I remember when I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. I lay on the floor in my lounge as the light faded outside and the room grew darker, just like my mind. I willed the ground to open up and take me. I wanted no more of this life, no more of this pain and heartache. I wanted to be free of all the burden and gut-wrenching misery. I lived in a home I bought myself at age 23, two years prior, a good job, loving friends, and yet I could see no good in anything. I felt alone, isolated, and unloved. I felt unworthy, and caught up in my own never-ending self-deprecating thoughts: beating myself up, judging myself, and blaming myself. I felt guilt-ridden, and angry, unlovable and worthless. As I lay there, feeling so near to the death I wanted, I heard the doorbell ring. I didn’t want to answer it. I didn’t want to move. Then I heard the persistent knock on the door, so I slowly moved, pushed myself into a crouching position, and then stood. I slowly walked to the door and opened it. My best friend was standing there and she asked why I was in the dark. I mumbled something about liking it that way. She came in and I turned on the lights. I put on my brave face and we small talked for a while. After she left, I didn’t feel so alone, and weary. I had a bite to eat and played some music and actually felt okay for a time.
When I look back on that now, there is something poignant in the story. The darkness had become my comfort zone.
I strongly believe we can will ourselves well but we have to want to be well. It’s very easy to become the illness, to be caught up in it, and to wallow in the symptoms. It’s equally easy to use it as an excuse and to hide from the world. At a certain point, it can, sometimes, be more about fear than it is about the original condition. Returning to the world seems daunting and a faraway fantasy. That’s where purpose and meaning comes in because it ignites your soul. It gives you the kick up the ass, the fire in your belly, the wings to fly and all these clichés. Passion gives you the drive and reason to become well. Passion gives you a reason to be healthy, because you have a reason to live.
Often those that get chronically sick, are those that have a global mission, a real purpose to help others, and they’ve gone so far off course, that the illness is a wake-up call to come back to the right path.
I've struggled finding my purpose.
The leading cause of STRESS is our ability to cope with the pressures of life, such as work, career, family, relationships, social interactions, traumas, accidents, and financial situations; as well as the way we perceive and think about ourselves and our place in the world. Stress can manifest in a number of ways, from short-term acute symptoms to long-term chronic systemic break-downs. Left unresolved, stress causes states of dis-ease or illness.
Short-term positive stress gives you motivation to achieve goals and take action. It gives you that rush of adrenaline to get the job done – like when you have to meet a deadline at work, and then it dissipates once the job is accomplished. You may feel a surge of energy, your heart might beat faster, you’re focused on the task at hand and you feel a drive and pressure to get it done. The main point is that it dissipates. Positive short-term stress energy motivates you into action and then releases upon completion of that action. In its place you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Why does negative stress occur? Usually through mental processes: You’ve started to worry about something, either you dwell on it too much or instead of dealing with it and figuring out what is causing the anxiety, you push it aside. When you do this often the physical symptoms occur. It’s your body’s way of telling you that something is up, that something isn’t right and you need to pay attention.