When someone is diagnosed with an illness, be it acute or chronic, he or she determines the best strategies to fight the disease. It’s part of our social script: People get sick, but they fight their diseases and get well. OK, some people do live with chronic illness, but only once they figure out how to eliminate their symptoms. These illnesses lurk in the background, not wreaking havoc on their lives.
Does this idea sound familiar? It certainly does to me. In The Not-So-Gentle Art of Acceptance ChronicBabe Editrix Jenni Prokopy describes her resistance and considers the role of acceptance in her chronic illness. Here’s an excerpt from her beautifully written and encouraging piece:
“The idea just seems so shocking; the concept that my body, with fibromyalgia, is in a state of wholeness? That’s crazy talk. The idea that my body is full of wisdom? That those symptoms — those signals — are the easiest way my body has of maneuvering me into a place of total self-care? Whoa. (I’m crying as I write this. This is not an easy concept for me to wrap my brain around.)
“I have always resisted the idea of acceptance, because I always felt my body was flawed. That I was broken in some way. Who wants to accept that? And I have spent many, many years searching for my “fix.” Because it is just so damn unfair, so wrong, there has to be a solution. And I am surrounded by people (and their books and stuff) who believe they have the answer and are willing, for a price of course, to reveal to me their secrets. So it’s very tempting to search and search for the answer. Because it feels like if you stop searching, you’re giving up. It could be right around the corner! I’m no quitter!”