Posts Tagged ‘sickness and emotional distress’

On my blog entry entitled Full Moon & Easter – What a Combination!, a reader posted the following comment:

At the same time, I’ve been feeling really physically ill. I saw a commercial for Easter products on tv and I blurted out to my husband, “I can’t wait for Easter to be over.” I was starting to wonder if it’s possible for the physical illness to be a strategy on the part of one of my parts…maybe to keep me from running away during a holiday season as I have in the past. ~ MarjakaThriver

Yes, I have definitely found that there is a tie between my emotional distress and becoming physically ill. I stayed very healthy all winter. I was able to shake off two or three viruses in just 1-2 days by getting lots of rest and taking lots of Airborne. Then, my mother/abuser started contacting me, and I got very sick. No matter how much sleep I got or how much Airborne I took, I just got sicker.

I don’t think this is coincidental. As long as I was sick, I gave myself permission not to deal with my mother’s latest contact. My therapist called to say that we needed to think through what to say to her if she calls me again, but I did not return his call because I was too sick. As long as I was sick, I had an excuse to avoid facing this very distressing decision. I think that being sick was an emotional relief, even though it was terrible physically.

Even after my body kicked the virus, my sinuses remained stuffy and painful. However, I never developed a sinus infection, so I have no explanation other than that I was making myself continue to stay sick to avoid dealing with my mother/abuser.

According to the book Compassion & Self-Hate, physical illness can be a manifestation of self-hate. I believe that this is true, too. I used to joke that I was allergic to the first day of a new job because I had a long history of being very sick for the first day of work. More than once, I had bronchitis. Another time, it was a stomach virus. It’s too coincidental for me just to happen to get very ill for the first day of work multiple times.

I think this was self-hate at work. I would put myself in the terrible position of having to go into work deathly ill or call in sick on the first day. It was a nightmare.

I wish I knew how to fix the problem. Learning to love myself more helped with avoiding sickness for the first day of a new job. However, I am clearly susceptible to getting sick when I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

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Blog entries about illness

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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