My body has let me down. I am disappointed as I reluctantly face the truth that I am not, in fact, invincible. Truth be told, I have let my body down. Rather than treating it as the temple of the most high God, and working to make it healthy and hospitable and useful for as long as possible, I have abused it and taken advantage of it’s meagre resources for selfish ends. Between teenage anorexia, early onset stress and what I now recognise to be both work and coffee addictions, my body has drawn a line in the sand and refused to take another step. I recently wrote about being so tired that I needed to take step back and re-evaluate things. Now, at last, I have received professional medical help.
It is a comfort to have a professional, “official” diagnosis. The words don’t change the thing, but they do acknowledge the realness of the thing, and make me feel less alone and less adrift.
The words that make the thing a thing are severe adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia. In other words: I am tired all the time, and I hurt all over.
The thing with these syndromes is that they kind of creep up on you, so that at first you barely realise anything is happening at all. You’re just having an “off day”. By the time something is worth reporting to a professional, you’re so used to the body-wide pain and fatigue that it’s indistinguishable from all of the rest of you. Don’t we all feel like this in our thirties? Is this not normal, then?
So what I have now, besides a name to hang on the door of the box all my symptoms fit into, is a Plan. A planny plan. It involves diet modifications, supplements and exercise. And it involves rest. I will explain it in more detail in future posts. I also have a long list of symptoms, but these, too, can wait for future posts.
For now, it’s just nice to know that I am exhausted to the point of virtual catatonia, and that I am allowed to slow down.
In recent days, every time I open my Bible, read any scriptures online, or hear any sermons preached, they seem to keep coming back to 1 Corinthians 15. Today, when it happened again, I wondered what message I was missing. All of a sudden, it hit me, and a wave of divine grace and comfort washed over me as I understood the words properly, and in a very personal way, for the first time. The passage reads:
“The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man…So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
What a comfort it is to me to be able to look forward to a time when I will no longer be shackled by allergies, my skin will no longer burn when I touch – well, anything, I will be able to breathe, and run, and rest, and be whole. Even though I haven’t taken care of the body I have as I ought to have done, I can start doing so now, and I can take comfort that something far better awaits.