Being stuck in your illness and making it your identity can become very self destructive. When we make our illness our identity we lose the power within us to make positive changes to improve our health. By doing this, we moved it in permanently and make it a resident and by doing so it will always be there in every aspect of our life. It becomes who we are. We will use it as a crutch to not making any shifts in our situation and we become almost dependent on that identity and integrate it in everything we do. I know because I did this for 11 years and know how much making your illness your identity can destroy your health and relationships.
I had lived one way and became very comfortable with it for many years. As a general rule us humans do not like change so we get stuck in many areas of our lives even when we know changes need to be made. I was on several medications (12 to be exact), had a bad diet full of processed foods, was in very co dependent relationships. and I felt stuck in the lifestyle I was in. Where do I start making changes? My entire life is a mess! Most of the meds I was on had horrible side effects coming off of so there was a sense of fear coming off them even though I knew they were not benefiting me any longer. I knew this intuitively because my condition continued to decline despite being on enough medications to make elephant physically and emotionally numb, I was still in enormous amounts of physical and mental pain 24/7 barely leaving my bed. It was about as low as a person can go with my condition. My doctor said it was the worst case of fibromyalgia she had ever seen in her practice and her last hope was to put me on methadone. METHADONE??? That is what they give to heroin addicts! I would essentially be taking pharmaceutical grade heroin. That moment when my doctor suggested methadone was a catalyst for me to really look long and hard at my life, my health, my relationships, and my state of mind mentally. I did not like what I saw. I had to get unstuck. I felt like I was in a hamster wheel I had been running in for years and getting no where in life. I felt hopeless and a shell of what I once was. Things had to change.
I really had to change the way I related to fibromyalgia and believe I could heal my body. I had to focus on the moment because thinking about the next day or next week was very overwhelming coming off these powerful medications. The side effects coming off of them was one of the worst things I have ever experienced in my life. Mind you I went off them very slowly and under a doctors care. The rebound pain was horrible. Once you have been on a medication for while you lower your bodies threshold for pain and it has to recalibrate itself. During this time your symptoms will be worse than what your actual pain level is. It is excruciating but in order for your own bodies natural ability to deal with pain can be restored this is part of the process. I had horrible pain for about 6 weeks and than slowly I started feeling moments of the old me peeking through. I started to feel the light at the end of the tunnel. I started feeling me again for the first time in years.
Never go off RX meds without doctors supervision. Some fibromyalgia meds withdrawals are very dangerous.
I went off all medications for a few years until I was diagnosed with lupus and was scared into taking methotrexate and prednisone by my Dr. for about six months on and off. I was also placed on tramadol for pain as my joints had become red and swollen. It was the worst decision I had ever made. I lost half my teeth (I never had a cavity in my life and in those 6 months my teeth were falling out of my mouth) and developed A vascular Hip necrosis. Thousands of dollars worth of dental work and now I am facing a possible hip transplant at the age of 41.
After that hard lesson I really started focusing on healing and not covering up symptoms with powerful prescription drugs. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices on this healing journey. Foods I love, people that I have know all my life that where toxic to me I had to say goodbye to, a lifestyle that I desired had to be put on hold for me to put my health first, I had to start healing old emotional wounds that caused a great deal of unresolved anger and resentment, and had to learn to speak up and not suppress my needs or emotions. Healing the body is not “The easy way out” I have had several people say to me “If it were that easy we would all be better.” Healing is a process not and event and I am in constant healing with every choice I make in life. It is something I constantly work on every moment and it is not easy but worth it.
The best thing I can tell anyone that feels stuck in chronic illness is start making small changes everyday and start putting your needs first. Anything you put in your body is ether going to improve your health or break down your body more. This goes for foods, thoughts, and medications. So be very aware of what you are ingesting on a daily bases. We are organic beings that have been tossed into a chemical sh*t storm on this planet in the last 100 years. As you can see the health of the human species has decline dramatically during this time. We are living longer but not better or fuller lives. We are over worked, over medicated, and over stimulated. 60% of people in America are on RX medications. This is not normal or healthy for the body. Most of these conditions are diet or stress related and are completely avoidable with lifestyle changes. There are times when RX drugs are life or death but do we all need to be medicated? Over prescribing is a huge issue in the West and has caused our decline in health and a huge rise in chronic illness. We need to learn from our mistakes when it comes to the way we have been treating our precious human vessel and make appropriate changes. Unfortunately this is not mainstream yet so much of what you will need to do will have to be done with listening to your body, intuition, and doing lots of research. I highly recommend finding a holistic doctor or doing your own research and taking a more holistic approach. Holistic approaches work with the body to heal it while conventional therapies cover up symptoms and never address the underlying issue so the body can heal itself.
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