It only matters what works for you.

When did the poor crutch get such a bad reputation?

“You’re just using that as a crutch” has become a phrase just laden with value judgement and negativity.

I had a discussion about adrenal fatigue with my last wrong-doctor. I was already on treatment for adrenal fatigue and he told me that mainstream endocrinology doesn’t really treat adrenal fatigue, because that’s just a crutch and the real approach is to heal the behaviors causing the fatigue.

The more I’ve thought about that conversation, the more it both ticks me off and confuses me. If I had a broken leg, I feel certain that part of the treatment would be a pair of crutches and instructions to stay off it for a while.

Why doesn’t that treatment concept apply to stressed adrenals? Why, if the data show that my adrenals are not performing up to snuff, would the treatment not include a ‘crutch’, that is, a physiologic dose of the hormones that my body should be making but isn’t, so that my poor adrenals can rest? Instead, I’m supposed to hop around on one leg hoping I can do it carefully enough not to fall and break my other leg? That doesn’t really sound like an effective plan to me.

I’m pretty sure that crutches got a bad rap because some people continue to use them long after they are really needed. Some crutches are more comfortable than others, say that beer that takes the edge off a bad day after work.

Why is it, though, that the assumption is automatically that most people will abuse the crutch and cling to it, instead of using it while it is needed, then letting it go once you’re ready to stand on your two feet again? A friend of mine recently lost a child. Beyond heartbreaking, and there are no words sufficient to offer comfort for something like that, although we tried. Part of her immediate coping strategy was an over indulgence in comfort food and I believe a generous, although not excessive, portion of wine. That helped her make it through the first few months of bereavement. A few weeks ago she announced some major dietary improvements that she’d wanted to make for quite a long time. So she’s not only laid down her crutch, but she’s moving past that behavior to something considerably healthier than where she was before.

I think we don’t give ourselves and each other enough credit. We don’t want to be weak. We don’t want to need to lean on things. (Even though that is a natural and healthy way to deal with things.) So when we do need some help, I think we should cut ourselves some slack and embrace what ever crutch helps us make it through the crisis. Believe that you’ll stand strong again just as soon as you can.

And Western Medicine? Please rethink your approach to treating people. A little support now can prevent a major crash later.

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