More than a Diagnosis: Using Integrative Approaches for Living with Chronic Illness
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 10, 2021
Published at DrAxe.com
This story originally appeared on DrAxe.com
As I sat among my peers during a college study group, I secretly tucked my hand inside my zippered UC Davis sweatshirt and gently massaged my aching stomach.
“Who knows the answer to question B?” a classmate asked …
I raised my free hand and confidently answered the question, almost forgetting about my throbbing abdomen.
Throughout college I was a straight A student. I enjoyed school. My studies not only made me feel purposeful and accomplished, but they distracted me from my uncomfortable body sensations. When my mind was busy memorizing and critically thinking, I disconnected from my chronic pains and traumatic home life and found a way to survive living with myself, inside my body.
However, my escapes from the stress, gurgles, gas, bloating, painful memories and stinging bowel movements were short-lived. Reoccurring worries swarmed my mind constantly. As soon as my distraction ceased, I went right back to asking, “What is wrong with me? Am I going to die? Why can’t my doctors help me?”