I have become increasingly superstitious over the years. I think as my belief in God and religion started to decrease in intensity, I started searching for something else to cling to. I have talked about needing a higher power on this blog a few times in this post http://keepingthingsinsideisbadformyhealth.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/it-is-never-too-late-to-start-believing/. I have also been realizing that most of my “sick friends” are superstitious as well. Not in a crazy way but just being careful not to jinx something, knocking on wood, weary of the number 13…things like that.
The reason behind superstition is similar to that of religion. We all need to feel like we have some kind of control over the things that happen to us. It is human nature to search for ways that make us feel like we have power over our lives. People turn to religion for many reasons; one of which being that people need something to believe in that is greater than them. Superstition, although different in many ways, is similar to religion in that respect. A diagnosis of any kind will shake your belief system to some degree. Being sick changes you; regardless of if you even realize it consciously. Illnesses take away our control so it is completely understandable why a lot of people that are sick do these simple things like knock on wood or not jinxing things. Many also have an “it can’t hurt” mentality since they have seen firsthand what some really devastating challenges can be like.
My mom is a pretty superstitious person. She believes that when you find a heads up penny, that it brings good luck and is a good omen. She collects them and has always given any she has found to our family when we need that extra boost of luck. Being around her so much has caused me to feel a sense of hopefulness when she finds a lucky penny. I often find myself knocking on wood, making sure I don’t jinx anything, and avoiding putting the volume or something on the number 13 if it can be avoided. I even realize that I am knocking on wood if a thought comes into my mind that I feel warrants that. It is just instinctual to me now. I want so badly to believe that I have some power and control over what is going to happen to me in life. I lost all control I had these past 12 years and it is what has caused me to try and control the things I could, like my eating and weight. Feeling powerless over your life is an incredibly awful feeling so my philosophy on superstition is that as long as your life isn’t altered by the intensity in which you are superstitious; why not just go along with it whenever possible? It certainly cannot hurt.