1- First condition to recovery: have a life purpose and meaning that is compelling enough for you to want to be well. Have a “Why” before the “How”. Everything else depends on having this condition met.
2- You are in charge of your health decisions, and nobody else is (assuming that you’re over 18 and able to make life decisions for yourself). Everyone else is in your team of support. They can counsel you, inform you, offer you therapeutic intervention and make suggestions. But your body is your own to decide upon. So educate yourself, learn how to use embodied intuition, and do what is right for you.
3- Build health, don’t fight disease. Be aware of what is not working, and focus on what’s possible (resource-oriented rather than deficit -oriented).
4- Be curious about what’s possible. Nobody is a prophet, and gloomy prognoses are made by fallible people who can be as wrong in their assessment as your weatherman.
5- Don’t settle for “Living better with (name of disease)”; look for what’s curative and aim to thrive. See principle #4.
Coping with disease and living with it implies improvements. It is a socially acceptable option and a convenient one, as it requires little commitment.
Aiming to thrive implies transformation, and it’s the long, scenic road which requires long-term commitment, patience, curiosity, time and money. This option is not backed by everyone: those who do not inquire into what’s possible will discourage you from experimenting with unorthodox methods. Which leads to #6:
6 - The road to thriving is the scenic road. You will engage in therapy methods that are at times lengthy, at times costly, and with no guarantees. You will commit to a regular practice of healing exercises and activities. You will transform your entire lifestyle, from food to movement to sleep to sex to work to relationships to environment to your own language, in order to support your recovery and thriving. You’ll be on call for your well-being 24/7.
The scenic road to health has ups and downs, but in the big picture it always takes you to being better and better. See the image below (finger-drawn on the iPhone).
7 - Meditate. Actually, this principle should be numbered 1 and a half, it’s that important. Before any measuring instruments can diagnose you once a year or when you see your doctor, Clarity in embodied awareness will guide you every moment. Learn how to pay attention!
You already know when you’re hungry, thirsty, horny or tired: you feel it! These are the gross basics. You can refine your sensitivity to feel more and more subtle messages of your body to steer your choices towards getting well, staying well and thriving.
To health and life!