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Self Blame – Don’t Go There

Self Blame – Don’t Go There

Bald Woman

When something “bad” happens to us, we often second-guess the reasons. Eight years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first thing I did was start beating myself up. I must have “caused” this disease myself. In my mind, I went over a litany of things I could have done wrong, a list that escalated as I learned more and more about the disease.

With every study on the subject, with every piece of research, with every book, and with every speech by a breast cancer expert (Dr. Susan Love of Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Dr. Christine Horner, author of Waking the Warrior Goddess, and Sat Dharam Kaur, N.D., of The Healthy Breast Program are all amazing women putting extraordinary effort toward prevention and cure, and are my personal favorites) I listened intently, then pointed a finger of blame at myself.

Was it the wine I drank at night while I was writing or laughing on the phone with my girlfriends? (But why, I wondered, did two of my best friends who drink far more than I not get it?)

Was it the grief I held in my heart for years after my mother died? (Holding in sorrow and grief, I discovered through my yoga studies, is a great way to make yourself sick.)

Was it the stress of raising three boys and loving them so fiercely that I perpetually feared for their lives? (I love motherhood, but I learned how to worry relentlessly from my own mother.) Stress lowers the immune system, I am told, and makes us more susceptible to diseases like cancer.

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