Why am I always sick?
Have you struggled with a string of mysterious illnesses, or a sickness or injury that just won’t go away no matter how healthy your lifestyle is?
I know how confusing, draining and frustrating that can be. Even though I eat healthy, exercise, and take fairly good care of my body, I have a long, strange history of seemingly random chronic illnesses. I used to get sick all the time, often for months on end, and sometimes for over a year.
The doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. No matter how many times they drew blood, or what probes or scans they used, their tests all came back normal – even when my throat was swelling to the point where I felt like I was being choked, I was exhausted all day long, and I was getting agonizing stomachaches every day.
It was bewildering, discouraging, and exasperating. Sometimes I found myself wondering, Why do I keep getting random illnesses no matter what I do? What more do I have to do before I’ll stop getting sick all the time?
Then, one day, the answer came to me:
I NEEDED to get sick.
Yes, you read that right.
You see, like many people in our busy culture, I can be a bit of a workaholic. I’ve been known to pull 13-hour days or more when I didn’t necessarily need to, and there were days when I didn’t take any time to rejuvenate at all.
Unless, of course, I was sick.
Whenever I became ill, I suddenly had an excuse. I didn’t have the self-respect or self-compassion to say “I’m taking a break because I deserve it, because I want to, or because I need to”. But I could say “I’m taking it easy on myself because I’m sick.”
So my body, recognizing my need to rest and spend time on the things I enjoyed outside my work, gave me exactly what I needed: an excuse to take care of myself. By repeatedly falling ill, it was actually taking care of me, in the only way in which I would allow it to.
Have you been forcing your body to do the same thing?
If you’ve been suffering from frequent or chronic illnesses or injuries, it’s time to check in with yourself.
Do you take care of your body and soul in sickness AND in health? Or do you fill your ‘free’ time with work when you’re healthy, feeling guilty whenever you take time for yourself?
Is illness the only time when you can give yourself the gift of self-care without guilt?
It could also be that sickness brings you other good things that you don’t receive when you’re well. Do your loved ones pay more attention to you when you’re under the weather? Does that make you feel seen, valued and loved?
Do you not allow other people to take care of you unless you’re ailing?
Take a moment to think about that. Ask yourself what good things you get from being sick, that you don’t receive at any other time.
And then, ask yourself how you can get those good things without becoming ill.
Can you create a daily ritual of self-care, and make it a priority even when you’re in perfect health?
Can you ask for kindness, attention and love when you’re feeling well?
If you’re accustomed to giving more than you receive, those suggestions may feel selfish or wrong. But remember, when your health and energy are compromised, you have less to give to your loved ones, to the world, and to yourself. Your happiness and health are one of the best gifts you can offer, so please protect it.
By loving and taking care of yourself, you set a good example for the people around you. And by asking for help, you allow others to feel the same joy that you get from serving them, as you give them the chance to serve you.
So before you leave this article, ask yourself what you get from being sick, make a plan for getting it even when you’re healthy, and put that plan in your schedule.
Notes from The Art of Unity Founder, Bill Farr:
In my books and teachings I mention how I have learned that all physical illness is a result of a mental or emotional issue. This can start small with the relief from some negative emotion such as feeling unloved and wanting attention, as Stephanie O'Brien mentions is this article. I have seen this time and again with people who are not getting the attention they require. If the problem is not addressed from within, as opposed this type of manipulation in the exterior world, the problem often gets worse. I am in agreement with Stephanie in that we need to give our physical as well as our emotional body what it requires; including requesting what we want from others or seek the help of a professional on how to do so. There are many communication exercises in my book (The Power of Personality Types) on this specifically.
About the author:
Stephanie O’Brien is a copywriter, marketing coach, entrepreneur, novelist, and self-growth addict. She’s devoted to helping coaches and heart-centered entrepreneurs to create businesses that make life better – for their clients, for the world as a whole, and for the coaches themselves.
To learn more about Stephanie, and to discover how she can help you to build the health-friendly business of your dreams, visit her website at http://www.captivatingcopywriter.com/.