When I first started my autoimmune journey, it was not with the idea of helping others. It was to help myself initially. And initially, I did not consider it a journey of insight and great healing. Haha. Not even close.
I was thrilled to finally have the diagnosis but what next. As I learned more and more about the triggers, my biggest hope was that I just eliminate the gluten, and all would be well. After all, it does happen, only not to me. I did improve my initial numbers, meaning antibody numbers, and I thought yay, I’m on my way to remission.
Alas, they slowly started creeping up.
I finally dove into the tests that had been recommended but I was not excited. At the same time, I knew it had to be done. When I finally got my test results back, I was devastated. I suspected that all the hard work I had put in on my diet and the weight loss and the increased energy meant good things, well at least more than the test results now suggested. Urghhhh. My first pity party ensued.
Now, I am not really a pity party kind of girl. And even when they happen they are relatively short lived. I understand that it is ok to visit there for a short time but then it is time to move on. I have also never understood wallowing in the muck of self-pity.
So, I picked myself up and got to it.
Based on the fact that I have ended up with a large majority of the triggers, I could rewrite the above two paragraphs over and over again but there is no point. The reality is that I have run many tests, I’ve repeated protocols many times because I have had significant pathogens, whole body yeast infections, metal toxicity, etc. And in the early stages, I was upset about the fact that I had worked so hard and still had far to go. I wasn’t seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that I felt was warranted for all my hard work. I was pissed off that all my hard work wasn’t really getting me anywhere.
But here is the thing. I have said this over and over again. Healing happens in layers. The structure for healing is in place for a reason. You can’t take on a pathogen protocol until you have supported and begun to heal your gut and clean up your liver, which you can’t do unless you have fixed your lifestyle factors. You can’t take on a metal protocol until you have managed a pathogen protocol. There are reasons for the order, and they must be followed. Yes, it makes it long. Yes, it is costly. Still cheaper than a lifelong journey in the medical model with no results, just sayin. But still costly. And it can be disheartening when it feels like your very, very, hard work and compliance doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere.
But there is an upside.
A huge upside that is sometimes hard to recognize so I’m going to tell you about the upside.
In the process of tackling your autoimmune, you gain insight into what a lifestyle of health requires. You are understanding that it is possible to put your autoimmune into remission, which was never, ever offered to you in the medical community. You will regain your life, a life that you thought you had lost. You are learning how to stop the cycle in your family. You will teach your children how to be healthy or at the very least know what is required when they do follow in your footsteps.
There is personal growth and understanding. To heal, you have to offer yourself grace, patience and forgiveness. You have to open your eyes to how you arrived in this place, so there is also self-reflection and honesty.
But what I consider to be the biggest gift of all, is that your illness, your beautiful illness, will remind you, always, when it is time to look after yourself. That it is it time to slow down, to truly step back and take a few breaths. It will remind you when you have forgotten that you must be the priority, that you do need to make the time to eat healthy, and to stay on the wagon.
And it won’t be like before where it took years to finally make you aware. It will happen quickly. Your body remembers where it has been, and it can’t help but go back to that place when we don’t stay diligent in maintaining our self as the number one priority.
And, when we make the correction, the process to recovery can be swift if we are paying attention.
I no longer hold pity parties. I get angry with myself sometimes for requiring more care because that means I have not been diligent in keeping myself a priority. But I know what to do and I can make the corrections while realizing I am only human. But I also know that if I don’t stay the course, I will wind up with something more severe and I will lose my life as I know it which I don’t ever want to do again. I want those 15-20 years I talked about last week. I want to enjoy the journey, and I want to be in control of the ups and downs of my health.
If you are on this journey, the faster you can embrace what is needed, offer yourself grace, patience, and forgiveness, open your mind to the amazing gifts that it has to offer you, the easier you will find your way.
I wish you an amazing week.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
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