Things I've Learned While Sick
1. Deep down, my heart really is in what I'm doing. When I think about being sick for years and years, or not ever getting well, the things I feel a sense of loss about have to do with time with my kids and family. The regrets I have are about my roles as wife, mother and Christian. I don't care about my writing, getting back to school or the other things that I sometimes think I'm living for. I know what's most important and it's what I want most to be doing.
2. There is definitely a connection between spirit and body. Think of the blessings promised in the temple: how many have to do with our bodies, their function and health? There's a mystery here that I feel I haven't even begun to understand. And even the sacrament prayer talks about our souls, not just our spirits. It's hard to understand the connection, especially when I am doing all I can to live righteously, be a good steward of my body, and still it is sick.
3. Sometimes things are just hard. Sometimes they are just hard for a long time. There is no answer that helps it be easier, or cuts the time down. I have been promised I will heal. But it could be sooner or later, and nothing I can do will change that.
4. It doesn't matter how skinny I am when I feel wretched. I have lost 10 pounds so far. My "skinny" jeans are falling down on me. I couldn't care less! I'd gladly take 20 pounds back if I could feel fully healthy. (Of course, I would immediately start taking care of myself so that the extra weight would probably come off—but not because I want to be skinny. Just because I want to feel well.)
5. In the end, the ONLY thing you have is how you feel—how you feel about God is most important, and then how you feel about the people you love, how you feel emotionally, how you feel spiritually. If you can figure out how to keep things things as healthy as possible, you are living the best and highest you can expect to live. Nothing else (accomplishments, acquirements) matters.
6. (Stolen from meditation teachers.) You have just moments to live. Always, there is only now. Live it the best you can, and everything else falls into place. Being mindful of each moment leads to greater health in all areas of your life. Wherever you go is an important place to be. Be there for all you're worth.
7. Healing, both spiritual and physical, is a mystery and often happens in spite of the things we do as much as because of it. It is a difficult thing to trust in God and yourself and time when you don't understand what is going on, and yet these things are working for your good all the same.
8. No one who has never had a long, undiagnosed illness can ever possibly understand how emotionally devastating it is. No one who has will ever take feeling well for granted.
9. Breathing helps everything.
10. Knowing people are praying for you helps, too.