“Having a chronicle illness is like suddenly finding yourself in an unfamiliar wilderness (and I’d imagine it is similar for a terminal diagnosis with the added sense of urgency from feeling like you’re fighting against a clock that you can’t see or hear). It’s disorienting, infuriating, exhausting, lonely, isolating, frustrating, and leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless. You lose your sense of yourself and sense of self-love. You feel betrayed by your body and hate it for its betrayal. Well meaning doctors, friends, acquaintances, and psychologists will encourage you to be strong, brave, keep fighting, keep your head up; or, worse, will tell you how inspiring, brave, and courageous you are. It’s worse because you don’t feel like you’re any of these things and if you appear to be these things it’s only temporary and you will let them down sooner or later. At best, I was able to find individuals who understood what it was like because they had been
through their own difficulties. Their attempts to help were well intended, but were like reading or hearing about a lost explorer finding their way home and looking around yourself and saying “Well, that’s nice that worked for you, but I those landmarks, descriptions, maps, and advice have very little to do with the wilderness I just found myself in.” You try to fight your way out of this wilderness, but end up going in circles that leave you feeling bitter, disappointed, and more disoriented.
Working with Lynsie and the Reclaim Your Health Program is like finding a journal of an explorer lost exactly where you find yourself (that somehow ended up where you are after the author passed through this wilderness) It validates and confirms your feelings as natural, normal, and understandable. As you keep reading, it describes landmarks that are around you so that you can orient yourself. There are maps, instructions, and descriptions of your surroundings that can help you though and out of the wilderness/maze. It is still grueling and difficult, but also refreshing because you have a new perspective and gain some hope. It helped me find my way back to myself, back to a sense of self-love, acceptance and joy for my body, and a back to a sense of hope. The wilderness, the illness, is still there for me, but it’s no longer unfamiliar. Living with it, in it, is still a challenge, but I’ve regained my self-love, joy, and have a new
inner peace. At times, I still return to all of my previous feelings about the wilderness, but now I am able to re-orient myself and I have been able to return to self-love, joy, and inner-peace.”