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How Could I Possibly Heal Myself? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen Lawrence, M.D.   
Saturday, 12 May 2012 23:15

Healing is a process that occurs when we make it work for us. It doesn't happen through luck or because you are otherwise well or free from other illness.

I saw an interesting patients today as I will call her Joanne although it is not her real name. Joanne is 51 years of age and presented with multiple complaints and problems. She had neck and low back pain, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety and of course her biggest problem according to her, “I just worry all the time.”

After talking with her for a while it was clear that her problems go way back into her childhood. She described her back pain as being caused by an injury she sustained when she was 17 she lifted a heavy box and had a sudden pain in her back. She told me that it was perpetuated by her weight for shortly after this injury she gained nearly a 100 pounds. Recently she lost the 100 pounds but the back pain and her other problems persisted, she did not lose her pain, depression or anxiety.

Joanne has been in and out of therapy and seen many medical doctors over the years. She has been given many different medications for her physical pain. Yet, in the end, nothing has helped her, she is still depressed, still has a ton of anxiety, still worries all the time about her family and about herself.


When I asked her what she worried most about she told me that she worried most about her “grown children.” Apparently her oldest son is going through a separation and divorce and he just bought a gun and she is worried that he will either kill himself or his former wife. She was also worrying about a second son who just was arrested for DUI. She also worries about a third child who has “serious financial problems.”

True what mother would not worry about such problems. But when I explained my belief that anxiety and depression and even pain may be the result of unresolved conflicts she asked not about how to heal herself but rather she asked, “How could I possibly heal myself?” “Good question,” I responded. While I would love to tell patients to get back into therapy, most of the time this is difficult as she like many others reading his blog do not have insurance, Joanne had no insurance, and she could not afford therapy.

If therapy is an option this is terrific. If not you will just have to do it yourself. You can do it by simply thinking and asking of yourself and finding out what you already know about yourself. 1) What unresolved conflicts are you aware of? 2) What conflicts do you know are still unsolved? 3) What is the most common thoughts and problems you deal with? 

What I have found is that while in some people these may have long ago been suppressed or hidden, in many people they are everyday common thoughts and fears. Often people know what their underlying problems are and all they need to do is to acknowledge them and find current meaningful solutions. True this may be much easier said then done. But, on the other hand, for many people it is as simple as recognizing and making sense of the problem. Often our problems are from childhood, or from our teen or early adult years. Often they appear to be no longer meaningful problem and in such cases people can simply let them go or they can work on creating creative solutions.

One patient told me that when she was twenty she had been raped. She had for years been angry, then apathetic and finally depressed. She feared men and relationships. She avoided dating and avoid making most other human contacts. She worked and went home and as she put it, she hid from the world. Then one day she simply asked herself a powerful healing question. “How long do I want to live this way?”

Her answer she said at first scared her, then made sense. I want it over and I want it over now. She talked with her minister who suggested that she forgive her rapist. At first this angered her. How could I ever forgive the man who raped me? Her minister told her that once she has forgave him, she would be free of his influence. This also angered her to think he still was influencing her so many years later. What she next did was even more startling she decided to forgive her rapist and let go of the negative power this event had placed upon her. Within days she felt lighter and then free. Her anxiety went away. Her emotional pain simply disappeared.

When I asked her how it had helped her she smiled and told me. When I forgive him, it set me free. I no longer carry scars or pain, I can be me again and I love it. 

Healing even the most life-threatening problem is often just as easy. While the problems and solutions may differ greatly, the result is healing and healing frees you from pain, suffering, illness and the concurrent fears, anxiety and depression.

Today, I do not know whether or not Joanne will take my advise, whether she will return for help or whether or not she will ever heal herself or be healed. I know she could be healed. But the question of whether she will do the work or not is up to her. I have done my best to let her know healing is an option all she has to do is want it and do what needs to be done to make it happen. Only time will tell if she does.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 August 2012 15:35