Embarking on a journey can be both frightening and exciting. When the journey is about health — your own health — you may feel that the frightening far outweighs the exciting.
If you’re someone who’s chronically ill, consider your current status:
- Are you where you want to be?
- Do you feel satisfied with your level of wellness?
Few would answer “yes” to that question. Understanding the health journey process goes a long way toward removing the “frightening factor,” and that’s where the following illustration helps.
When I describe what I call the Rebuilding Wellness concept at speaking engagements, I tell it this way. Think about fixing up a home. Maybe it appears rundown; the eves sag, the paint has peeled, and the once-green lawn has gone beige. Nothing that some operating sprinklers and a new coat of paint can’t fix.
But, if you put some thought into it before the elbow grease, a home that has visible problems might have others, too. It could have problems that aren’t visible, bigger ones beneath the warped siding. What if the roof leaks or the plumbing is bad. Even worse, what if the foundation has cracks – serious cracks. Would slapping on a coat of exterior paint suffice as the ultimate remedy then?
Our health issues are the same way. By the time symptoms appear on the surface, the problems that caused them have already run amok elsewhere. Chronic illness takes time to manifest. It stands to reason that the application of solutions will be no quick fix.
So, where to begin? Consider the type of “cracks” that are affecting your foundation: nutritional deficiencies, extreme stress, toxin exposure (internal and external), infections, injuries, and/or hormonal/thyroid dysfunction. Take a look at what you think affects you most. Begin an action plan to remedy these problems and fortify your “home.”
Susan Ingebretson is a writer, speaker and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia Research and Education Center at California State University, Fullerton. Her book, FibroWHYalgia, (2010) details her own journey from illness to wellness. You can read more at her website, Rebuilding Wellness. Ingebretson’s writing has appeared in the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) online and print magazine, FibromyalgiaAWARE. Susan is also featured in the NFA’s Public Service Announcement, “The Science Behind Fibromyalgia.”
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