Something has been on my mind a lot lately as I talk to more and more women with Hashimoto’s. It is common to hear “All I want is to feel better.”
But there is a question that I keep asking myself as I work towards the things that will help me feel better. “Am I wanting to heal or do I want to be cured?” When I first heard this question in my mind, my first reaction was “What’s the difference and why does it matter?”
The truth is that healing and curing are often used interchangeably. But they aren’t the same.
I had to go look it up. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines healing as “the process of making or becoming sound again; something that is therapeutic.” Curing is defined “to relieve symptoms of a disease or condition.” To cure means that you have removed the disease. The World Health Organization defines health itself as this “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
So what am I trying to get at for myself and share with you? I can heal EVEN when I’m not cured. Healing is not dependent on whether a disease or condition is removed…it happens IN SPITE OF the disease!
My healing journey had me getting really honest with myself. I learned so much about my body and myself on this journey. I learned that much of the time the foods I ate
were often driven by my emotions and my pain. I ate for the comfort and for what I thought of as love and warmth.
I learned that I had pushed down my emotions DEEP…as deep as they could go. I didn’t want to remember the things that had happened to me and I didn’t want to think about them. I was ok if I could just keep moving. That stress of holding things in and not dealing with them did a number on my gut, my weight and my health. In order to start to feel whole again, I had to deal with the emotions, the stress AND the food.
But the biggest impact of healing is what the process itself has taught me.
If we choose to, we can learn why and how our bodies chose this disease to get our attention. What messages should we have heard? What did our bodies and our hearts need in order to be nourished? What weren’t we getting?
These were all questions I had to ask myself on different levels as I worked through my health issues.
Hashimoto’s didn’t happen all of a sudden. It took time for the straws to pile up on the camel’s back until one broke it. Wishing that it would all just go away so that I could have what I felt I should have for a life wouldn’t have taught me anything. In truth, a magic cure wouldn’t have helped me heal at all!
Healing is multi-faceted. To be healthy, we have to look at emotions, beliefs, food, sleep, our gut, nutrition, stress…
The healing process itself was a gift for me. But it was also a choice. I said no for a LONG time! This kind of healing helped me start to learn who I really am, what I really need and how to listen to my own inner voice.
Your path in healing isn’t the same as mine. We don’t need the same things. We got here by different choices for different reasons. Each of us is unique. But what we DO need is to learn how to give our body the tools that it can use to heal and to be sound, not necessarily to be cured.
The path of healing is open for anyone who wants to travel down it. The way I see it is that I can either start down that path even if I’m inching along or I can stay stuck. I can choose to procrastinate and not start moving using the excuse of gathering more info or the fact that I’m not feeling well. But if I don’t start until I’m not afraid (because that is usually why I make excuses), time is going to pass by anyway and I usually get worse.
It hasn’t always been easy. True healing is a journey with many dips, twists and turns. I have had to deal with past pain that I would have rather kept buried. There will be more before I am done. But I can look back over the last couple of years and see a big change in my life. A health that I haven’t had before. Am I cured? No. But I am healing and I am happier than I have ever been.
So I ask you, “Do you want to heal or do you want to stay stuck?” In the end, the choice is yours.
With abounding love,