I was trying to figure out my health issues all on my own. Reading books and blogs, taking nutrition courses, and listening to all the science-based podcasts. I was keeping it all inside, because while I knew something was wrong with me, I assumed 1) it was my fault, and 2) no one would be able to figure out, so I’ll keep doing this alone until something gives.
I was exhausted, stressed, and constantly in pain for eight years.
I have Lyme Disease. If you don’t know, it mimics arthritis very well, and it can eventually turn into an autoimmune disorder. It’s a pretty recent diagnosis for me, but it made more sense than anything else has in almost a decade. I finally had a name for what had been controlling my life for so long.
I blamed myself for my pain. There was always something I felt I was doing wrong, like not eating “clean” enough or not exercising the “right” way. I felt like I was failing over and over again, and each failure was another piece of “evidence” to myself that I simply wasn’t good enough, that I would always live in pain, and that I would always be alone in this.
Over the years, I started to realize that it was okay to lean on others even when they didn’t understand my pain, and I had to learn how to ask for help appropriately with the right kind of expectations. Understanding this helped me create a process for increasing social support while suffering from chronic pain.
Achy joints, injuries that resembled overworked athletes, shingles, vulvar tearing, depression, and anxiety have all been a normal part of my life, but I can now can handle these issues with dignity when I lean on the people in my circle, such as trustworthy friends, competent doctors, an understanding therapist, and many others…
Accepting your illness and asking for help may seem like a sign of weakness, but it’s actually the opposite. It’s a sign of strength, flexibility, and a true testament to your ability to adapt to difficult situations.
It has taken constant, continuous work to overcome these issues, but this is my life. It’s the only life I have, and I have to live with it. I WANT to live with it. There’s no other option for me.
My pain has taught me:
How to be patient
How to let my guard down and open up to others
How to cultivate a strong community for myself
How to move slower instead of rushing all the time
How to be insanely efficient (I am in an internship while in grad school, all while working for myself – it’s doable, I promise!)
How to take care of myself first, so that I can take care of others better
My motivation to continue working on my health comes from everything I want to achieve and experience in life. We all have different needs and desires, but we often push those needs away. It’s scary to confront them, but the fact is that those needs will still be there whether we acknowledge them or not, and acceptance is the key to change.
I’m here to help you find and embrace your needs, so you can live with peace, find joy in each day, and truly live your life.
For me, it starts with and ends with health. What is it for you?