The Real Reason It’s Taking So Long To Heal From Chronic Symptoms

(Spoiler: There’s nothing wrong with your healing process!)

Photo by Kier in Sight on Unsplash

Most of the time, when people turn to mind-body healing for chronic pain and other symptoms, they arrive there as a last resort after having already tried everything that Western medicine has to offer.

When they turn to mind-body healing, they usually start with things like the Curable app, Dr. Howard Schubiner’s books, Nicole Sachs’s courses and other excellent, well-known resources in the field.

By the time people come to me for help with chronic issues, they’ve often already explored many mind-body resources… and yet they’re still struggling.

It’s not that they’re dissatisfied with the resources they’ve found. They come to me because these resources have finally given them some hope — but they’re still struggling with symptoms, and knowing that my work is deeply informed by leaders in the field like Dr. Schubiner, Nicole Sachs and the Curable team, clients seek me out for additional support and guidance.

And most of the time when clients come to me after steeping themselves in mind-body healing education and techniques, they want to know:

“Why am I still struggling? I’ve heard that some people make a full recovery after just reading one of Dr. John Sarno’s books on mind-body healing. So why is it taking me so long?”

So, I want to answer this question a few different ways. And my first answer is probably going to sound annoying, even though it isn’t intended to. Because the real reason that your healing is taking however long it’s taking… is that healing takes however long it takes. There is no “normal” here. (However, I’ll go into some reasons in a moment.)

If the healing process is about repairing and nurturing one’s relationship with oneself (and I believe it is), then we need to drop the ultimatums and pressure that we’re putting on ourselves to “heal faster.” It’s sort of like yelling at a frightened child and commanding them to “calm down faster!”

That said, in my opinion, there are two main reasons that healing takes however long it takes:

  1. The harsh criticism and pressure that we put on ourselves slows down the process of healing. (And we all do this! So please forgive yourself for it.)
  2. The unexplainable mystery of nature (I’ll elaborate…)

I’m going to use the metaphor of untangling a ball of yarn.

Why does one ball of yarn untangle easily and quickly — even though it looked like a tornado and the cats were batting it around for weeks?

And why does another ball of yarn get slightly disheveled after dropping it into your purse for 5 minutes, yet the process of untangling it is painstaking and takes hours?

Why? I don’t know.

But I do know that it doesn’t mean there’s “something wrong” with one of those balls of yarn.

And I also know that I can figure out what my ball of yarn needs in order to untangle by taking things one step at a time, being persistent but not relentless, moving gently and steadily, trying one thing first and then another, seeing what happens, and taking it from there.

And while I’ll inevitably get impatient and I might even tug too hard on the yarn, causing the knots to tighten even more, I know that I can always take a break, cut myself some slack and bring myself back to patience, steadiness and gentleness when I return to the project again.

In the words of a wonderful poet…

“Things take the time they take. Don’t worry.”

— Mary Oliver

You’ve got this. And I’m right here with you. Whatever the timeline looks like, your healing process is welcome here.

💖 Anna

➡️ If you need support with chronic pain and anxiety, take my FREE QUIZ called Why the *bleep* am I still in pain?! so I can help you get some clarity.

And follow me on instagram for healing tips, inspiration and encouragement.

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