Posts Tagged ‘trial and error learning’

Do You Have Something to Get Better For?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Have you ever thought about what you would do if got well? I haven’t done a scientific survey, but my sense from all those with chronic illness I’ve talked with is that most people haven’t.

Of course you want to get as well as you can. But what if the likelihood that you will get better depends on knowing what you will do if you do get better?

For a long time, I’ve had a strong sense that things do work that way: knowing what we do if we get better increases the probability that we will. But a new client I’ll call Karen, who suffers from chronic fatigue, described that sense better than I have. She said, “I have known that I won’t get better until I have something to get better for.”

Because of the situation another client—I’ll call her Terry–was in, I shared what Karen said with her. She was almost crying as she responded, saying that while she hadn’t realized it before, what Karen said was also true for her.

Is what is true for Karen and for Terry also true for you? I’m sure that for many of you, the answer is yes. And if your answer is yes, congratulations! By saying so, you’ve taken a big step toward getting better and having a better life.

The next step for Karen, for Terry, and for you if your answer was yes, is to find a “something to get better for.” Unfortunately, our upbringing, our roles (especially women’s roles care taking, nurturing, and people others first), and our illnesses can make it hard for us to do that. But when put our intention on finding a solution and we don’t censor ourselves, we humans are very creative – that’s how we’re made.

One pitfall some people fall into when trying to come up with a solution to a problem like this is thinking they have to get it right the first time. You don’t! If you try something and you find it’s not very enjoyable or fulfilling, then congratulate yourself. You’ve learned something about yourself, and you can use that new knowledge to find your “something to get better for.”

Best wishes in your quest!