F-Bombs and Crappy Health: Cursing While Chronically Ill

Chronic Illness, Perspectives

I swear at times. Selectively, purposefully, and creatively, but I do swear.

I encourage you to as well.

Here’s why:

1. Swearing increases pain tolerance.
Yup, you read that right. Ever stub your toe and let out a string of unmentionable words? There’s a reason you do that, why most of us do that. Multiple studies have shown that people can tolerate more discomfort and pain when they swear. You can check out one study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19590391

2. Beating around the bush wastes energy.
Having a chronic illness means that our energy is limited and priceless. Say what you need to say as simply, clearly, and efficiently as possible, while still being kind. Pissing someone off will require more energy to deal with, so yeah, avoid that.

3. Truth-telling is empowering.
No matter how much value you find in your illness (which I definitely do!), sometimes it just plain SUCKS. Period. Suppressing the truth creates an internal tension that you have to deal with – in addition to the pain itself! For me, I’m incredibly grateful for the road that my illness has taken me on. I wouldn’t be a coach, and you wouldn’t be reading these words if I wasn’t chronically ill. At the same time, being in pain 24/7/365 is hard. Sometimes REALLY hard. Being able to say that it effing sucks can be a powerful relief.

I’m not suggesting that you go around swearing a blue streak. What I am suggesting is to give yourself permission to have a good venting session every once in a while, even if it’s only in your private journal. And maybe when you stub your toe too.

As the saying goes, “I do not spew profanities; I enunciate them clearly like a f-ing lady”.

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