Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Bad Attitude

Just last week I got it again. 'It's all mind over matter. Just put your mind to it, convince yourself you aren't gonna put up with being sick. You can do it if you want it bad enough.'

Um, well excuse me, but no I can't. No matter how bad I want to be well, no matter how hard I try to discipline my mind or put on a positive belief system, my body is still going to be host to an autoimmune disease. And you know what? The same is true of prayer, meditation, yoga and other various types of practices.

Now there's nothing wrong and everything right about positive thinking. It's unquestionably good for us all. And it's high time that physicians realized that we aren't just annoyingly talkative Petri dishes, but human beings with hearts and souls. But when somebody starts expounding on a theory of illness that says the fighters win, the positive live, the upbeat beat it, I get this little twitchy pain between my shoulders that has nothing to do with peripheral neuropathy.

You see, if the upbeat win, if the positive get well, then clearly and obviously, the ones who don't win are those who just didn't try hard enough. You have a chronic disease that keeps you in pain and misery most of the time? Clearly you aren't thinking yourself well. Maybe you want to stay sick.... goodness knows there are so many upsides to being miserably ill. Your sister died of breast cancer? Well, we all know that the ones who beat it are the ones who stayed positive. So obviously your sister must not have wanted to live enough. Maybe she was just one of those negative, give in and go with t he disease kind of people. One friend who suffers trigeminal neuralgia caused by an auto accident has had three brain surgeries trying to find a solution. A mutual acquaintance told her a couple years ago that she was in pain because she wasn't allowing God to heal her. If she would just let go and be healed, the pain would go away. But obviously, she wanted to stay in pain rather than giving up control to God.

When I hear this kind of horse hocky I just want to shriek. Go ahead, blame the victim. It's a fine old sport.

I will talk often and at much length about this subject. I will come back to it like a terrier to a chew bone. It is a pet peeve of mine. People who have no clue what it is like to live with chronic pain, illness or incapacity have no business lecturing those of us who do.

If someone near and dear to you is telling you that you should shape up, believe more, heal yourself through positive thinking, please feel free to send the dear person to this blog. I will finish off today with a message just specially for the hale and hearty who can't stop telling us chronics what we need to do:

Don't lecture me about my faith. It's mine and it's fine. Don't lecture me about my attitude. If you hurt all day and all night, no matter what, you might have a bad attitude too. Don't lecture me about being positive. Because I am absolutely positive about one thing: you are a busy body who needs to keep your opinions and expertise to yourself.



Now that Felt Good!
See you soon.

1 comment:

Marian Dean said...

Well written; I wholeheartedly agree with your observations. Best wishes to you.