When you’ve been sick in your life, how was your sickness met? And how are you perpetuating those patterns today? I’m sharing an experience of deeper spiritual healing that happened during a recent illness.

As you can tell by the sound of my voice, I have been sick!

I’m feeling much better now, but this episode is a little late because I had lost my voice.

But I had an experience being sick that I wanted to share with you.

I was pretty sick, low energy and borderline fever for a few days early last week, and I found myself a bit weepy. It felt like I was sad, but I didn’t have a reason to be sad.

I didn’t try to figure out why, I just rode the waves of sadness that I felt. I would let myself be sad and cry. And after a minute or two I would feel better again.

I noticed a couple times that I had the question in my mind, “why do I feel sad?” but I would just leave it at the question and not really try to figure it out.

I was having one of these weepy episodes, just letting myself cry and the ebb of the emotions came and then all of a sudden I just knew.

My body was going through a process with being sick and feeling sad.

My mind remembered three times when I was sick as a kid.

Negative response

The first I was in 3rd grade I think. I came home from school and I had started to feel sick the last couple hours of the school day.

When I got home, I told my mom I was sick. She told me I had to eat dinner, which was a bowl of top ramen soup. I told her, “Mom, I’m sick. If I eat that, I’ll throw up.” But she made me eat it anyway. And then a few minutes later I threw up. My mom got mad, even though I had warned her.

Neglected and ignored

The next time I was sick, I had the flu or something in 5th grade. I was home from school for an entire week. And my memory of that illness is just laying on the couch all week, feeling so sick.

But my mom always somewhere else. She was around, but I never felt an attentive care from her. I felt alone in my sickness.

Personal Association

The last illness I remembered was when I was an older teenager, probably 17 years old. I had started my period and I was super sick. So sick I was just laying in my bed and my arm muscles were cramping.

My hand was flexed down toward my arm and I couldn’t move it. Looking back it’s clear to me that I was very dehydrated.

But again, my mom was in the other room. Almost like she was resentful anytime I was sick. And then I would just be left by myself to suffer.

I don’t remember her, or anyone else, coming in and asking how I felt or bringing me water or food or anything.

Loneliness

So I’m remembering all this, while I am currently sick, and I just had this overwhelming wave of loneliness and sadness wash over me for the younger versions of myself that had to deal with being sick all alone. And feeling so helpless in it.

Feeling like I was going to die, but nobody cared and there was nothing I could do. I felt so sad for the loneliness younger me felt when she was at her most vulnerable.

As I thought about these experiences, I realized that my body associated illness with these emotions. And this time being sick, I was actually letting go of some of the associated emotions. It felt like I was actually healing. Which is so strange and paradoxical to say.

I’m sick with a pretty bad cold, but that was the very thing that was allowing me to heal on a different, deeper level.

Scripture

3 Nephi 17:7 Jesus says to the people: Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

Do you feel emotional when sick?

When we are at our most vulnerable, do we withdraw and suffer alone, or do we turn toward the Lord and believe that his mercy will heal us? These patterns are formed with our original caregivers.

Think about what you were met with when you were sick? Were you left alone like me? Or was this the only time you received the love and care you desperately wanted? Did you make yourself sick in order to get that love and care? Do you resist being sick because you will feel alone?

If you feel blessed, but not good, maybe you weren’t allowed to be sick, maybe you weren’t cared for in a way that worked for you. And maybe now you are continuing that pattern subconsciously.

As you reflect on times you were sick in your life, and how that sickness was met by your caregivers or other people in your life, notice if there’s a pattern. I know for me, I often will withdraw and just want to be left alone. I might really wish for someone to come bring me water or food, but I don’t ask, because I feel like they might get mad or that I should have to be sick alone. I know these patterns were started by the way my mother met me in my sickness. And as a young child, when something happens over and over again, you learn that’s the way it’s “supposed” to be. So it takes some intention and effort to overcome those patterns.

I would love to continue the conversation with you! What makes it difficult for you to feel good? Please let me know by emailing podcast@denitabremer.com. And if you want to be part of my mission to help Latter-day Saint moms heal, please leave a written review for the podcast. Thank you!

That’s enough for now, and so are you!

Cello music is written, recorded and produced by Jacqueline Walker.

This podcast is recorded by me, Denita Bremer, and produced by Jasmine Reynolds.