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Lessons Through Illness

So I have been under the weather for the past three days. Yes I know it's not been a long time but nevertheless, the feeling of just laying in bed totally wiped out and in pain is something else.

I try to make the best of this time catching up on the sitcoms I've missed so much and reading and listening to music. Then it struck me, why don't I write through my convalescence?

Writing or narrative therapy and bibliotherapy all use one's own experiences in some way and are coping mechanisms that help to heal.

Well, one of the side effects of my affliction as I write this is brain fog, or at least something close to it. The inability to focus is real, the pain is real.

What is this situation trying to tell me?

So I ask myself this question.. have I over-extended myself workwise? have I neglected my mental and physical well-being? What is it that I've not seen that now needs to be looked at?

Most doctors even wouldn't go this far when they treat you. They make you list their symptoms and give you a prescription. That is modern medicine for you. However, being someone who now has taken cases of people undergoing chronic illness, I'm aware that I also need to take care of myself. Somewhere along the line, I have forgotten what 'I' wants, what does the 'I' need?

Maybe the body-mind is telling me to look at things I wasn't looking at... to pay attention. I have always believed illness to be a cry of attention of this body-mind who we call 'I'

Yes, there are viruses and there may be a hundred tangible reasons to fall sick- the weather, stress, overwork, lack of immunity, etc.

But what essentially does illness tell us?

I can only speak for myself, therefore I see that the answer to the above can be explained by answering these questions:

  1. Have you ignored an aspect of yourself?

  2. Are you happy?

  3. Are you doing what you are meant to do?

  4. How are your relationships?

  5. What are the stresses you are dealing with?

  6. Make a list of what you would be ideally doing in the day and what you are actually doing. See if there are any common interests there.

  7. Write down a self-care checklist, What you can go back to when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

  8. Do things from that checklist and be aware of the shift within.

This list works for me, and it helps to gain some perspective. We all must have something that helps us unwind- gardening, walking, cooking, baking, cleaning, clearing, organizing, writing, reading--- anything.

Happiness is a sum total of the moments where we are doing what we want with love.

Yours Mindfully--- Shukrita

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