Coping with Chronic Illness
by Diane Linsley

In 2018, I had an out-of-body vision in which I saw 25 years into
the future. I was deeply disturbed to see that a huge percentage
of the population suffered from autoimmune disease. I wondered
how such a thing could have happened, and the only explanation
I could think of at the time was a nuclear disaster.

As I'm writing this article in 2021, I now have another theory. A new
vaccine has been introduced, which has caused the sudden onset
of deadly autoimmune disease in many people. These people are
the canaries in the coal mine.

In the future, we will undoubtedly see cases of chronic illness rising
dramatically. This trend has been going on for many years. Some
of the factors that explain this trend include environmental toxins,
poor diets, nutrient deficiencies, stress, vaccinations, and chronic
Epstein-Barr virus infection.

Epstein-Barr and Autoimmune Disease

A client recently introduced me to a book called Medical Medium Thyroid Healing by Anthony William. I learned that Epstein-Barr virus is the underlying cause of thyroid disease, as well as many other autoimmune diseases and the majority of cancers.

Some of this information has been known since the 1960's, but it was hidden from the public because there is more money to be made in drugs and surgery than in treating the underlying cause of disease.

Even more shocking is William's discovery that Epstein-Barr was once a beneficial virus that humans have always had - similar to a beneficial bacteria. It helped us detoxify. During the Industrial Revolution, the toxins in the environment increased so much that it caused the virus to mutate into a harmful form that is now running rampant through the population and mutating into new strains that cause a variety of so-called autoimmune diseases.

I say "so-called" because autoimmune disease is not truly a case of the body attacking itself. These diseases are actually symptoms of the immune system trying to fight off a chronic viral infection.

As William emphatically states, your body is not your enemy. Your body loves you and is trying to protect you. If you've been told otherwise by a doctor, you probably feel very bad about yourself. I certainly felt bad about myself until I learned the truth.

My Experience with Chronic Illness

After an Epstein-Barr infection at age 20, I began developing a number of chronic health conditions. Over the years, I was diagnosed with one so-called autoimmune disease after another. Eventually, I began to wonder if maybe all of these different diseases were really just the same thing.

After my diagnosis of Graves' disease in 2016, I read The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers. This book doesn't answer the question of what causes autoimmune disease, but it does explain how these seemingly separate diseases are all the same thing, and how autoimmune disease progresses.

For a few years, I did well on the diet in Dr. Myers' book. But after the stress of 2020, my health took a turn for the worse. I'm now following the diet and supplement plan outlined in Medical Medium Thyroid Healing, and I'm doing hydrogen peroxide therapy, which is helping a lot!

I've been coping with chronic illness for 32 years so far. It has been a very challenging life. The most difficult thing is the psychological impact. I've been told by doctors and other people in my life that "there's something wrong with me." I've been accused of being a hypochondriac. I've been accused of being a bad person who is being punished by God. I've been accused of having done something wrong in a past life to deserve this "bad karma."

Those are things that ignorant and uncompassionate people say to explain what they don't understand. I believe they are secretly afraid it could happen to them.

I believe in the goodness of God and the universe. When trying to understand why something happened to me, I look at the positive results of it. In other words, what have I learned from this long-term suffering, and how has it made me a better person? I can make a long list of learnings and character traits that are the result of my experiences.

An Enlightening Dream

In 2018, I had a dream that helped me cope with the psychological pain of chronic illness.

In the dream, I entered a room with seven rough and mean-looking men, along with an older woman who appeared to be in charge. We were sitting in a circle, and the woman asked me to think of something in my life that caused me to feel shame, and then tell my story to the group.

I felt nervous, and I replied, "Give me a minute to think." There were plenty of things that I felt ashamed about, but not many that I was willing to talk about to a group of intimidating men. Then I got the idea to talk about my chronic illness. I told them the following story:

I've had a variety of health problems for many years. Some of my health problems cause chronic pain. Others cause intermittent fatigue. They stop me from doing some of the things that healthy people do. I live a quiet, low-key life, and I focus on taking care of my health every day.

At this point, one of the men grunted with disgust. I realized that all of the men were disgusted with me. They thought I was pathetic. But the teacher had given me an assignment, so I plowed ahead:

There are people who don't want to be friends with me because I'm not exciting enough for them. Some people accuse me of not having faith in God (or the Law of Attraction, if that's their thing) because if I really had faith, I would have been healed by now.

Other people avoid me because my health problems trigger their fear of death. They don't want me around because it reminds them of their own mortality and their vulnerability as human beings, which they are desperately trying to avoid.

I have to follow a very strict diet. When I go to parties, I bring my own food. Some people are offended by this, but I've learned to stop worrying what other people think and just take care of myself.

At this point in my story, I was starting to feel less shame and more excitement about my topic. But the audience seemed irritated that I was talking about chronic illness with increasing optimism. A mean-looking man sitting across from me stood up and started putting on his coat, preparing to leave. The teacher told him to sit back down and listen. I said, "You can leave if you want. You have your freedom." He sat down. I guess if I wanted him to leave, he was going to stay. I continued:

I once had a near-death experience, and I met the Light at the end of the tunnel. It took years for me to integrate the experience, and it changed my life. I had to rewrite my whole map of reality to take into account the new information I gained. It changed my beliefs about life, death and spirituality. Best of all, I'm no longer afraid of death. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

At this point, a burly man sitting next to me interrupted. He protested that I was using big words, which made me an intellectual snob. But I had just gotten to the good part, and I was determined to finish. I asked him to please be quiet or leave because I wasn't done yet. Frankly, I was surprised at my own assertiveness. After all, these were tough-looking men! I continued:

I'm not in a hurry to die. I love my family and friends, and I want to stay here as long as my soul requires it of me. I'm excited about life, and I want to achieve my life purpose to the best of my ability. When I meet the Light again, I will be happy to show it everything I learned.

I know that the Light loves me unconditionally and does not judge me. I discovered in the tunnel that I am the one who judges myself. I was forgiven for everything in my past, as well as everything in my future. That blew me away because I was forgiven for things I hadn't even done yet!

This makes it possible for me to make big changes in my life and move forward at a rapid pace without fearing that I might do it wrong. It's impossible for me to make a mistake that would prevent the Light from loving me.

When I do something that could be called a mistake, the future shifts to accomodate it, and new opportunities appear. There's no way I can fail because there is always another opportunity. Even death is not a failure. It's just a new avenue of growth in another dimension.

At this point, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude for my life. None of these realizations would have come to me without my health problems. How could I ever be ashamed of my health problems again? I didn't even feel ashamed in front of this group of mean men.

Dream Interpretation

As I began to wake up, I immediately started to do dream analysis. The first thing I realized was that the men represented my Inner Critic. The men attempted to shame and silence me in many ways - by avoiding eye contact, interrupting me, threatening to walk out, and refusing to acknowledge or support what I was saying. (Hey, that sounds like the abusers in my life....)

The dream gave me an opportunity to talk back to my inner critic. It also helped me feel gratitude for my blessings. Maybe I could only feel that much gratitude while in the dream state with the waking ego turned off. Recalling the dream after I awoke made the unconscious feelings of gratitude conscious.

The Challenges of Chronic Illness

If you are struggling with the belief that you are unlovable because of chronic illness, read this article on Love After Life. It made me aware of my own unconscious beliefs.

I thought that I was unlovable because of my imperfect body. Since we are always trying to prove our beliefs, I went through life attracting people who couldn't love me.

People love you because of who they are. Their love says more about them than it does about you.

Chronic illness is a challenge that we would prefer to do without. But like all challenges, it contains within it an opportunity to advance our consciousness. Research shows that people with the highest levels of cognitive development are those who have overcome the most difficult challenges.

I recommend reading the book Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber, which is the story of Treya Wilber's five-year battle with breast cancer. It's an inspiring story of personal growth.

I know how incredibly discouraging it is to live with chronic illness. And it's okay to get upset about it. Once in a while, I have a little rant, and then I do some Voice Dialogue or the emotional healing process.

When I'm ready to come back to a more positive view, I think of famous people who also suffered. I appreciate this story in Brain Pickings about Fyodor Dostoyevski. He said, "To be a human being among people and to remain one forever, no matter in what circumstances, not to grow despondent and not to lose heart - that's what life is all about, that's its task."

Practicing self-compassion helps us to heal. Here's a self-compassion meditation with progressive muscle relaxation. I've been told by several people that this meditation helped them when they were sick or injured. Tonglen meditation also helps.

Be well,
Diane Linsley

As a life coach, I use many different processes to help
people with their personal growth. Click here if you are
interested in coaching with me.

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