Swimming toward the light

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The past couple of years have been transformational.

In January of 2014 I was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This diagnosis came as quite a shock.

The frustrating part was that, even after following my doctor’s advice perfectly, by August of 2014, I was still dealing with the daily hives that had plagued my life for over a year. These red welts appeared all over my skin in the morning – every single day. This picture of my shoulder gives you an idea of what they looked like. They would pop up on different places on my skin. The worst was when they covered my neck, those grew the most inflamed and the feeling was most uncomfortable.

The hives would slowly subside after I took a Benadryl, only to make a comeback in the afternoon or evening. And no one had any answers aside from ‘take more Benadryl’. It was like an unsolvable mystery.

This was a very challenging experience. I felt like I had no understanding of my own body, like it was betraying me. Normally in life, if someone betrays us, we leave them. But how do you leave your own body? You don’t.

Prior to all this, I had been a very healthy and happy person. But, red welts all over your skin every day are a sure road to lack of energy (I’m positive the Benadryl was not helping in this department) and depression.

I refused to accept this life. Empowering myself with knowledge about how my body actually works has been a fascinating journey. I had to reach deep into myself to find the energy to continue learning, and believing that I could affect my own health. Even though I was exhausted from the hives, Benadryl and autoimmunity, and at times I felt like I was drowning, I just kept swimming up, toward the light. As I learned how the body works and how it can break down, I added layers of healing into my daily practice. After a year and a half of this swimming upward, I feel as though I have plunged through the surface and the sun shines on my face – finally.

I am not drowning. I am stronger than ever.

And the journey continues – my passion for learning about the body has only grown. Implementing my new knowledge has lead me to a place of true health and vitality. I feel better today, at forty-years old, than I have since I was in my mid-twenties.

It is amazing how life unfolds. I never expected that this would happen to me. This experience has deepened me, and I am grateful for it.

However, for the first eight months after the diagnosis, I did NOT feel grateful! During those months I felt lost and betrayed by my own body. Depression settled over me as I considered the fact that I may be declining into worse and worse health, since doctors say that one autoimmune disorder often leads to others.

But then, in September 2014, a miracle occurred. The culmination of the work I had been doing since I had been diagnosed was reached. I had been sugar and processed food-free for nine months, gluten-free for four, and dairy-free for three. I did a 30 day hiatus from red wine (something I typically drink a couple of times a week). I ate whole, organic foods and drank my bone broth (see previous post for recipe and description). I practiced meditation and positive affirmations.

Halfway through September, my hives disappeared. One morning I woke up with a feeling of freedom. No red welts. Over the next few weeks the feeling of freedom blossomed. The hives were totally gone. I felt healthy – for the first time in over a year.

With all the books and articles I have read, and online seminars on autoimmunity I have attended, I now have a clear understanding of how my healing occurred. The picture has grown clearer and clearer. I will continue to explain this phenomena, and others related to health, on this blog.

I am a pretty private person, and it is somewhat difficult for me to share all of this. It’s just that lately, I have been feeling that through sharing what I went through, I may somehow serve. In a world where many people are suffering, it is time to lift one another up in encouragement. It is time to share our stories and together, move toward healing.

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