When you are unwell you develop a familiarity with the illness that has visited you.
You know all about it. You learn all about it. Despite this intimate bond, this closeness, you want the unwelcome visitor gone as soon as possible.
With a cold or the flu you know the symptoms and the approximate length of stay. You follow the course of the visit with interest, waiting for the tell-tale signs that the virus is packing up and ready to leave. You celebrate its departure with long deep breaths and cough-free nights. And you remind yourself that it was an unpleasant visit and do your best to avoid it in the future.
With chronic illnesses you sometimes try to forget that it is part of your being. When you have lived with it for any extended amount of time for the most part you ignore it. You work your way through life adapting to its hold on your existence. This may not seem like a good way to treat a guest but sometimes it is the only way.
Like the leopards in the rainforest that adapt to any kind of environment and eat almost any kind of food, so it is with some sicknesses that we have to endure. Leopards attack things much bigger than themselves and are not easily defeated. But they can be overcome with the right tactics, skills and knowledge.
In order to attack the leopard illness you have to really understand how it works. Sometimes it seems like you sneak up on it unawares and attack it with both medication and positivity, especially when it appears like there is an optimism drought within you and around you.
As humans we have a unique talent to overcome the most daunting situations. We have untapped resources within us. We often reach into our unknown reserves when the prospects seem final. And repeatedly we triumph.
Parents single-handedly lift cars off their trapped children as the adrenalin courses through them in the high stress situation. At times like this the normal boundaries of our voluntary capabilities are surpassed and our limitations alter.
When we become the leopards in our own jungles, in our own lives, we can adapt and survive most odds against us. Threats make new resources accessible within us. We must use these resources. We need to embrace the mental agility to use the available information and directly focus our newly found energy against whatever threatens us and we will survive to walk in peace another day.