Soul Sick

Soul Sick, by jennspoint
Soul Sick, by jennspoint

For the last few years I’ve been dealing with a horrible bacterial infection. It started with a case of pneumonia in one lung. I took the strongest antibiotic on the market at that time, which only knocked it back but not out, and then the pneumonia came back with a vengeance. I didn’t trust the doctor by that time, so I fought it out myself at home, and was slowly getting my strength back. However, the fact that I was still fighting that infection, and that the antibiotics had messed up my immune system, and my dietary and fitness lifestyle was deplorable, so I was completely unprepared for what happened next.

I took a day off several weeks later and got a really bad sunburn. To soothe the burn, I bought some stuff that had aloe and lidocaine in it. As it turns out, I’m allergic to lidocaine, and I had a very bad skin reaction which became infected and spread thoughout my body. This left me with huge sores that refused to heal, and to make a long story short eventually turned into a weird combination of a bacterial, yeast, and staff infection. I was riddled throughout with ulcerated lesions that just wouldn’t go away. The worst part was when it got into one of this sinuses behind my right eye, and into the tear ducts. That’s what finally drove me to the ER. The pain was unreal. I remember hoping God would just go ahead and take me in my sleep. The medicines were at times worse than the infection.

Anyway…it’s been six years, now, and I’m happy to report I’m much better physically. I’ve learned a lot about preventing and fighting infection.

First – don’t try to go it alone. If you can’t get the help you need from one doctor, fine one that will be able to help you.

Second – it isn’t enough to kill the bad stuff. You also must feed the good stuff. The tricky thing about bacteria in our bodies is that we actually need most of it – but we need for the balance to be right. The infection happens when the bad bacteria overwhelms the good bacteria.

In my case, I had to stop drinking Coca-Cola as if it were water, and stop living on junk food. I had to learn how to really cook, and start learning how to make nutrient-dense meals.

As human beings, we aren’t just vulnerable to this kind of sickness in our physical bodies. We can also become ill as a result of the badness overwhelming the goodness in our minds and spirits.

As I’ve been dealing with this physical malady, I’ve been functioning relatively normally – I continued to work, earn a living, and spend time with my family. I was not apparent to anyone except those who knew me well that I had an infection that was literally eating me alive. This is true also when we become soul sick. We might still be functioning, but not at or near our potential because we are riddled with painful mental or emotional wounds that just aren’t healing. So, what to do?

First – don’t try to go it alone. Find someone to talk to. It might be a counselor, pastor, teacher, friend, or other trusted person who will listen and have the courage to give advice when needed (whether wanted or not).

Second – it isn’t enough to kill the bad stuff. You also must feed the good stuff. Find an outlet for your creative expression. Take time to rest your body, mind and spirit. Learn ways to nourish your soul the way you do your body.

The artwork you see on this blog is part of my efforts to do that. You’ve probably noticed I’m not the next Wassily Kandinsky, and that’s OK. Many of the readers are kind enough to appreciate the effort, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I would be interested in hearing if you can relate to the term “soul sick,” and if you have advice for anyone experiencing this?

Also see: Following your Passion may be Making you Sick

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