I’ve spent my life sick. Well that’s how it feels. Nothing major – no cancer or anything like that. Just constant, chronic and at times debilitating issues.
I can’t remember all that much from my childhood, I believe I had the standard ear infections and colds, nothing that stands out. Really everything changed when I turned 14.
Glandular Fever. Wow. 4 months in bed, I couldn’t move much, I couldn’t eat because I would throw up, and my liver and spleen were so swollen that I couldn’t even sit up. It took me a long time to recover, and to be honest I’m not sure it ever truly left me.
After that I had periods of fatigue, recurrent viral infections and general malaise. I tried my hardest to push through, but that didn’t work well and fuelled the recurrent infection cycle.
At around the age of 16 my right hand developed a rash, it was all encompassing. My entire hand was red, swollen and infected. I wore a white glove on it for about a year… I had chunks of skin falling off and it smelt terrible, like it was rotting. Such an attractive thing for a 16 year old girl to have to deal with! Honestly! As if I wasn’t self conscious enough. It took some time, but eventually I worked out it was a chemical sensitivity to SLS (thanks Glandular Fever for freaking out my system) and once I threw out my Pantene it started to clear really quickly.
I should say over those couple of years, aside from medical care, I sought naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors and traditional chinese medicine practitioners. Everybody, anybody, trying to find a way back to health.
And then…. sorry for this but… in my early twenties I developed a raging staph infection in every hair follicle in my legs from the knee down. I can’t even remember how long I was on antibiotics for. Months and months at the time, and then on and off for years. It was horrible. I was washing my body in high-strength, hospital-grade, antibacterial wash every day. I was infectious, it was painful, and the long term antibiotic use almost certainly destroyed my gut health.
Then chronic fatigue. To be honest I am not sure whether it was before or after the last one or two things I’ve written about. It’s all a bit of a blur. All I remember is I could barely lift myself up off the couch and I felt no joy, it was like it didn’t exist for me anymore. It wasn’t even a possibility.
Oh, then along came another infection. I’m pretty sure it was around this time I was seeing endocrinologists and haematologists because my blood was doing all kinds of weird things. It’s like my body is super sensitive, and when something happens it reacts in a BIG way.
Somewhere in all of this I took antidepressants. Not only had I been sick for years, with most people thinking I was a hypochondriac because there was nothing ‘major’ wrong with me, I also had major body issues and I was completely disconnected with my true self. Completely disconnected. I hated my body. I hated the way it looked, I hated it for letting me down. So. Much. Hate.
I found a small ledge at some stage, had two feet on the ground, and began to live a normal-ish life. This was around the age of 23. I was generally ok. Still disconnected, but ok.
I got married and had a baby…. and he wasn’t all that well. That’s another story. But you can definitely take away one thing from this sentence… sick mummy = sick baby.
Fast forward about 3 years, of which survival mode was the main theme. I had two beautiful children (you guessed it, with nothing major wrong… but still not all that well). Things started to get complicated again.
Suddenly I had an allergic reaction, to I don’t know what, and ended up in hospital on huge levels of cortisone, antihistamines and a drip. I had hives all over my joints and my joints were swollen, they HURT big time. They were hot and inflamed and it was uncomfortable to move. Cortisone was necessary to see me through this particular patch of time. No one ever figured out what actually happened (ahem, lightbody symptoms).
The next year or so was a blur. I had a decent car accident, a miscarriage and my Dad passed away from MND (or ALS if you’re in the states). I was broken. But as some of you will understand, it is only through breaking that the light starts to shine through.
Then hello acne! Yep, acne. I’ve got to say it didn’t even show up until I started being THE HEALTHIEST I HAD EVER BEEN! Wholefoods, lots of water, low tox…… and ACNE?! Seriously. It’s hard to comprehend this issue showed up after I started living an ultra clean life. Cycstic acne to boot. Painful, horrible and just plain ugly. I’ve spent about 4 years trying to heal it.
I gave up dairy, which definitely helped, and gluten, which helped more. I was even Vegetarian + Gluten + Dairy free for about 6 months. I drank 3 litres of water a day. I did yoga. Meditation. This acne was DIFFICULT to budge. I spent thousands of dollars on products, practitioners, laser…….. THOUSANDS. Not to mention all of the energy it took. The energy it took to hide it, the energy it took to fight it, the energy that went into the shame and sorrow of not even being able to look at myself.
Everything I did helped, but there was no magic bullet.
I’m having huge success with a new supplement, which I plan to write about soon, because everyone struggling with acne should know about it!
Giving up gluten and dairy was the best thing I could have done. All that extra puffy, watery, bloatedness we tend to carry around with our modern diets simply VANISHED! I lost about 3kg (not my intention, just a happy side effect) and I don’t actually have to work at maintaining my weight. I eat want I want, whenever I want. I have a whole food diet, that is dairy and gluten free, and includes home made chocolate, almond lattes and biodynamic wine! Happy days.
Last year I stumbled, and came down with a virus that brought back that joint pain. I couldn’t even turn my neck, I had arthritis in every joint in my body. My blood tests showed markers for three different autoimmune diseases. I was dependent on cortisone for two weeks. I fell really hard. And it scared the shit out of me.
But I realised something. It’s not all about the food we eat, the chemicals we are exposed to or how much exercise we do. We could be doing ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, but if our thoughts are toxic, our body is toxic. Thought creates form.
Since this time I’ve been researching the Mind Body connection. I’ve watched countless documentaries and have listened to a gazillion audio interviews. It’s what I do in my spare time.
Without going into too much detail, this is my simple take away:
- Gratitude is important. Spend a moment each day in contemplation of what you are grateful for.
- Observe. Sit back and look at your life or your situation as a spectator. Remove the emotion. Don’t buy into the drama. Observe.
- Clear the mind each day. It might be a walk on the beach, dancing to some music, a yoga class or meditation. As long as you aren’t thinking about all of the things you need to do after!
- Nurture your body with real food.
- Use natural products.
- Rest when you are tired. Listen to your body.
- Act out of love, not out of fear.
- Realise that everything that has happened in your life was necessary, for you to be who you are, but again, don’t buy into the drama. Don’t keep living the story.
I am now, the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m not buying into the sickness model anymore. I’m off that merry-go-round.
Does that mean I’ll never get sick? No, of course not. But if I get sick I’m not going to run off to the Doctor because I don’t have time to be sick or I am scared that my body is turning on itself.
I’ll rest, listen to my body, nurture my body and clear any thought or emotion that does not serve me. I’ll support my body and have faith that it will do what it needs to heal.
I’m getting out of my own way. I’m choosing joy. I am saying YES to life.
With Infinite Love and Gratitude,