Chronic illness can take many forms. Common types that I see in my practice include migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain, all of which are associated with depression.
After 15 years of chronic illness and even after writing a book titled How to Be Sick, I still can feel sick of being sick. (When I use the word “sick,” I’m including chronic pain.) If you’re as intimately familiar as I am with sick of being sick, you know how unpleasant it feels.
People are forever extolling the virtues of meditation, but who wants to focus on their breath or body when they’ve got a runny nose or aching bones? Even those who are sold on the mindfulness practice might be inclined to skip sessions when feeling under the weather.
Odds are, we’ll all find ourselves, at some time in our life, in the midst of a medical crisis. Or, it may happen to someone we love. Certainly, no one is immune to old age, sickness, and death, but a meditation practice can help us make peace with this reality.