Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

The Silver Lining of Being Sick and Tired

I wasn’t a diehard fan of the series “Mad Men” but the opening sequence haunts me. I have flashbacks of that black silhouetted man seeing the world crash around him, then similar to Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” he falls slowly to the ground.

silver lining

For devotees of “Mad Men” the interpretation is easy, yet the iconic image can be interpreted in different ways and for different reasons. Here’s why the image is haunting me:

ONE: When your body ignores your inner cries to stop misbehaving that desperate man is a parable for life. Down, down, down we fall.

I’ve received four diagnoses in the past year, all having to do with my digestive system. Now I must re-learn how to eat or my gastrointestinal tract will seek revenge in painful and odious ways.

For now traveling is difficult since you need to be near a clean bathroom. Your “normal” life is on hold as you spend time visiting doctors and testing the waters to find a new normal.

In the meantime people get tired of hearing about your recent illness(es). I don’t blame them. Who wants to hear adult potty talk? I’m as tired of it as they are.

For thirty-one years my journey has been about learning from adversity, tolerating new normals and dealing with disappointments. I’ve been a willing student to learn all I can, but now I’m back to square one. Down, down, down I fall.

Then one day a dear friend told me something that empowered me. She said that someday I’ll be able to look back and realize these diagnoses were teaching me powerful lessons. Adopting a smarter eating plan will help me live a happier life because I’ll feel healthier and more energized.

Talk about a silver lining.

I believe in silver linings and I have faith in the wisdom of my friend. Staying strong and having a positive attitude will serve me well one more time.

I want to rejoin life and take part in all its glory. I miss the old me. So I’m trying as hard as I can to find my way back. In the meantime I hope you’ll stick by me.

TWO: While watching what’s taking place in Washington I see the “Mad Men” image representing the downfall of America. Lies, deceit, greed, narcissism, cover-ups, intolerance, hatred and corruption results in an America I hardly know. We are trapped with a man and others in power who are trying to make “America Great Again” by making it unrecognizable.

Citizens are being pitted against each other as we defend our opinions about a man with no values. Down, down, down we fall.

What’s kicking the image back to a safe place is the public outcry from millions of citizens who believe our country is worth the fight. The marches have been exquisite. Local groups have banded together. Ordinary citizens are running for office to rid of the old guard. We are staying stronger together as we continue to resist becoming something we’re not.

All of this is in the name of truth, justice and the principles of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.

WE THE PEOPLE, the Constitution says. That certainly is a silver lining.


END NOTE: If you are interested in what I’m reading about digestive issues, here’s what’s currently on my nightstand (all available on Amazon):

  • Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by by Elaine Gottschall
  • The Gut Balance Revolution: Boost Your Metabolism, Restore Your Inner Ecology, and Lose the Weight for Good by Gerald E. Mullin, M.D.  (I skipped to the chapters applicable to restoring gut health)
  • The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases by Amy Myers, M.D.





15 thoughts on “The Silver Lining of Being Sick and Tired

  1. Cathy Sikorski

    So sorry you’re going through this right now. But your friend is right, A Silverlining indeed to eat better. Actually those books really do interest me because what’s wrong with trying to be healthy from the inside out! Wishing you the speediest of recoveries because the world needs wonderful people like you out there doing the wonderful things you do!
    Cathy Sikorski recently posted…The Fountain of Youth SucksMy Profile

  2. Lois Hoffman

    It sounds like there’s a lot on your plate (so to speak). Sending you positive healing thoughts. Our thoughts are really the only thing we can control anyway.

  3. Cathy Lawdanski

    You have had quite a rough time recently. I so admire your perseverance and your willingness to keep on learning and sharing. I am going to say a prayer for you right now!

  4. janet tancredi

    Cathy, just today I was having a pity party. I didn’t want or feel like finding the Silver Lining in anything. It’s okay to allow yourself that release sometime.We just have to pick ourselves up and move on. I can say that, because I too have to learn how to live with the new normals. You have had your share of let’s say,” obstacles” recently, please, hang in there! Sending lots of hugs!

  5. Deb

    I truly believe you’re on the path to healing. Food as medicine! Powerful and empowering in so many ways. I’ll call you this week Cath. I love you my friend xo.

  6. Lois Alter Mark

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this but I absolutely believe your ability to find a silver lining in even the most challenging situations will ultimately make you thrive. I love you, my friend.

  7. Susan Bonifant

    You really do have to indulge yourself on those days when it feels better to just feel bad. Down down down we fall, sometimes until we can’t fall further. As long as coming back up is in your plans (eventually) you’ll be okay.

    I’ve said to you before that I am touched by your spirit and I am, because as gentle and quiet as a strong spirit is, it is mighty enough to save your life.

    I am sad for how you feel – I know the feeling of being knocked back too quickly to stay upright. But you have a whole bunch of us behind you, as you would be for us.

    Susan Bonifant recently posted…Why introverts can’t be extroverts but really like to sit near themMy Profile

  8. Donna

    Silver linings give us hope don’t they? and something to add…..a friend added that a trial I was going through would not only allow me to learn something wonderful but also give me an opportunity to teach something valuable. just a thought

  9. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I’m sorry that your reading matter has to be what it is 🙁 but hopefully you will find solutions to your digestive problems ASAP. Despite everything, you still keep your silver linings positive attitude. You are amazing! Love you!

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