Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Swallowing Bitterness

It’s not uncommon for us to bite off more than we can chew.  Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and in life we believe that the more we take on the more will accomplish.  It shouldn’t be surprising that in times of crisis our appetites, both figuratively and literally often diminish.  Instead of nutritious food we begin to feast on sadness, anger and bitterness.  Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness bitterness becomes that dry toast you try and ingest and fights you all the way and yet you keep trying to get it down…why do you think that is?

For many dining on bitterness gives them license to act harshly towards others with the excuse that they are sick and are playing by a different rule book.  In actuality, when facing a health challenge the bitterness blocks the emotional and spiritual nutrients you desire and need for your body to absorb in order to promote health and healing.  Blocking the absorption of healthy self-expression and surrender means that you are expending more metaphorical calories than you’re taking in and how could that possibly promote wellness?

Swallowing bitterness requires us to try and wash it down by adding fuel to the fire.  Thinking that by coupling bitterness with anger or resentment will make the journey easier is delusional.  This combination of emotions gets stuck and if it’s stuck too long it takes drastic measures to break free of the blockage.  This isn’t about negative the negative feelings, but realizing them for what they are, the reality that life has changed forever.  Your plans for the future need to be altered and you’re sense of invincibility has vanished. 

From the movie Mary Poppins comes the famous song, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.  What’s your sugar?  How will you understand that by taking your health challenge in stride it makes acceptance of treatment easier.  By giving yourself the gift of the sugar it allows you to identify the priorities in your life that will make noticeable differences in your quality of life.  The sugar you choose is the way you bless the life you have, even with the challenge because it calls forth in you the strength and conviction that life is precious and that bitterness should be the last thing in this world that gets one over on you!