I want you to imagine your world without the constant nagging of your chronic illness. It's your world, but you're in control. You're driving the car and your condition has been relegated to the back seat.
Let's start now.
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Hi I'm Kate
Come and join me on a journey from Chronic Illness to Chronic Wellness!
Warrior, it’s time to take back control.
You got this!
Are you making this one big rehabilitation mistake?
Honesty time. (again.) I may have screwed up. (again.)
Tell me if this sounds familiar…
‘Why am I flaring again? Why oh why? How can this be happening to me? Why is this happening to me?’
‘I don’t know you’ve been doing X and Y to aid your recovery and it’s been going so well. I mean you’ve been taking those vitamins every day still haven’t you? And doing your stretches that work really well…
Slowly walk backwards to retreat from conversation, with intension of hiding…
If you’re not me, and someone entirely more competent at life reading this, then I know what you’re thinking, ‘why oh why in heavens name would you stop doing something if it has been so pivotal to your recovery and wellbeing? Why? Are you stupid?’
Well possibly I am, but I don’t think that is the reason entirely to blame on this occasion. Having pondered on this apparent stupidity I have decided that I think it is down to 3 key factors:
1. I am better now, syndrome.
There is something psychologically within me that wants me to be better (duh), but in my mind being better still registers as ‘being back to the old me’. As opposed to, ‘being the best version of the me I am now’.
Breaking down this psychological barrier is hard. Your brain associates ‘well you’ with ‘old you’. Old you didn’t need to do a stretching routine twice a day to stop her muscles furling and to minimise her pain. Old you didn’t have to take piles of supplements to support various functions within the body that appear to have gone awry.
It therefore seems reasonable, on the back of this association (the one where ‘well you’ looks like ‘old you’) that these things would no longer be required, once ‘well you/old you’ has returned.
2. ‘Balance has been restored’ theory
It is possible in the case of certain illnesses that, whilst a prop may be needed for the short term, once balance is restored that prop can be removed and life goes on.
Clearly this (in my case) is a case of over positive and unrealistic thinking. But it’s not like the stopping of the things was a conscious thought process per se. Just a slow dwindling of doing the things, that my brain clearly no longer perceived as quite so important.
3. Last but not least the rather iffy excuse of ‘elimination trials’
In my brain it seems probable, that not every single one of the (what feels like a) bazillion routines I’ve been following to improve my wellness are having an effect. Therefore, it doesn’t seem entirely unscientific to stop taking things in an ordered way, to see what’s having a positive effect and what is potential hoovering time and money for no real reason.
See. So far, quite reasonable in the excuse stakes. However, clearly that was where my reasoning brain got bored, buggered off and left my more fibro foggy side to call the shots. #fail.
This has resulted in more of a random not taking of certain things some days, not doing of certain things on others, and generally doing very little consistently the majority of the time. (I do have GCSE science I promise, and just because I can’t remember where I put the certificate doesn’t take that away from me!)
The truth is I honestly believe that a combination of subconscious factors lead to this loosening, followed by eventual near death of some of my wellness routine once I start to feel better. After all, let’s face it, sometimes it can feel exhausting, constantly pacing, planning, taking things, stretching, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes you just want to live life dangerously and not take your multivitamin in the morning!
Ultimately, I think the crux of the matter is hope. Living in hope that a chronic condition is temporary, that we can be ‘healed’ (and by ‘healed’ we mean returned to our former glory). But the fact of the matter is, for a lot of us badge wearing chronic brigade, that is never going to be the case. Investing in our wellness is a new and permanent feature of our life.
And do you know what? I think I’m actually OK with that.
It’s time to let go of the visions of ‘old me’, to stop associating her with ‘well me’. Because you know, I’m not sure she was that well anyway. Is a new life where wellness results as an investment in my body, my most precious and important possession, and my mind, the driver of this possession, such a bad life?
Maybe, just maybe ‘new you’ is the good life, a life better than the one that ‘old you’ ever had. Because although ‘new you’ has her issues, she is much stronger, braver, deeper, more compassionate, and understands life better than ‘old you’ ever did.
Maybe we should keep up those wellness routines, keep popping those multivitamins and shredding that cabbage, because I’m starting to think, this ‘new you’ woman, might be worth it.
If you are trying to get back to ‘old you’ then that might be the one big rehabilitation mistake your making, why not try checking out this ‘new you’ lass, and let me know what you think of her? I’d love to know…
Speak soon Wellness Warriors ????,
P.S. If you are strugling with rehabilitation, you might also want to check out my blog post ‘The Unwellness Rut?‘ or check out my ‘Take Back Control’ Free coaching workbook below… K x