When you think of your chronic illness, how does it make you feel? Angry? Bitter? Resentful?
All of the above?
If you’re nodding along in agreement, you’re not alone. You only have to venture on to social media and search for #chronicillness to find thousands of other women feeling the same way.
And do you know what? That’s a normal human reaction to what you’re experiencing. It’s an understandable reaction to a life changing event that has descended upon you, with no warning, and without your consent. It’s not fair!
Just like anything else that happened to you without your consent, it has invaded your sense of control and forced a situation upon you that you didn’t ask for.
Let’s think about this process on a small scale. If you’ve ever had someone volunteer you for something you don’t particularly want to do, you’ve probably felt a little spark of resistance in you before your conscious mind takes over as you smile politely and agree that of course, you’d love to do that job, no problem.
That instant reaction you felt, no matter how small, was a result of your boundaries being crossed. You were put into a situation that you didn’t want to be in, doing a job you didn’t really want to do, without your consent.
Social niceties and good manners usually prevent us from responding truthfully, and we push down our feelings for the sake of being a good sport and not looking unreasonable. The extent of your people-pleasing tendencies probably dictates how often this happens to you and how graciously you handle it, but that internal reaction to having your boundaries crossed is the same for us all.
When you develop a chronic illness, this process happens on a mammoth scale. Not only are you having a situation forced upon you that you didn’t consent to (which is bad enough), but you’re also told that there’s no cure and it’s never going away. That internal spark of resistance turns into a raging inferno when you have something as life-changing as a chronic illness forced upon you. Anger, resentment, bitterness – all completely normal responses.
What’s important is what you do with those emotions. Many people with chronic illness hold on to those feelings, remaining in a state of resentment for months or years. This in itself can negatively affect your health, as the mind and body are so closely linked, that what happens to one happens to the other. Therefore, a feeling of dis-ease in the mind can lead to more dis-ease in the body.
But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to break free from those feelings of anger. You will probably find that you come to a point when you think “No more” as you start to accept your new situation and you discover a motivation to start making a change.
There is always something we can do to improve our situation.
Actively making the decision to work on processing your anger is a huge breakthrough in moving forward to create a new life for yourself.
If you want help learning to tune into your body, the Weekly Wellness Tracker can help you identify the triggers that are affecting your physical symptoms so you can make changes to feel better quickly.
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