t have. Getting out of bed in the morning is a herculean effort. I am exhausted much of the time. My glands are always mildly swollen, and focusing my mind is a challenge. Thankfully, this is nothing compared to how I felt when I was sick. I can still function. But, it is slowing me down and massively affecting my ability to grow “Heal for Real,” parent my children, and enjoy my life. In short, it sucks.
But, in spite of it sucking, I haven’t been able to get myself to make the changes I need to get back on track. I have been really stuck in my denial. I keep thinking I will feel better if I just get more sleep for a few days, or eat a bit cleaner this week, or exercise more regularly for a while. You know what? Trying to do it piecemeal like that has not made a dent in how I feel. If I want to feel strong and energetic, I have no choice. I have to accept that, to feel good, the body that I have been issued requires a more significant change. I have to go back to my complete healing regimen. I have to return to my raw vegan diet, daily juicing, daily exercise, and eight hours of sleep every night.
My immediate response to that is: I don’t want to!! It takes too much time. It’s too limiting. It’s no fun. It’s not fair! You know the drill. Luckily, I know from experience that it is way more limiting, unpleasant and time-consuming to feel rotten than it is to do what it takes to get well. So, while I have some resistance, I am on board to make the changes (again.)
So, that’s where I am today; stepping out of denial and into acceptance that, in order to get fully healthy again and enjoy my life, I need to pick up my healing game. The next step is to make that happen. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
What about you? What are you in denial about? (Because we are all in denial about something.) What do you know you need to do, but don’t want to? What benefits would you get if you make that change? Let me know if any of this sounds familiar to you. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or by email here.
Here’s to a healthy future,