I know you feel crappy. That’s a nicer word isn’t it. You probably feel some days like your life is gone and you will never find it again. It feels dire and you have no energy or even willpower to try to make it better anymore. What could there possibly be to feel thankful for?
Even in the depths of my very worst days, I knew that I had to own where I was. It wasn’t going to serve me laying there in bed feeling sorry for myself day after day. And I know, there is anger in the food companies feeding us shit, but I didn’t have to eat it. Come on, I knew eating a king size Lindt milk chocolate bar every night before I went to bed wasn’t going to serve me. I knew that if Coke can take the rust off a rusty nail it wasn’t going to serve me. The can of Campbells Chunky Beef Stew wasn’t really food. And it goes on and on and on. And I also knew deep down it would eventually catch up with me. And it wasn’t just the food, it was the stress that I didn’t manage, not at all. And the reality was, it was catching up with me. My symptoms started early, in my ‘30’s. I was a ticking time bomb.
Did I change anything?
No. I didn’t. I just kept going with everything I was doing wrong. I was unwilling to put myself first. I gave everything I had to others. Nothing was left to devote to me.
I know I don’t need to remind you of how bad it can be. I have talked on it frequently, but I am trying to paint a picture. And for those of you that are just starting to experience symptoms, please pay attention.
How can I say this is something to be thankful for?
I’m going to tell you in just a minute.
I talk about the whispers of the body and I had a lot of whispers. Some of them were significant screams at me to pay attention. Mostly I didn’t know how to pay attention or why I should pay attention. I just suspected it was normal to have issues. Well, it isn’t. And because I didn’t pay attention, my body was forced to scream louder and louder.
Finally, it got my attention.
All my attention. And I imagine many of you are in this same place.
I have had a few years to contemplate the demise of my health while I’ve been weeding through all the crazy amounts of information out there to find a solution and a path to health. And in the process, I have discovered why I should be thankful.
Because it is a gift.
If my health hadn’t gone sideways in a very bad way, I would still be living with all of my symptoms. I had accepted them. It was a daily thing of debilitating gas pains, joints that would swell to twice their size, cramping so bad I couldn’t walk for 3 days, heart palpitations and pains so significant I would go to the emergency room, weird rashes, hives, breathing issues that would keep me from hiking and other sports that I loved. Nightly asthma attacks brought on my coughing and allergies. Significant brain fog and funky other things I don’t even know how to explain. On and on and on.
None of them were debilitating but I was living half a life. And maybe not even that. I was able to make it through the day. Exhausted but I made it.
I would ignore my symptoms until I couldn’t and then I would take ibuprofen and NyQuil to stop the pain and knock me out so I could sleep. I was self-medicating because nothing the doctors suggested was solving my problems.
I would have stayed in this space because my life was so busy I couldn’t stop to figure it out. I had no desire to figure it out. I didn’t know how nor did I have the time.
This all changed when my poor body couldn’t do it anymore. It literally said enough. I could no longer force myself to do what was needed for my family and more than that, this was my life in my later 40’s.
Was this going to be it for me for the rest of my life?
That was a big question, but I knew there weren’t answers in the doctor’s office. Been down that road with no results.
The tipping point was a big No More.
When shit got real and surgery was needed, enough was enough. I said No More and took my health into my own hands.
The outcome of that has been amazing.
To give you an example, I recently stepped back into the pool to change up my exercise a little bit. 30 laps are no big deal. Could I have done that 8 years ago? No way. I can hike without having to stop and guage my breathing. I can make it through the day with the same level of energy I woke up with.
That is the gift.
I have my life back. A life that would have been only a fraction of what I have now. Through every stage of my healing process I have been surprised by the improvement. And when I look back, I can’t believe I thought I felt good at the previous stage every single time I have made an improvement.
And even though my health journey continues, and it is hard, I already understand what happens when I fight for my life. I know the outcome of that fight. I am maximizing the output of my life. I know, that is such an engineering term. How can I say it different? I have the ability to enjoy my life to the fullest, every day. My body is no longer limiting or even defining my life. It is now participating in a very big way to help me have the best life. The rest is up to me to keep it here.
So, if you are in that place of wondering if you need to start paying attention. No matter where you are in the process of dysfunction or illness, the answer is “YES”. The answer will always be “YES”. Recognize it as a gift from your body, telling you it’s time to change the priorities, to focus on what you need to heal. After all, you have a life to live too. A full life.
Have a wonderful rest of your week!!!