Chronic Illness: It's Not Weak to Admit You're Helpless

Hello my loves!

Have I mentioned how much I adore you? You are so brilliant and beautiful! I was so overwhelmed with your kind words and thoughts last week.  I’m always so amazed when you write in to say, “me too! I get it!”

Meanwhile – I decided to take my overwhelmed self to my therapist and have a long chat. It was just what I needed. I’m doing everything right. I’m handling my life. I’m fighting the battles. But life is handing me a s**t sammich. So now what?

She talked about surrender.  And I said, “I AM! I AM SURRENDERING - SEEEE.” And I put two middle fingers in the air.”

She said, “Well – that doesn’t LOOK like surrender. That looks more like anger- which is OK.”

I have RAGE at my health and my helplessness. I am a fighter – a WARRIOR. I do NOT give up. I told her so.

She stopped me. “What does helpless mean to you? Why is being helpless so negative? Consider what being helpless really means.”

Suddenly- I imagined a baby lying on the floor playing. I imagined kittens and puppies waiting to be fed and nurtured. All of them are completely helpless. I adore babies and kittens and puppies! Nothing in me resents their helplessness. Even the elderly who need me – I never resent them. I see them as deserving my love.

I realize now that I have been overly judgmental about the idea of helpless and have not really given surrender a chance.  I have always thought being helpless was needy and cloying – it was a bad thing. I always thought of helpless as bad words- like pathetic, loser, useless. Words you use to judge yourself as less than capable.

When I took the negative judgment out of the word and allowed myself to say, “I am helpless right now to change this situation; I have shown up for myself, advocated, done everything I could do, I am living my best life, I now surrender.” Something happened! I cried in relief! I felt myself as a child finally loving myself for the first time in a long time! I finally stopped feeling dirty and unlovable. FINALLY I am no longer being a “bad girl – disappointing myself, failing, being a FAILURE” by being chronically ill.

All this time I have been standing in my own way by using judging words to keep myself from being able to fully surrender to real experiences. Since then, I have experience something powerful. I have felt powerful amounts of love. Some of my friends are being diagnosed with even more terrible illnesses. Some are going into remission and getting engaged. Some are getting pregnant! Some are still in the middle of their chronic illness. I realize that life goes on. We’re all on our path. This is it. Day by day THIS IS IT.

When I released the judgment from the word and allowed myself to lean into my own helplessness – I felt something for the first time. I am more than a warrior. I am also all sorts of vulnerable and beautiful and fragile.  I KNEW this theoretically- but I have NEVER allowed myself to admit it and feel it without RAGING AGAINST IT.  I only wanted the WARRIOR – the one who FIGHTS, not the one who can be hurt or abandoned. I NEVER like my own vulnerability. Even if I encourage it in others –I FEAR it in my own life.

But something powerful happened. A doctor showed up with some new supplements and research with indications they are beneficial for my specific health issues. I got a letter in the mail from a new endo with a date three months earlier than I was supposed to have. Things are falling into place.

I leaned into my helplessness and admitted I had no more fight. And instead of finding people mocking or turned backs – I found HELP, outstretched arms!  Daily I receive texts and notes of encouragement. For every piece of bad news I receive one of miracles and remission. Friends do beautiful things like make me jewelry or write sweet notes to me. It sustains me. It builds me up inside. It makes me feel LOVED. I feel connected.

By surrendering I have trusted the support around me to hold me up – and it did! It does! I am not alone. We are not alone. Even in our darkest hours the amount of community and trust we spend building makes a difference! This is worth it. You are worth it. We are worth this work!

Have you ever leaned into your helplessness? What was it like? How did you find your sense of self? Did you judge the word helpless? Have you been able to surrender and found a positive support? Tell me what it is like! I want to know! Tell me!

I’ll see you here same place next week! Kiss kiss!


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