Sunday, 3 October 2021

In search of Healing

Difference Between Healing and Curing


I read this article today and it really resonated for me. It’s perhaps because I’ve been stuck recently. Stuck in the sense that a flare up in pain had stopped me sleeping and that in turn had tipped my equilibrium. I was buried by my many health issues, trying to find an escape route. Sleep loss and feeling low meant that I forgot about ways to escape and mostly put my hopes in medication to re-establish some balance for me. Anyone living with chronic pain knows it’s much more complex than that. I know that how we react to and interact with pain is complex and yet I was clinging to the myth of the magic bullet to fix me.
And perhaps worst of all I’d lost my joy in life. 
Reaching out for support recently has really helped me re calibrate. I now can see again what makes life special and I’m being kinder to myself. But as with anyone who lives with cancer knows, we have had to let go of certainty about our health. In truth that certainty for anyone is a myth, but having a diagnosis of cancer means the worry never goes. Of course it waxes and wanes but recently it’s been to the fore for me. Worry feeds worries and I realised that I had set that hare running too. It’s exhausting! I’ve learned over many years to manage the balance between legitimate vigilance ( I do have the BRCA2 gêne after all) and losing peace of mind, worrying about every little thing. But inevitably I don’t always find the sweet spot between the two. Who could? 
The article above explores what healing is and while I don’t necessarily think that serious illness leads to huge epiphanies or that wisdom follows life changing surgery or chemotherapy; I have noticed that I experience life in glorious colour and feel deep gratitude for who and what make my fragile life special. ‘Healing is the most fundamental aspect of our condition, and it's a continuous rediscovery of what it means to be alive………..It is about living with the ongoing stresses and strains and difficulties -- and joys -- of life, but doing so in a way that we feel whole.’ It’s not numbing feelings, it’s putting an arm around then and accepting them as part of you. For me, that’s oh so easy to say but years of denying my fatigue has made me skilled at ignoring feelings and pushing through. It was the only way I knew how. I’m grateful I have learned to do it differently now and showing myself compassion is something more recent and so very welcome. Allowing myself to be seen, scars and all is work in progress. But if I look at who I’m most drawn to in life, it is the people who are comfortable with all of who they are and they don’t hide or feel shame if life is challenging. That self knowledge takes time and won’t ever be perfect but that’s ok too. 
Thé final Line in the article says : 

‘Living in relationship with the struggles of life is what makes us human.’ And I would add, what makes us interesting, beautiful in our own way and  brings a healing, and a peace of mind. I’d say right now, I’m work in progress. My deepest thanks and love to all of you who support me through .

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