Have you ever felt like you can't take one more thing? Times when you wish your life would run smoothly for just a little while? How did you feel when your challenge ended? Were you aware of effort you exerted to overcome it or was it resolved with the passage of time?
How do some people come through adversity stronger than before?
I have clients facing serious health challenges. These are some of the strongest, bravest people I know. They are determined not to give up and give in. They feel pain and face fears while endlessly searching for answers and relief. They are faces and voices that often go unheard.
I spent months earlier this year functioning minimally. I saw numerous doctors and had dozens of tests — tests that were all "normal" and yet my health continued to decline. I could no longer count on feeling well; I anticipated and felt worse every day. The only hours each day that I could hope to feel okay were after 5 pm. I never felt "good", but I was functional in the evening. I began to dread waking up in the morning.
One doctor told me to plan my life around when I might feel well — in the evenings. Somehow I was to be a parent and run a business (among all the other responsibilities of life) only between the hours of 5 pm and bedtime. Really?! While I understand the recommendation to embrace what's working, this felt like advice to give up and accept that my life was over.
I did not give up. Instead, I stopped listening to the professionals and trusted my instincts. Though they all told me I was wrong about the origin of my health issues, I took matters into my own hands and tried an experiment. It turns out it was the one thing that helped me turn a corner.
Since then I have added more experiments that continue to help. And I have not given up trying to find the cause — perhaps there's a way to feel even better! So, I have another appointment at the end of the summer; with an endocrinologist.
In the meantime; I'm back! I count on feeling great every day and am indescribably grateful.
Through this experience, I have found a new way to connect with others facing similar challenges. The journey to health and wellbeing is an exploration, not a destination! I feel honored to be a voice eager to speak up, so others feel safe doing the same.
So, what separates those of us that have the drive to continue the search for wellness (emotional, mental and physical) from those that don't, especially in the face of adversity? What makes some people stronger when they overcome their challenges? The five key elements of resilience are gratitude, hope, courage, kindness, and a belief in something greater than yourself.
Just imagine what we could accomplish if we all employed these strengths all of the time. How might your world be if you looked at every person, and your life, through these five lenses?
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian