Have you ever noticed how people talk about sickness and health in terms of combat and warrior analogies? We’re battling chronic illness, beating depression or losing the fight to cancer.
In a way, that makes complete sense. When you’re in pain and exhausted to the bone, everyday living can really seem like a quest from a Tolkien novel. Something as simple as grocery shopping suddenly feels like an expedition to Mount Doom.
For many many years, I turned to heroic stories to fuel my motivation, to strive for recovery, to keep reaching for my dreams. And it worked. With the ‘help’ from Buffy, Sydney Bristow and G.I.Jane (I’m clearly a nineties girl), I passed my high school exams against all odds, despite not being able to attend classes. Epic journeys like Lord of the Rings pushed me to get fit and mobile enough to explore the world, while survivor stories from Chris Ryan and Bear Grylls inspired me to keep going.
Thanks to the warrior analogy, I achieved many meaningful goals that made a big difference to my life.
But now that I’ve learned so much more about the impact of your mind on your body, and how your nervous system works, I’m not so sure any more that the ‘spoonie warrior’ analogy is always the best choice.