Beyond the Physical Pain: Navigating the Emotional Toll of Losing Your Health
I learned that it was essential to accept my condition and focus on what I could control
Losing your health can be an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. It can leave you feeling helpless, frustrated, alone and angry asking things such as “Why Me?”.
I know this from experience, having gone through a medical condition that affected my physical and mental health. Everything seemed to be falling away from around me and I began internalising the problem rather than heading it off.
When I first found out about my condition, I was devastated. It was a shock to my system to realise that my body was not functioning properly, and I had to make significant changes in my lifestyle. I felt a sense of grief for the loss of my previous healthy self.
There were times when I was angry at my body for betraying me, and times when I was scared about the future and what it may hold or how I was going to cope.
However, over time, I learned that it was essential to accept my condition and focus on what I could control. Here are some things that helped me navigate the loss of my health:
Seek Support: It's okay to reach out to family, friends, and even support groups. Sometimes talking to someone who understands what you're going through can be therapeutic. A grief specialist can help you with this and that’s what I found to help me.
Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is crucial during this time. Be kind to yourself, and practice self-compassion. This can mean taking time to do things you enjoy, getting enough rest, eating well, sleeping and moving outside in nature.
Focus on What You Can Control: It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by things you can't control, but try to focus on what you can control. This may involve working with your healthcare team to find treatments that work for you, adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate your new needs, or finding ways to cope with the emotional aspects of your condition.
Look for Positives: While it may be challenging, try to look for the positives in your situation. For me, my medical condition led me to discover new and old hobbies and interests that I may not have pursued otherwise and which enabled me to get out and about more and have social interaction with others.
Losing your health can be incredibly challenging, but it's important to remember that you're not alone. Seek support, practice self-care, focus on what you can control, and look for the positives. Remember that there is hope, and that with time, you can learn to navigate this loss and come out stronger on the other side.
Being able to learn to control your state of mind is so important. Having a pair of listening ears from a specialist was one of the most important things for me. It enabled me to come to terms with my grief and start to live again.
Carol Wright is an author, Qualified Health Coach and Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist who specialises in helping people with health loss, middle-aged women caring for parents, parental loss and emotional eating. Carol is based in Northamptonshire and available for Grief Recovery sessions online via Zoom, and face-to-face. Find out more about Carol here.