To be ill, or not to be ill? That is the question

Life, and health, for all of us, is a matter of balance. Any deviance from perfect balance on the tight rope of life results in a wobble or even a fall. Maybe that’s why we say ‘fall ill’.

Finding that balance can be easier for some than others, and some of us pick a higher tight rope, or weigh ourselves down with all kinds of baggage making that balance all the more tricky.

When falling off that tight rope there is of course an initial surge of terror, but following that there is the calm of free falling. Nothing to do but fall. During the fall one cannot help but admire the view. The world has a new clarity, the sky is bluer, the birds sing louder the flowers smell sweeter. One becomes an observer, floating through space and time drifting in and out of reality. Of course the fear of hitting the ground is often present, but does it kill you or do you hit it running, ready to climb back onto the tight rope to try again?

Being such an observer can be isolating, the rest of the world, your family and friends carry on with their tight ropes and you are suspended in time and space only able to watch their success. You also see their wobbles and falls, but with clearer eyes, or are they more fearful eyes? You want to protect them from wobbles and falls from your new position of being on the reserve bench.

So, when to land, and how? Do I have a parachute to soften the blow? Will my legs be strong enough to climb back up to my rope and start again? Do I start again on a new rope or carry on from where I fell?

To carry on would be to ignore the lessons learnt, surely? My baggage must have been too weighty, too insecure, my speed to confident and speedy.

The next rope may be thicker, I’ll carry fewer bags, and walk a little slower, more mindful of each step and yet also remembering that the sky is blue and I must smell the flowers as they pass.

The next question is ‘do I have a choice?’

How much of being ill is affected by our minds and our perception of reality?

How often after a near death drowning or driving accident do you here of people never driving again or avoiding water?

Can being ill be of a similar vein? Nobody really likes change, it’s always uncomfortable to alter your surroundings and those who surround you. Altering oneself is uncomfortable too, unless you can look at it as an opportunity, a clean slate. The chance to pick and choose what parts of the past life you wish to keep and what new experiences you want to add.

Those around us can also find change difficult, ‘who do they think they are?’ ‘ think they’re too good for us!’ These thoughts are often not the reality though, but our own fears, our imagination working overtime to challenge the concepts of change.

I find myself at a point of change. I no longer want to be ill, or more to the point, being ill is no longer who I am. I’ve been lucky to have been getting more and more glimpses of who I am, who I was and most importantly, who I am striving to be.

Now I just need to decide which tight rope and how much baggage…

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