The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.
Never in a million years would I have anticipated that I’d use a quotation from Lenin in a spiritual blog.
I’ve been struggling with a chronic illness for over twenty years (all illness has a spiritual component or meaning), and ten years before that when it hadn’t gotten bad enough for me to realize it was an actual illness and not just fatigue or sore muscles or whatever.
And it’s hard not to lose heart. The various things I’ve tried – from acupuncture to zinc – have at times been costly, have at times promised things and then broken those promises, have held out hope and then turned hopeless. It’s hard not to lose heart.
Now I’m nearly finished with the latest hopeful thing, myofascial release by the Barnes Method. I have made some progress though it’s not been enough for Medicare to renew permission to continue sessions past the end of this week.
Along with the twice-weekly 120-mile round trips down to the therapy clinic, which is quite tiring and requires recuperation in addition to that from the therapy, I’ve been doing as much homework as possible, too. It’s not enough, “they” say. I can walk straighter, more upright, for a while, and, for a time at least, with less pain, but then comes those days when the homework and the pain is just too much.
But sometimes it is necessary to do that which is too much. ~ Pope John Paul II
My psychotherapist and I long ago agreed that I’m determined and persistent, so it’s not as if I slack off. I may have to modify my exercises and such, but I do them as much as I can tolerate. But is it too much? And yet, it’s not enough. It’s hard not to lose heart.
And then I find a quotation from Lenin, who agreed that “religion is the opium of the people.” He didn’t say “spirituality,” though, and I don’t know the context in which he said what he said, but I clearly needed to hear it. Also a quotation from a Pope in a church from which I long ago fled. There must be a message there, when quotes from such disparate sources suddenly find me.
So, I’ll take a month or so off from therapy sessions and then try it again. It works, it really does, but it’s hard to overcome the effects of the last twenty years. Maybe Medicare will relent. Maybe I’ll have to start all over from scratch again. But I’m persistent and determined. I’ll not lose heart.
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