One theory I heard long ago: physical illness is simply a way of subterfuge. The idea is that all illnesses are of the mind, of the improperly analyzed psyche, and that psychotherapy can rid us of our supposed physical maladies. This theory was put forth by Michael De Sisto, who reminds me of Lancaster Dodd, the protagonist of the great film The Master with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who ran a school here in the Berkshires for troubled youth. He ran a school where my late brother-in-law taught for a couple of years. He had no certifications or training. Eventually, De Sisto was unmasked as a charlatan; and for all his talk of physical ailments being rooted solely in psychological disorders, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage that all the therapy in the world could not prevent.
In other words, De Sisto was a con man. American Hustle, indeed.
The fact–if I may be so bold as to use the word fact–is that body, mind, and soul may interact. This obviously is not my theory. I believe it is utterly simplistic, but it’s nevertheless true. And it’s one that is too easily forgotten if not entirely overlooked. It’s more convenient at times to finger-point–even into the nearest mirror–than face up to what’s eating us. Sometimes “again.”
Because just having identified the root of an issue does not guarantee is that it won’t recur.
As the hearing on my alimony motion approaches, I find myself become deeply withdrawn, but also hit with stomach cramps. I thought it was stomach cancer or ulcers (the second possibility is perhaps more likely). All the time. I eat, food tastes good, but it’s like the old Chinese food joke: 30 minutes later you’re hungry again. I go into some form of drugged sleep but awaken each day between 4 and 5 AM. I want this misery to end. All my physical and emotional defenses are breaking down. Yes, for awhile I was able to rebuild them but, but the nearer the date moves forward, the more terrible I feel.
This is chronic. This is illness.