Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Have you ever been in a tough season in a life filled with mistakes, letdowns, and pain, and convinced yourself that one day, once this season is over, you'll find happiness again? But what if you told yourself that you didn't have to wait for happiness? What if you believed that you could find some level of peace and joy in your life even during hard times? How much more would you get out of life if you stopped putting your access to happiness on the back burner?
Healing will always be a lifetime journey, diagnosis or not. The homeostasis of the mind, body, and soul is challenged daily. Every day we are faced with stressors that challenge our overall well-being. Sometimes these challenges are easy to overcome, and other times the problems we face are too challenging to win in one battle, like chronic pain and mind-body symptoms. However, when we are able to challenge our belief system about what healing means to us, we can find joy and patience in our journey that will eventually lead to triumph.
Continue reading this blog to debunk the four healing journey myths to help every Chronic pain Warrior drop unhealthy belief systems, find joy, and build resilience in their healing journeys.
Health Journey Myth #1: Everyone will be supportive of your journey.
It is helpful to understand that everyone battles with some struggle or stressful event daily. As human beings, we strive to attain and maintain the innate human needs to survive, be protected, find love, resources, and self-fulfillment. A person's ability to help or support others solely depends on the stability of our resources and overall ability to survive peacefully.
Forming expectations of what your health should be and will be in the future can be dangerous. Why dangerous? First, setting expectations based on comparison is unfair to you. In a sense, comparison can cause frustration and lower self-esteem while overlooking the progress made.
Secondly, setting expectations about the future, or the unknown, can lead to disappointment, resentment, and loneliness. Expectations that you will receive a certain amount of help or support during your healing journey are slippery slopes to disappointment and feelings of loneliness.
Healing Journey Myth #2: Everyone will respect my new boundaries.
Boundaries weren't made to be inclusive for every person and event. Moreso, setting new boundaries to support one's healing journey may require more personal time than socializing- meaning that you might drift apart from some social groups and settings.
The most important thing to do when setting a boundary is to identify your end goal in your healing journey and what plans you will need to execute to get there. Secondly, identify the activities and people that matter to you most and figure out how to manage your time incorporating these values without sparing your health.
Healing Journey Myth #3: Once I make a solid plan, it will be easy to incorporate it into my life daily.
Habits can take a long time to form, and the amount of time can be subjective to each person and task. Author James Clear who wrote a New York Times best-seller, Atomic Habits, claimed that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit. For the Average Joe, it can take 66 days or even longer for others.
The point is, that without an accountability and support system to overcome our setbacks, it can be hard to stick to any plan. Forming a habit takes patience and understanding that setbacks are a part of your healing journey. Do your best to hop back on the bandwagon and acknowledge that committing to your new boundaries and plan will help your healing journey in the long run.
Healing Journey Myth #4: I will be the happiest I've ever been when I'm healed.
"Healing is a journey, not a destination." Insisting that your happiness must come from healing will put an overwhelming amount of pressure on you and your journey. Putting this type of pressure on yourself can be the very thing that prevents you from feeling better or progressing in your healing journey.
As a fellow Chronic Pain Warrior myself, I have found that it is more valuable to discover happiness in moments every day in life rather than enduring emotional and mental pain until you've reached a particular accomplishment. Remember to acknowledge the strides and efforts you've made to get to where you are today. Diagnosis or not, you deserve happiness.