Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Mourning, Discipline and Responsibility
I have been thinking about Vanderbilt and mourning. I think people with extended disabilities do mourn within a cycle. There is some point in time when someone has to point out that we are indeed hindered physically by what we are facing. The mourning period follows this revelation. Then throughout a protracted disability mourning occurs at some milestones. There is a revelation of permanent damage done to the body or a vision of some peer doing something that we would prefer to be able to personally accomplish. Mourning creeps upon us again and we have to learn to allow for that mourning.
I don’t really mourn, or at least, I don’t admit to mourning. Mostly because I often feel it is a form of pity party which isn’t what I want to be stuck within. This time around I have acknowledged that mourning is necessary and pity party is not what it is about. As the disabled work their way through the medical system in search of solutions or suggestions of solutions or firm diagnosis, we live a life building toward hope and then crashing when that hope is nothing more than an illusion. Unlike those who have a set disability or know what their limitations are those, like myself who are still looking for answers find that the emotional journey is more difficult in many ways than the physical one, hence my Shackled Spirit.
Knowing that the mind and body connection is an integral part of healing, the idea that we cannot find easy answers makes setting up a healthy mind set nearly impossible. I say “nearly” because I haven’t succumbed to despair completely, not yet.
As I have brooded over this issue a discussion about obesity and responsibility started up after I read a blog about the epidemic of unhealthy neo-pagans caused by obesity. Of course, our nation is in the grips of an epidemic of obesity and the community that is neo-paganism is only reflecting the actuality of the larger population.
It is responsibility, however, that has thwarted me and I wonder how many others struggle with this. For me responsibility and discipline are inexonerably linked. Responsibility and discipline in the community of those who are healthy seemed inexonerably linked with good health. This makes sense. Those who work out for four hours a week get 50% more benefit than those who only exercise three hours a week. I can only imagine what the health benefit is for those who regularly meditate versus those of us who meditate upon occasion. I recently watched a special on CBS’s Sunday Morning where Seventh Day Adventist were being studied. It seems that the religious requirements of the Adventist are causing them to live longer more productive lives than non-Adventists. They eat healthier, work out on a regular basis, have an intimate spiritual connection with a community and meditate and pray on a regular basis.
New research demonstrates that some of the most beneficial health results come from having and participating in an extended community. Belonging and being active in a church or club or some other group. I feel that for neo-pagans, this is one that is very difficult to achieve. The numbers of viable, healthy groups available for participation are limited and those limited groups often harbor a wariness or cliquishness that makes it difficult for new persons to become involved. This speaks to a discussion regarding communal responsibility to those who identify as like mind and are outside the scope of this blog – this time.
Finding and managing ones illness through traditional means of responsibility come discipline is being in a leaking ship while navigating uncharted water of illness undefined and disability difficult to manage. From one day to the next my physical and mental capabilities shift making setting some disciplined exercise or even sleep wake schedule hard to do. I would say impossible; however, I am not so sure that it is. I would love to hear from others who are disabled and discuss how discipline and responsibility play a role in their continued illness.
I feel there is so much more to say on each of these, I may just have to break them down. Writing later and expanding on mourning, discipline and responsibility.