June 1


Fibromyalgia Peach Paradigm

By Sue Ingebretson

June 1, 2021

analogy, approach, books, chronic illness, emotional wounds, Fibro, fibromyalgia, FibroWHYalgia, Healing, recovery, story, treatment

The causes and triggers of fibromyalgia and chronic illness stems are complex. There’s no easy approach. At the most basic level, it’s important to grasp that the mind and body aren’t two separate systems or entities. Stressful circumstances have every bit as much influence over the body as physical accidents and injuries. Therefore, how much sense does it make to only treat part of the problem? Check out this story to see what really makes sense. 

The following excerpt from my book, FibroWHYalgia, is one that I’ve shared often. In it, you’ll read a simple and easy-to-understand analogy of treating the body as a whole. If you’ve ever tried to describe this phenomenon (treating only part of the problem) to others, please share this article so we can spread the great news of health, healing, and the opportunity to recover from chronic illness.  

A #Fibromyalgia story - The Peach Paradigm Share on X

The Fibromyalgia Story told as The Peach Paradigm

I want to give credit where credit is due. I often discuss my health analogies with my husband. Writing is a solitary pursuit, which makes writers rather poor company when we’re working. And the select few who do hang around me bear the brunt of comments such as, “Hey! Listen to what psyllium seed husks do to the digestive tract!”

One day while researching, I talked about how latent emotional issues can turn into physical symptoms. My practical spouse made a comment that became the basis for the following analogy. I have to admit, it’s a peach.

Let’s say you have an unresolved issue. We’ll assume that somewhere in your past, you were emotionally wounded. To illustrate, a peach represents that emotional wound.

You know the peach exists, but you don’t want to see it or think about it. You put the peach in a cupboard and slam the door. Problem solved.

Eventually, you smell something strange. You open the cupboard. The peach is moldy, shriveled; the stink is nauseating. You go to a professional for advice. He suggests a trip to the hardware store to purchase a sticky-backed air freshener. That’ll fix it!

The peach still stinks. Another professional suggests that the discolored wood in the cupboard is contributing to the smell. Special cleaning wipes are needed. You scrub the cupboard inside and out — all around that gnarly, decrepit peach. You’re exhausted, but at least it’s been taken care of.

Until … you enter your kitchen and smell rancid fruit, scented air freshener, and bleach.

You open the cupboard door; a black, misshapen lump stares back at you. The peach. The cupboard is stained and doesn’t look like the others. You get out a brush and roller to give it a quick once-over, but flies stick to the wet paint. You consult with yet another professional and learn you need a pest control expert.

You’ve spent time and money on professionals, fragrances, cleaners, paint, and an exterminator. You’re exhausted, spent in more ways than one.

One last time, you seek the advice of a professional. You find a “big picture” person who looks at the health of your kitchen as a whole. She says the word “peach” and you bristle with indignation. How dare she bring that up?

She gently points out that the other problems will always exist as long as the peach exists. In fact, they’ll multiply. Perhaps it’s time to deal with the peach?

In this illustration, are the smells, stained cupboard, and flies real? It’s important to note that they’re as real as the symptoms we experience with our illnesses.

Problems persist as long as unresolved issues (peaches) continue to negatively affect us. Unresolved issues may not be the problem, but it’s a place to start.

Emotional wounds, given time, turn into physical ones. And, they need as much attention.

Emotional wounds may stem from events done either to or by us. Resentment has no positive outcome. Like bat guano in our mental caves, resentment builds, serving no purpose other than to obscure our view of reality. While we can’t rewrite history, we can choose how we wish to view it.

Ask yourself, “Who would I be if I no longer carry this burden? What positive thoughts would fill the gaps left by the absence of regret, pain, anger, or resentment?”

Dealing with core problems in a healthy way alleviates mental and physical symptoms. Enlist the wisdom of a coach or counselor if you have difficulty identifying core issues. Focusing on what’s “hidden” in your cupboards today may save you from major kitchen remodeling tomorrow. Clearing old issues may be “the pits,” but isn’t that the true nature of a peach?


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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson