I am thrilled to welcome Mikelle Hebeka, author of Zen Thyroid, back to the blog this week for Thyroid Thursday. Mikelle’s words on coping resonated with me as a thyroid cancer survivor and I felt they were important to share with other thyroid warriors. Coping with any disease or illness takes time, and it was what I struggled with most during my battle with thyroid cancer. I was unable to attach any personalization to my diagnosis…it was as though I was talking about someone else’s condition when I referred to it. It wasn’t until I could take ownership of what was going on with my health, which came through research and understanding, that I felt strong enough to combat what was in front of me. If you or someone you know is dealing with a thyroid condition, please remember Mikelle’s words of compassion, strength, and guidance. They may make all the difference.
How I Began to Cope with Thyroid Disease
By: Mikelle Hebeka
I suspected for many years that I had a thyroid issue. It really did not affect the day-to-day operations of my life and had primarily manifested itself as a minor irritation. For the past several years, that minor irritation morphed into some more major events. They came and went and while some were harder to deal with than others, I always was left feeling like I could handle this, no problemo. I got this. Until this past autumn when the gusts turned into Hurricane Hypothyroid and turned my world upside down. When the dust settled, I found myself completely lost for the first time (or at least the first time I would admit that I was lost). I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of the wilderness without a map.
There were so many new symptoms and situations to deal with. Everything became incredibly difficult. Even getting dressed in the morning was awful and frequently resulted in sobbing on the closet floor. Each task, each moment of my day seemed to require all of my energy. Rest became as important as breath. Every single thing I did required planning. I was beyond upset at my situation, myself, my body.
I realized this wasn’t going away quickly. I needed to find my way through this wilderness. A way to cope.
Here is how I began to cope with hypothyroidism – I decided I must treat myself as I would treat a friend. What would I want for my friend? I certainly wouldn’t want her crying in the closet, feeling lost. I would tell her how strong she is, how smart she is. I would tell her that I know she would get through this. I would remind her of all the times she has grown from her experiences, no matter how hard they were. I would tell her that I love her and that I will be here for her every step of the way. This is how I turned the corner in my healing process.
The final post for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month will be up next Tuesday, so if there are any topics you would like me to cover or if you have questions, please leave them in the comments.