Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Spirituality and Health

How Much Weight Do You Carry?

It’s holiday time and as we all know we indulge a bit more than usual and that leads to a couple of extra pounds.  Those are physical, tangible pounds; the ones we can see when we get on the scale.  What about the pounds or the weight we carry that can’t be seen?  How much weight have you put on emotionally and spiritually since your diagnosis?  Is it weighing you down?  Impacting your quality of life?  Slowing you down on your journey to health and healing?  The truth is that emotional and spiritual weight can be just as debilitating as gaining actual pounds.

When you put on emotional weight you tend to feel sad or depressed more often.  Your affect becomes flat so you don’t really have the lows but you also don’t have the highs.  The obstacle with emotional weight is that it impacts the immune system.  Slowing the physical immune system makes healing/curing more difficult and makes treatment less effective.  You’re less likely to be involved in your own care and your medical decision-making abilities are impaired.

Putting on the pounds spiritually robs you of grace and joy.  It keeps you in a tug-o-war with G-d, the Universe, your Higher Power wanting an explanation that is plausible.  Your faith waivers and that leads to over questioning your beliefs and maybe even the intentions of the Supreme Being.  It leaves you isolated and that has a huge impact on your physical health.  It leaves you like the Jews of ancient times wandering your personal desert aimlessly, hoping for an oasis or to be saved.  The fact of the matter is that you can be your own savior in these matters, you have to shed the spiritual weight.

It’s not about the weight you carry; it’s how you carry the weight.  Some of you are able to carry this added weight with grace and confidence.  You have the resources to combat this added weight, but if it leads to struggle you may want to think twice about the extra pounds.  Give yourself every opportunity for health and healing and understand and embrace that weight short circuits the mind, body, spirit connection.  Are you willing to pay that price?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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