5 Things I’m Learning in a Relapse

1.) The objective is to nurture and care for body in its suffering, not to “fix” it

What I’m learning most of all is our need to be compassionate with ourselves. Our pains and illnesses are our body sharing with that there is something disruptive going on inside, and it hurts. We need to tend to that cry, not panic and desperately searching for ways to silence the pain immediately. It’s like a hurting friend who wants to share their burden with you. Sometimes they need you to listen and respond with love. Because much as we want to fix it, we often set expectations beyond our control, search tirelessly (or more accurately, tiring-ly!) for the right treatment plan and cure, and find ourselves hurt and disappointed when that treatment plan doesn’t completely restore us to a state of complete balance and restoration. We end us putting more stress on ourselves than we had before rather than taking care of ourselves and keeping on our attention on how to soothe, restore, and heal our bodies. And sometimes, we even believe the lie that there’s something wrong with us as people rather than seeing ourselves as a whole people who are suffering with something out of their control. The objective is never to give up, or to stop trying new things, but to nurture, care for, and gently uplift the body rather than mute the pain.

2.) Rest is productive

This is a big lesson for a little sentence. How can we rest when we feel that little voice telling us that we should be doing something, working on something, achieving something? I’m learning that sometimes all it takes is a deep breath and the voice of love to respond with a plain and simple, “Rest is productive”. Oh, it is well with our souls. When our bodies and our minds are exhausted, swimming in pain, and just can’t find the strength to “do” something, pushing it our of pride will only deteriorate our wellness and set us back even farther. Rest is productive. Rest restores us. Rest replenishes us. Rest gives us a break from the hurry and the lies of success and reminds us of what it truly means. Rest lets us recuperate so we can be of true service rather than pouring out a watered down and weary version of our love and light. Rest gives us a break from the noise of who we should be so we can be refreshed again and reminded of who we truly are. And rest, my friends, rest is sometimes the bravest thing you can do, because rest is faith that life can be beautiful and dreams can come true right here, without striving to be someone or somewhere else.

3.) Reflect on and celebrate improvements, even the tiniest of them

This lesson is a fun one! How sweet it is to stop and celebrate the tiny steps forward and see how far they’ve brought us. It can be easy to look ahead, seeing how far we have to go or all the places we wish to someday be, but oh, how very important it is that we stop and reflect on all the wonder and love and recovery happening right here, right now.

4.) Everyone has a breaking point

It’s easy to think we “should” be able to handle more. It’s easy to be hard on ourselves or begin to grieve when we feel old symptoms resurfacing, have an emotional breakdown, find ourselves in an unpleasant mood, or return to a bad habit long conquered. But the truth is, we all have a limit to what we can take, and we all have a breaking point. It’s part of being human. We can only be pushed so far, and the perfect combination of stress can deplete absolutely anyone, sick or well. We all have a breaking point, a point where our bodies crash on us and can take no more. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly something to be tended to. It’s our bodies’ way of letting us know it needs some serious rest and recovery!

5.) Listen to your body lovingly

I think this last little lesson wraps the rest of them up. Listening to our bodies is key. Our symptoms will only get louder and louder until we listen to them, and we surely must do it with love and with a message of hope.


I hope these little lessons sit well with your soul if you, too, are in a harder time with your illness. Please feel free to comment and let me know what lessons you’re learning (or have learned)!


11 thoughts on “5 Things I’m Learning in a Relapse

  1. I’m so sorry that you’ve been crawling through a relapse. That’s so hard. 😦 May the Lord lift up your head and pour peace into your soul!

  2. Relapses are awful! Hang in there beautiful. This list is spot on, and remember if you ever need to let out your emotions to those who know how you feel, your spoonie friends online are always happy to listen! ❤

  3. TY so much for ur touching words. Im 52y/o & struggle w/chronic back pain & depression. 5 back surg, inc. a spinal cord stimulator (used for pain but mine failed) -1mo ago I had bypass open heart surg & very slow healing. Your encouragement of “REST” & WHY was music to my ears. But why do I still feel quilty when I KNOW my body is craving rest but my mind tells me I want to stop being so weak & useless I want to do something for my family besides be such a burden to them! i fell like Im just in the way in my on home, hate to bother others by ALWAYS doing for me! When will this “helpless” feeling go away? How long does it take to learn to adjust to such a limited lifestyle? (Ive been out of work since 2006 & things just seem to be rolling at downhill-fullspeed everyday since then- lost our home, vehicles, job, friendships, marriage is not the same! Please tell me it does get better in time?! Thanks again for all ur encouraging words THEY REALLY DO SPEAK VOLUMES TO MY WOUNDED, TORMENTED SOUL. BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS A PURPOSE & REASON FOR EVERY THING HE HAS DONE….Thats why im certain “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”…. Keep on bloggin…its ur gift to us…LY =]
    judy martin

    • Hi Judy! Thank you so much for coming by my blog. I’m so thankful that you found my words comforting during your struggles. So glad they could help! I’m so, terribly sorry to hear that you have been going through such an incredibly painful time! You certainly have been through a lot and I’m sure it’s been very difficult for you. My heart goes out to you. Although what you’re going through certainly isn’t easy, I think it’s entirely normal that you are experiencing grief and worries in your pain and losses. That is nothing to be ashamed about! While we don’t have all the answers to our deepest questions and our fears of “how long?”, I think that’s why God gave us each other. To pray for each other, to share our hearts and our stories together and know that we are heard and loved and cared for, to know we’re not alone and that others are going through similar trials, to encourage each other that we still hold purpose and are not burdens. All these things are true. One thing is for sure, Judy, you are not dead weight to your family. Your time of need is not a weakness, but a time of recovery. It’s you being courageous enough to ask for help so that you can heal and go back to doing things you love. That is not weakness, but strength. Satan wants us to by the lie that if we are not achieving everything the way we planned, we are failing, but that just isn’t true! It’s okay for you to be in need, especially as you’re recovering from a very serious surgery. This isn’t permanent. I’m sure you have done so much for your family and that you will be able to once more. But right now, maybe it is their turn to pour love your way. It’s okay to receive. The best thing you can give them is gratitude for their loving kindness!

      I am praying for you deeply, that you will be filled with peace and calmed with God’s truth that you are safe and loved and enough, right here and forevermore.

      Love and hugs to you,

      Oh yes, and one more thing. Yes, my friend, it WILL get better 🙂

  4. I appreciate so much you talking about rest being productive. It is such an important reminder as I make resting free from guilt one of my goals for this summer.

    • I’m so glad to hear that this resonated with you. That is a wonderful, wonderful goal! I hope and pray that it becomes more and more natural for you to rest free of guilt with each day. Take care! x

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