Living with disease

Living life and feeling good despite having a chronic disease, I am sure everybody is working on that. Still, i would like to share how I have gotten to where I am today.

Where am I today? In Paradise? Not quite, ha ha. But I am sure I could be. But I feel very much better than some years back, physically and mentally.  These two are connected of course. But the mental is maybe the most important. It’s very difficult to feel good if you have a way too low FT3. But you can feel good even if your health isn’t 100%. And you can feel bad even if your health is 100%.

Acceptance

Acceptance is a key word for me. Accept EVERYTHING! I know it’s not easy. It’s simple, but difficult. I know full acceptance is unattainable for me. The most highly developed can accept fully. There are some of those, but not very many. But they have all started at some point, remember that!

One doesn’t have to read about this, it’s not complicated. Only very, very difficult 🤣 But it can be inspirational, and helpful to read. There is this book by Jeff Foster, “The deepest acceptance” (ISBN 978-1-60407-855-8)

Foster writes about accepting every second. Not trying to change anything, just let it be as it is. That entails, allowing oneself to have exactly the feelings and thoughts that are there , at this exact moment in time. That doesn’t mean, one does not want to change or grow. On the  contrary, I believe that through accepting, one discovers that things change. But this cannot be the motive. In that case one has already abandoned the state of acceptance.

Those who have achieved this state, can show us, what acceptance is. One only needs to cast a glace at Sri Ramana Maharshi, to know, he has peace. The peace one gets when one accepts everything.

He lived in India and died in 1950. People still flock to the holy mountain he lived on. His ashram is still there. People flocked to him also when he was alive. He died from cancer, in his sixties. He got a tumor on his arm. He didn’t really want to go see a doctor, but his followers insisted. He conceded. I don’t know what treatment he received. But I know he lay on a bed for all to see every day of his sickness till his death. He knew, people wanted to see him. He accepted his fate.

You will find a lot of info on him on the net and You tube. This is not intended to be about Sri Ramana. It’s the photo I wanted you to see. It gives me such peace to look at it. I have it on my altar where I sit and meditate.

Us ordinary people

We are not Indian sadhus. We can probably not achieve the state of peace we see in Ramana’s face. But all human beings are the same. Some are a little further ahead, but we are all ultimately on the same path.

Maybe you are saying, but Liv, I feel so bad. How can I accept THAT. Maybe you are thinking, that accept is the same as capitulating, giving up. But that is not what I mean. I see many thyroid sick being very angry with their disease, very angry at life. They feel it is so unfair that THEY have gotten sick. I see this a lot in US groups. Some US groups seem to be mostly about that, like Thyroid support Group.  I really think, people are dragging each other down in such groups. I am not saying, that anger over our disease is not natural. or wrong. It is a stage that many of us go through, and which we need to accept as well. But if we get stuck in that stage we certainly won’t have a good life.

I try to turn it around, and ask, why shouldn’t I become sick? Everybody else becomes sick. Many die young. Many are born with disease. It’s life. We so often have this feeling, life should be easy, we should get love, family, children, a good livelihood. That THAT is what is really life. No, it’s not. It all is life. THIS is life.

Disease as development

It is only in hindsight I see how much my sickness has contributed to my development as a human being. It’s insight that has cost me. But all development has a cost.

After I finished my education as a psychologist as a grown woman, I thought, now life will be easy. I would have an interesting job with a good salary. My life had been quite difficult, hard. Especially the first  30 years. So this was a good, safe feeling. But that’s what life is like, whenever you think you have it all in the box, it gets turned upside down. I got sick, and about 7 years later, I could no longer work.

I was so tired, I needed to lie down. A chronic migraine. Pain all over.

For me, I think the guilt of not being able to function very well has been my biggest hurdle. More than anger over being ill. It has taken me years and years to accept the situation. And be grateful for what I do get done.

It is so sad that we are angry at ourselves for being sick. Because that is what we are when feeling inadequate and not good enough when tired from our low (or high) thyroid disease. And it is a recipe for feeling bad. We become even more tired. We need to support ourselves, hold ourselves, help ourselves. I am not talking about self pity, but empathy with ourselves. Others might not understand how sick we often are. But we KNOW. We know how we are today, and how we used to be. And it’s obvious, if one’s thyroid levels are too low. then the cells are not getting energy. And the result is tiredness and a host of other symptoms. And if one has autoimmune thyroiditis, there is an ongoing activity going on in the immune system which also makes one tired.

What did I learn from all this lying about? I have learned, that humans do not run the world. That I don’t. I have learned, that I am being taken care of. In one way or another. I did believe in God or the Devine long before I got ill with autoimmune thyroiditis. And it’s not like I was always on top of the world even before becoming sick. But the helplessness I have felt  at times in the last 20 years, has helped me to surrender in a much deeper way.

And I have become much more patient. And I needed to. I need to become more patient, as I am sure, people knowing me from Facebook will agree 🤣

I was listening to a radio show today. It was an interview with a Danish journalist. She has always seem kind of hard to me before. Now she had gotten cancer with a bad prognosis. From being someone who did not believe in anything bigger than us humans, she now had turned to the Devine. She also communed with angels and devas. She seemed very different. Softer, warmer.

It’s when we are in need, that we turn to God. And there is no shame in that. As long as everything is a okay, we often think we are the masters, that we can handle anything. This journalist said, she didn’t think anything good could come out of her disease. But hadn’t she changed totally?

Compairing ourselves to others

This is our undoing. We compare ourselves to others all the time. At times we think we are better than them, at other times, not as good. I still remember guru Maharaji, Prem Ravat, saying, “Don’t compare yourself to others”, many years ago. That sentence has popped up in my mind countless times since. We who don’t always manage everything others do, do this way too much. WAY TOO MUCH. It’s poison for us. We can’t compare ourselves to healthy people. And we know this, deep down. But still, we do it. Let’s stop it. We aren’t in perfect health. Let’s do what we can to become as healthy as we can. That is really all we can do. Pushing ourselves, pressuring ourselves, backfires. Every time.

If we don’t contribute as much practically, maybe we contribute something else? Maybe we know something about life not everybody does? Something others can use?

Insecurity

For me, financial insecurity is one of the hardest aspects of being sick. It varies of course, what is our biggest trigger. What makes us the most afraid, the most insecure. For some it might be, being alone. But for me it is not knowing how to pay my bills. It’s a lack trust when we get really scared and worried.

I was confronted with my worst fear a few years back. I had my application for a disability pension denied. It was a great shock. As a psychologist I had written many statements for patients. I had also talked to the social services myself about my case. I had no reason to believe, it would not be granted. I felt the carpet was pulled out from under me. My worst fear materialized, I had no income. I appealed, and got a yes the second time. It was one stupid doctor that I had seen only once, giving a  stupid statement. And one stupid caseworker giving that one statement too much weight. As it didn’t really concern the case at all, it had nothing to do with why I applied for a disability pension. These mistakes happens.

Anyway, I was without income for 4 months. I did survive. I got a chance to heal some old wounds. I am not saying it was easy. It wasn’t. I was very scared. But I was taken care of. And that was the big lesson for me.

My economy is much better today. But I learned a lot from the years where I had to turn every penny. It was not only these 4 months where my economy was bad. I have become much more sensitive to how hard life is for many people. How they struggle.

A few people  are free from worrying about the material, and more filled with trust. They can live with a certain insecurity. But for most of us, financial insecurity is very hard to bear. And we are sick. Many with thyroid disease are well enough to hold down a job. But then again, many are not.

I can only say I feel for those of you struggeling. Here in Scandinavia we have pensions that one can survive on. I know that for many of you elsewhere the situation is very different.

It’s  the fear of death that gets triggered when we worry about survival. It’s such a deep seated fear. I guess, our most deep seated. It’s the same fear that gets triggered when we feel alone and left out as well. It was dangerous to be cast out from the tribe, the group. Alone one couldn’t survive.

Other people

Is this what’s most difficult for us? Or is that only me? I have found it hard to sustain relationships with others. For many years, I was just too tired. Today I am doing better. Not like someone healthy, but much better. But for a long time, there was no energy left over. What little I had went into just surviving. Having people close, I would have to say “I am too tired” all the time. I already felt I had to say it to friends and other people too often.  I was thinking, how can anyone want to be with someone who is so tired? As I feel better today, and feel better about myself and what I have to give, I know this was BS. I knew that at the time. But it was how I FELT.

And lots of us have partners and families. But I think, it is not always easy. But then again, it isn’t for other, more healthy either. Though I do read many saying, it’s difficult to make my family understand how things are for me. It is the tired issue that is the big problem. It seems it can be difficult for others to understand. And that can be very hurtful.  Can make one feel alone and inadequate. It can really exacerbate one’s own guilt and feelings of not being good enough when the people around us are unsympathetic.

I have come to the conclusion, I need to be the one understanding and supporting ME. That  goes whether one is alone or together with someone. If other people don’t understand how it is to be tired a lot, maybe have a lot of pain, then I need  to understand and sympathize! Support myself, be good to myself. That makes me need it less from others, and I become less vulnerable too. It has taken me a long time to make this a reality, and I need to work on it every day. But it has become much more easy.

I believe we are all quite vulnerable. At least, the vast majority. We all have a lot of emotions. I might have an advantage since I am a psychologist. People have let me in, let me see behind the facade. We all have the small child inside.

And what about sex?

And then there is the sex. Do we have energy for it? I hope you do.   Sex is energy, and we don’t have much of that commodity.

Sex is so important in relationships. And it can be very hurtful and difficult to understand for a partner. That the one who used to be horny, is horny no more. There is way too little focus on this aspect. The doctors should  pay attention to this from the very start. I haven’t been asked about this in the 20 years I have been sick. But then I haven’t been asked about a lot of things

And what can the doctor do, if the answer is, i have no libido? First of all, the doctor should know what is optimal thyroid levels, And make sure, the patient has optimal levels. Next, the sex hormones needs to be looked at, for women and men alike.

It makes me angry, how little attention is paid to our relationships and sex life. When it is such an important part of life and health. Strengthening one’s adrenals might also help.  I am not a fan of supplementing with cortisol. At least not for long periods. But glandular adrenal extracts can also help, and increase the libido.

I cannot give advice on relationships. As I am not so good at them myself. I have some things in my background that also is making it difficult. And then all this tiredness business. For me my learning right now, is accepting that I am not so good at this. You have your unique learning process. You might be good at togetherness, and bad at being alone? Again, acceptance is the key word. 

Many think, life is supposed to be a certain way. Many also believe, they live only once. I remember many lives, many incarnations. So I KNOW we live more than one life. That makes for a different perspective. I understand that the soul needs many different experiences. There is not one kind of life that is better or more desirable than others. The life each and everyone of us is living, is the right one for us. That doesn’t mean, it can’t change.  Change is the one certain thing in the Universe. But at this moment, THIS  is what’s right for you. Trust that.

What is it, everybody wants? What is it we long for? Peace, always peace. Does one have to be healthy to have peace? No, right? One has to have acceptance.  We are all waiting for life to become perfect, so we can have peace. BUT NO, we must have peace, then life becomes perfect. Peace is something I can feel RIGHT NOW.

Peace, always peace

Meditating helps. I myself has meditated since 1985. At that time I received Knowledge from Guru Maharji, Prem Ravat. Maybe you are thinking, that is not for me, I don’t feel for that. And that might very well be, and is of course, quite all right. But, one can try. And it is neither difficult nor mysterious. Don’t be too ambitious. It is only being with one self for a little while, being still, turning inwards. It doesn’t have to last more than a  few minutes. Just sit for a little while. Be present. Observe what is right now. That’s all. And if you are meant to learn any specific techniques or anything like that, then it will happen. As the saying goes, “When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come”.

If you are one of those who just can’t sit still, then practices like Thai Chi and Chi Gong could be a good alternative. When one practices in a calm, attentive manner, it is a kind of meditation.

I always long for peace. I get caught in all kinds of distractions  that I let destroy my peace. Facebook is a big peace killer. It’s the ego’s playing ground. Have you noticed how quick you are to anger and taking offence on FB? It’s a little like when getting into a car. Cars and traffic are also the ego’s arena.

I always strive to be more peaceful. I don’t always succed. but I long for it, I strive. And I know, longing is the strongest driving force. Guru Maharhji says, “when you are longing, you are halfway there.”

Longing means you are halfway there

Loving ourselves

We long for love, many of us. Maybe most of us. But we HAVE love, inside. Saying that we long for it, is like saying “I am hungry” when sitting in the middle of a supermarket.

We are born filled with love. As we get hurt, we lock our love in, we become afraid. We get all these twisted ideas, like I am not worth loving, love is not for me, if they knew the real me, they wouldn’t love me.

I feel I have worked on my healing from all these hurts for maybe 30 years now. But now I am ready to let go of these lies.

I AM WORTH LOVING

That is why I will love myself. I have made up my mind to make 2021 a year of love for me. Not waiting for it to come from the outside. I want to open to the love I already have, inside. I want to face my fear of love, sit with it, heal it. I get help from this book

I am in the middle of it. At the end, it contains a 7 day course. I haven’t gotten to that, but I still wanted to share this with you. I might update this post later. I have read other books of hers. If you are someone thinking angels are BS, this might not be for you. As Lorna is someone who has seen angels since she was a little child. And asking the angels for help is a major part of her contribution. But then again, it might be exactly what you need 😇

Lorna Byrne is talking of these things, how we lock our love away, and how we can open up to it again. I believe this book will be very important in my life. Maybe in yours as well?

I have done three things of selflove today. Where I have put my own wellbeing, what feels right for ME, first. It feels good.

I know it can be difficult, and take a long time, to accept not being well. But I don’t think we can have a good life despite, or with our disease unless  we are able to. And then there is the daily acceptance of every thought and feeling and event. Life becomes good that way. If you add a little gratitude, then every day life becomes good. Even the grey and the dark days will be possible to bear.

All is well

I have made these playlists that I listen to often. Maybe you would like to listen as well? You have to have a Spotify account, of course. The Tibetan is good for meditation and relaxing, the other two for relaxing. Having a rest is good for us.

Tibetan

Chill

Deuter

4 Comments

  1. Kim

    It’s hard to find anyone that mixes Spirituality & talk on the thyroid. Thank you this very interesting perspective.

    • Liv

      Hi Kim!
      Thank you for your comment. Yes, it’s maybe not so common. I am interested in the science, but science is no my God. And we are so much more than our disease, of course. I think it’s important to learn from all that life sends our way. Maybe not asking why it happens, as much as “What can I learn from this?” “Where is the gift?” What we learn from being sick, is what’s important. That will be our contribution, where we can help others. And it’s what we take with us when we leave this body behind. I would like to share about all aspects of our disease and being sick in general. Being a human, really. Hopefully, someone will be interested

      Blessings, Liv

  2. Sylvia

    Love this post Liv! I have also learned to be good to myself.

    • Liv

      Hi Sylvia!
      Thank you so much for those kind words. I am so glad you liked it. Yes, it feels so good to say some kind words to oneself, rather than those long tirades of recriminations. About all the wrong one has done, and all the right one hasn’t done. Love is the great healer. It’s the love from within that truly heals. Devine love. I guess all love is devine.

      Blessings, Liv

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