Many times people have good intentions when they offer wellness solutions and say "oh have you tried this... have you tried that...," and they may even talk about preventative health. I've read time and time again how much this hurts the person with chronic illness... as if there were some easy solution, as if you haven't tried to heal, or could have done something in the first place to prevent it. I even personally know how that can feel.
There is family and friends who don’t understand why a person has to cancel last minute, why one day they can do things, and the next day they can’t. Some people think chronic illness sufferers are just being lazy or unwilling to do things, make changes, or heal and get better. But, healing is not always possible with a chronic illness. However, not impossible as I’ve healed a great deal in the last 5 years and can almost have a normal life. But, the journey hasn’t been easy by any means, and the resources I found were very well hidden. In some ways I have just been lucky. So, it’s not your fault for not healing or needing lots of self-care. There is no manual on how to live with a chronic illness.
Second, there is the self-inflicted guilt for the chronic pain sufferer. Most people want to do more chores, do more for friends/family, work more, get outside the house more, be there for events/activities, do more fun things, etc. It can be easy to fall into a dark hole of guilt and blame yourself... What did I do wrong? Why am I being punished? Why me?
The facts are we just live in a world where really bad things happen to people no matter what they deserve and don’t deserve. In fact, I don’t think anyone deserves chronic pain, no matter who they are. It’s one thing for people to go through a season of dealing with a complex health issue, but to deal with it on a regular basis is just cruel. It’s not your fault.
Having to practice extra self-care sucks! When I have flare ups I often think… “what did I do wrong this time?” But generally I know it’s not my fault. I didn’t ask for this. It feels almost impossible to avoid all things that can cause a flare up.
As I write content on preventative health with loads of wellness advice, one might think that I feel chronic illness could have been prevented, and that is true in some cases. When properly educated many people may prevent an illness. However, I’m not blaming the person with the illness. I’m blaming society, our culture, food companies, marketing companies, and even political organizations. When so many people are getting chronically sick (45% of the population according to the CDC), we have to look at the bigger picture of what is going wrong in our world.
First, we are lied to about so many things by food companies, marketing, and the government. We are told many things our healthy for us when they are not. For more information on this view my Food Marketing Lies blog. One example is we have been tricked into eating way more sugar than what is healthy; most Americans consume 3x more sugar daily than what is recommended by health experts.
Second, we are also brainwashed from an early age to not pay close attention to our health mostly due to political influences. View my blog Society’s Flawed Views on Wellness & Healthcare (which make people sick, or keeps them sick).
Thirdly, our society/culture is a problem. It’s crazy we live in a world where obesity is common, and yet people still guilt trip you when you won’t eat the cookies, pie, or other sweets they made. Many people are offended when their desserts or unhealthy snacks go on eaten, yet we expect people to be thin and healthy. Everyone has an opinion on what a healthy weight is. It’s a bit twisted when you think about it.
A lot of times people make unhealthy decisions because of the environment they grew up in or their family’s poor choices. Some people grow up in an unhealthy household, eating bad foods, or dealing with chronic stress (from divorce, poverty, chronic abuse, etc.) Some people don’t have anyone to help them find their way. That is most definitely not their fault. Of course people make bad decisions and they have consequences, and they are at fault and responsible for those choices. However, many poor choices can be linked back to a struggle from childhood.
That doesn’t mean it is necessarily the parent’s fault either, as generally there isn’t a lot of education around wellness and around how chronic illnesses happen.
From my experience working with natural doctors a lot of time there are root causes. I’ve read about the most common causes of most modern illnesses, and how many autoimmune disorders are from inflammation, and how inflammation happens in the body. It’s not easy though to find root causes, especially when you have multiple chronic illnesses and have been sick for years and years.
I still have no diagnosis for a couple of my health issues even with the help of two naturopath doctors and an Ayurveda doctor. But, they know a lot of my issues are with my liver not functioning properly which has been proven and it has improved. I know from putting the pieces together that my liver wasn’t right because my hormones were off, I have too many metals in my body, my diet impacted it, and I think the number one reason was chronic stress that I dealt with for years.
The causes had to do with my childhood, how I was raised, the toxins I was given from birth, etc. I had no idea how the foods I ate, the stress I endured, and the lack of self-care was affecting my health. I didn’t even know I was in a constant state of stress to even consider how to stop it. I was too focused on working hard and trying to be what the world wanted me to be with no clue who I really was or how to take care of myself.
Society, healthcare food companies, and marketing told me what was healthy and I believed it, as do many. I thought if it was on the store shelves and was marketed as healthy there is no way it can’t be. I actually thought that all these people had my best interests.
When a nutritionist started telling me how I should be eating, I was shocked. When I started learning about all the dangerous ingredients in processed foods, I was shocked. I found out how other countries ban a lot of the ingredients used in our processed food here in America. The FDA is allowing many toxic things into our foods. It was all shocking and disappointing. My Chronic Illness was definitely NOT my fault.
Seeing the Positive
Many people don't want to believe our country is headed in a very unhealthy direction, and want to believe these companies and organizations actually care. But, our food and healthcare industry is very much profit driven. Knowing that can help you to make healthier choices. Also, if you believe that then you know chronic illness is not your fault. If you were struggling at all with feeling like it's your fault, I hope this has helped.
You were dealt a bad deck of cards, and you can only make the best of it. I believe that there are many ways to improve upon your situation. We believe that at Hope Instilled. We have many resources to help people live a better life with chronic illness. We have support groups, alternative treatments, wellness tips, and more.