GETTING ILL IN RECOVERY
No one (as far as I’m aware of) enjoys being ill. And I’m not gonna lie to you and say that I’m enjoying laying in bed unable to move or breathe properly, I have found positivity in this situation. Although it’s personal to me and my situation, the lessons from it I think can be applied to anyone - so save this post for when you’re next laying in bed feeling terrible (though I hope it’s not anytime soon!)
For me, this sickness is a sign of my body recovering. When you’re under intense stress or undernourished your body shuts down your immune system in order to focus on it’s top priority; keeping you alive and functioning through this time of trauma or starvation. It doesn’t let you get ill, because it knows you can’t handle it, it knows that you wouldn’t be able to physically or mentally cope with any more added stress. This has been described by scientists as the ‘let down effect’, which is why many people get sick in the holidays, or suddenly get flare-ups of chronic conditions (hello this random one-eyed eczema that has appeared??) and why there is a crazy statistic regarding people having heart attacks the minute they retire from their jobs.
Your body is producing so much cortisol (stress hormone) that it triggers the flight or fight response; your body literally thinks it’s in a life or death situation. Cortisol blocks the function of the pituitary and thyroid gland. And finally, when cortisol levels begin to lower, it not only allows other hormones to be produced through the ‘unblocking’ (or instead of all of the precursors favoring the production of cortisol to respond to the stress) allowing other systems in your body to begin to activate again, but also leaves over lots of prostaglandins which can trigger inflammation and chronic conditions.
So although I can’t deny I’m not enjoying the fact that i’m sick, have adrenal fatigue, that my skin is breaking out and my emotions are going cray, I know that this is a good sign. My immune system is starting to function again, and other hormones in my body are starting to be produced, instead of everything being cortisol driven as it was before.
My mind is no longer so focused on being in control of my physical body; in it’s actions, and movements and appearance. I am learning to trust myself again, to trust natural biology and science and signals and plain intuition. I’m learning that it’s not always the best thing for your health to be in control, to be productive, to be doing what you want to do. I’m learning through this process how to just be, and be okay with that. Your body is smart, it tells you what it needs. Listening can be hard, when the mind is so used to being heard, and thoughts seem to drown everything else out. But in time, it becomes easier. Healing becomes easier.
Most importantly, through this process, I’m learning how to be patient.