"Yes, ice machine" -- Hotel Employee on phone to Petra
Question #90690 posted on 01/12/2018 11:56 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am really starting to hate my body. Not in a “I hate the way I look” kind of way - I actually feel fine with my appearance generally (we all have good and bad days, right?). The real issue I have with my body is with my health. I have had health problems for years, and the older I get, the worse I feel. I have a number of diagnosed conditions that I take daily medication for, I go to doctors all the time for different things, and I am always looking for the next person or thing that might provide me with a little bit of relief. Because even after all the doctor’s appointments, the medications, the supplements, the dietary restrictions, and everything else I have to do, I am not getting better. I always feel the same. Nevertheless, I keep up the ridiculous regimen with a vague hope that it will start to work in the future. I feel this frustration, anger, and sadness with everything that is wrong with my body. Many people are worse off than I am, but I’m still so bitter. I have a strong testimony of the gospel, but I still find myself angry at God sometimes for giving me this trial. I’m young and single, and it’s hard to imagine any kind of family or career for myself with my health the way it is. How can I learn to appreciate my body for what it is when I feel like my body is the thing that is limiting me from living a fulfilling life? How can I learn to not be angry at God?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear You,

I mostly just wanted to comment to say that I, too, have ongoing health issues that seem interminable. Mine are quite minor; they only slightly interrupt my day-to-day life. In fact, most of the frustrations I deal with are actually with other people who keep encouraging me to try new things and see new doctors in order to try and find a cure (which, frankly, I don't think will happen any time soon).

Unfortunately, I don't really know what else to say. I do know that, as you've identified, our physical well-being is tied to our spiritual health, and the one can affect the other for good or ill (as we read in the Doctrine and Covenants, all things are spiritual to God). I also know that you're not the only person that's felt limited or constrained by their physical state; one interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:7 is that Paul suffered from some sort of physical malady that he felt was holding him back in some way.

Talking about all of this reminds me of some of the miracles performed in the New Testament. A lot of the ones described dealt with people who were afflicted with incurable illnesses that held them back in some way. The ten lepers were social outcasts and depended on the charity of others to survive; the man born blind was similarly dependent. As described by Jeffrey R. Holland, the parents of the boy who was afflicted with "a dumb spirit" likely spent their entire day watching over him and making sure he didn't come to any harm, without respite. None of these people could really progress in the state they were in; they were all limited by physical afflictions.

Ultimately, all of these people were freed from their limitations by divine intervention. I hope that doesn't make things seem hopeless; the lesson I take from this is that eventually, we will all be healed of what ails us. We live in a fallen world, in imperfect bodies, under non-ideal circumstances. There's a great deal we can and should improve about ourselves, but some things will require divine aid through the power of the Atonement.

Stay strong, dear reader. Keep doing all you can to sort out your condition with modern medicine; as Jeffrey R. Holland says in a different talk, God expects us to utilize all of our options in our attempts to get whole. Try your best to be patient with yourself; let yourself feel and vent your frustrated feelings, but don't wallow in them. Look for opportunities to share what you do have and what you can do with others. To round things out with one more Elder Holland quote, "some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

I believe in you.

-Frère Rubik

A:

Dear friend,

I do not have anything that will take away your pain or fix your problem in its entirety by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd like to share something that helps me with some of these types of feelings. Something that comforts me through trials is the knowledge that I'm learning compassion for other people. And yeah, that kinda sucks. But sometimes I'm over feeling thankful for my trials because "they're going to help me grow", or "they'll be for my good in the end", and it's meaningful for me to think that everything that I go through helps me to understand and to empathize with other people, which is something that's very important to me. I don't often want to go through trials for myself, but I'll do it for other people in a heartbeat. It's not much, but that's something that helps me.

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave