Man Doing Yoga in Front of the Ocean |
I know many of you are working hard on your health. It is difficult to avoid moments of feelings that life on earth just isn’t fair. Take the example of the man in England who doesn’t drink water – only beer – smokes cigarettes, doesn’t pay particular attention to his diet except to eat what he likes, and stays up late, and in 2008 at 101 years old, he ran a marathon. He also managed to establish records for being the oldest person to complete a 5K, a 10K, and half marathon.

Let’s contrast that with many of you who avoid gluten, sugar, and other foods you have found that don’t agree with you, try hard to get proper rest, take a multitude of supplements, work hard on your attitude and inner-being health, and in short are conscious of your health every day. Yet you still have chronic health issues that just won’t go away, no matter what you do, and even have new health issues pop up.

A person who is trying hard might experience feelings of bitterness, defensiveness, awkwardness, depression, despair, fear, vulnerability, humiliation, loss of control, feeling lost, anger, or frustration. Even with this long list, I am sure I have left something out. This bitterness comes from noticing that you are working hard but still getting worse results than some people you know who barely pay attention to health issues and don’t have half the problems you do.

You feel defensive because you have to explain to people why you can’t eat this or that, and every time you think about your health issues, you wonder what you are still doing wrong. You might experience a feeling of awkwardness, especially in social situations where it is obvious that you are choosing different foods from everyone else, and they ask “why can’t you have that birthday cake just this once?”

Fear pops up because you wonder if you are going to die of some horrible disease before your friends who think they are healthy because of their wise choices, even though they are more like the man mentioned above who really doesn’t pay attention and barely knows what a calorie is or hasn’t passed up an offer for another beer in decades.

Loss of control comes from thinking that your health is doomed no matter what you do.

Anger and frustration can be directed at whatever you call it: God, life, or the universe – that is, the big thing that set things up to be the way they are. We can’t control these aspects of our existence, but just have to roll with things the way they are. We wonder why we have to deal with these limiting health issues when others don’t.

And of course you feel vulnerable because these health limitations constantly remind you of your mortality. You wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.

I bring this up because some of these issues came up when I was recently working with a long-time client and patient. I realized at that time that most of the people we work with here at OVitaminPro probably feel this way to some extent, but really can’t talk about it with anyone. If you mention to your healthy friend that you get migraine headaches, they might respond by saying “gee, I don’t get headaches.” Or you say that you are gluten free and they reply “yeah, I had to cut back on pizza for a time.” Maybe you will get the comment that if you did what they did, you would have what they have. Life just isn’t that simple, of course.

What do you do if you have health challenges and have these feelings? I think it is helpful to acknowledge that they exist. I don’t know that you need to explore all of them, but I will leave that to someone more qualified in psychology than I am.

I have heard that wisdom begins by recognizing the situation, and at some level coming to terms with the conflict. In this case, the conflict is the desire for better health and the obstacle is achieving it. This is the paradox of the human mind. We can, on one hand, accept our situation. On the other hand, we continue to work to solve the problem. This is a concept that Nelson Mandela would talk about in referring to his 26 years on prison. You will gain a certain amount of peace by working on accepting the limitations of your human body, but at the same time working to overcome these challenges.

I am not going to say this is easy. The reason for this blog is for a bit of comfort to the person reading this who has felt those feelings and has felt isolated and alone. These feelings are normal, and it doesn’t make you a bad person to have them. That also doesn’t give you license to wallow in self-pity. That would be okay, except that it just isn’t productive in the long run. Accept that this is the hand you were dealt and resolve to love your body anyway and resolve to keep working to help your body be as healthy as it can be.

I am supposed to recommend an online health supplement in this blog space. Let’s go with FloraGenix, a probiotic under the brand BetterGenix. Just about everybody can benefit from a good, general probiotic, and this is the one we personally use. It is even SIBO friendly. Thanks for reading.