Lately I’ve really wanted to celebrate all the progress I’ve made so far in healing my body, as you probably noticed with my Before & Almost After post.
2015 was a HUGE year of healing for me, on every level. So even though I’m not quite finished yet, it’s time to do some celebrating!
I’m just about to celebrate 1 year and 4 months of starting to get really serious about healing and starting a modified version of the Gerson Therapy. It’s been so frustrating at times, and a lot of the time I felt like I wasn’t really getting better – especially since most days I was still feeling sick in one way or another from detox, die-off or a healing crises.
I wish I could say it’s all unicorn tear juices and sunshine enemas, but that’s not entirely true. While I did enjoy taking this time out to heal (and I’m enjoying better health everyday), it’s been a really rough few years. Let me explain…
Crisis and the dark night of the soul
Whether it’s a health crisis, a financial crisis, a relationship crisis or a soul crisis – nothing will make you grow faster, better, stronger than one of these. And I was lucky enough to have all of them.
It’s things like this – the dark night of the soul – that strips you down to nothing, that tests you until your breaking point, that shows you what you can really endure and what you are really capable of.
Over the last few years I ‘lost’ everything – my health, my sense of identity and self, my long-time relationship, money, everything. The only thing I hadn’t lost was my faith that things would work out (99% of the time, anyway). I knew this was one of the darkest times I would have to endure in my life – and I knew if I could get through this, I could get through anything. I had no idea what I was capable of until I had no choice but to stay strong, to endure, to have blind faith.
Health was my #1 priority – because without it, what do we have left?
Healing hasn’t been easy, I’ve spent the last year and half almost solely focused on healing my body to the neglect of most other things in my life (including this blog which doesn’t get the attention it deserves). I’ve given up a lot in the last few years for this, I’ve had to say no to lots of social events, lots of opportunities.
I had to stop spending money on anything but the healing essentials. I couldn’t really work, because I was so sick and then because healing took up so much time (I was on a healing schedule, and still am to a much lesser degree). All of my days were dedicated to my healing schedule, and I spend hours a day at the juicer.
But you know I wasn’t really living much before that anyway because of feeling sick all the time, so taking this time out to heal has been so so worth it.
Without health, what do we really have left?
I was losing everything – my social life, my ability to do anything, my ability to work, my ability to keep up a relationship, I never felt like going out because I always felt sick in one way or another, it made me sad and depressed all the time, I couldn’t see a future for myself, I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a normal life or have kids or get married if I didn’t get better. When you get that ill, nothing else is more important than getting better.
It’s at that time you realise nothing else matters without health, and you become willing to do ANYTHING to feel better again.
I put my life on hold to heal
It was frustrating not being able to go out much, to not be making progress with work or money or my relationships. I had basically put my life on hold. Home started to feel like a prison. And the one or two times I left the house a week was overwhelming and amazing.
Despite all of this, I actually really enjoyed this time because it gave me a prolonged chance to slow down, to rest, to step back and take stock of my life and to evaluate my life and myself and make some changes. I had the space to go really deep with figuring out what I wanted from life, who I wanted to be and what I wanted my life to look and feel like.
Once I figured this all out (over a year of meditating, journalling, processing, soul searching), I was able to keep a vision in my head every single day of where I was heading and what my goals were. I haven’t quite achieved them yet, but I’m on my way.
Some days I wanted to just give up. But everyday I made myself show up and do the ‘work’ – spending hours everyday making juices, doing multiple coffee enemas everyday, making sure I prepare and eat healthy meals, making bone broth and sauerkraut, doing all the little health and detox practices everyday, meditating and then somehow in between all that trying to sneak in a little bit of work (this here blog) to build the future I wanted. It’s seriously a full time job healing!
I accepted this is where I was in life. That I had to take this time out to heal. And after some time, I thought, well if I have to take this time out to heal, I might as well enjoy it! I knew this isn’t what my life was going to look like forever. But I had to give up fighting it. I had to give up feeling like I wasn’t where I was supposed to be in life.
Shouldn’t I be more ahead in life at 25? Living at home, no job, no money, and sick? I turned my thinking around – everything is perfect, the timing of my life is perfect, I’m exactly where I need to be to learn what I need to learn. The effect of this shift in thinking cannot be understated. I stopped feeling frustrated, impatient and agitated, and I started to feel at flow with life. I felt surrender. I had to remind myself of that everyday, because it’s a daily effort trying to wrangle you’re mind from the dramatics.
But how blessed am I that I could actually take this time to get better? I feel so lucky for that.
So these are my big healing wins over the last year!
– I’ve now lost 15kg / 33 lb !!!!
I’m so excited about this. Weight gain was one of the most noticeable side effects of celiac for me. For some, the malnutrition presents as underweight, for others it’s overweight. At my diagnosis I’d gained about 3kg, and then for the next 3 years it continued to go up and my health continued to decline and by the end I’d gained about 13kg in total from celiac. It wasn’t just fat either – a lot of it was water retention, edema and inflammation, and the rest was toxic fat (like cellulite).
– No more numbness in my hands and feet
– I no longer drop things or fall from sharp pain in joints
I used to get this sudden pain in my joints at my wrists and ankles that would make me drop what I was holding or fall over, which I no longer get!
– My sensitivity to light is gone!
I can go out in the sun and not have to squint and close my eyes the whole time! This is called photophobia, a sensitivity to light.
– I can remember what I did yesterday
I could never remember what I did the day before, two days before, a week before. If I could remember an event happening it was a miracle. There are chunks of time missing from my memory. When people would try to talk to me about something we did, or this time that this thing happened, I wouldn’t remember. It became a running joke how bad my memory was, until it became something that was really worrying me.
– I don’t forget words or what I was say mid-sentence (nearly as much!)
This is still improving but so much better than before. It was so unbelievably frustrating to not be able to think of the word I wanted to say ALL. THE. TIME. Almost every time I spoke. I forgot what I was talking about all the time.
– I can show up to work and write blog posts like this!
Before, the thought of writing anything this long was inconceivable. It just wasn’t possible for me. Two years ago I would be sitting here looking at a blank page, or staring off into space. Concentration eluded me, forming sentences, paragraphs and pages of words was what I wanted so desperately to do, but my brain wouldn’t cooperate.
– I’m not yellow anymore! (and my livers working again)
Turning yellow after starting the Gerson therapy is so common there’s a name for it – the Gerson glow! I was incredibly yellow/orange (like, really noticable and very commented on) until after about a year when it faded. The yellow is a sign of the liver and gall bladder cleansing and the beta carotene binding to toxins.
– Neuropathy is healing
The last few months my neuropathy has become noticeable again – I get this weird tingling feeling in my legs that feels like I’ve touched fibreglass all over my lower legs. I started taking l-carnitine and it’s gone away!
– Heat sensitivity
It’s only early summer here in Australia and is yet to hit the scorching temps that it will, but I’m holding up pretty good this year! I’m actually enjoying summer, whereas summer last year was slow torture for me. I felt like I was permanently in a sauna.
I prefer colder climates and aren’t a big fan of the heat anyway, but over the last few years I felt like I was dying. Possibly something to do with my liver? Or something to do with a low level fever due to infection? Either way, it is an uncommon (but mentioned in literature) symptom of celiac.
Many of these symptoms make a slight return after I get glutened and then go away again.
What I still have left to heal
– Chronic constipation
I’ve had this since at least 18 and it was one of the main symptoms of celiac for me.
I’ve tried all the normal fixes – prunes, more water, exercise etc (and fibre makes it worse), but none of them work. It’s more than that. I’m thinking it might be a vitamin deficiency, I’ll let you know when I figure it out.
– A little more weight loss
My goal is another 10kg – 15kg. I just want to get to a healthy weight, so I have no real specific goal, but when I get there, I’ll know.
– Lymph pain under the arms + swollen lymph node on wrist
This is much better, but still there.
– Feeling sick in the morning
I still wake up feeling sick – like a little hangover. My morning coffee enema usually fixes it, but one day I know I will wake up and be jumping out of bed with a clear head!
– Various vitamin deficiencies
I’m still dealing with random vitamin deficiencies.
I’m always trying new supplements or strategies, when I can afford it to. There’s lots more I wish I could be trying if I had the money, but I just do the best I can with what I have.
Where to from here
I honestly have no idea what the future holds. I feel like I’m walking on a path but I can’t see where I’m heading yet – I’m walking blindly. The future is a big question mark now, but I’m actually really ok with that now! Says the former control freak. Over the last few years, I’ve really learn how to let go and just let things play out.
As the old saying goes, we make plans and God laughs. I’ve always had a plan, and a general idea of my life and what (I thought) was going to happen. It was all pretty set in stone. And then life happened! So for now, I’m not making any real plans, I’m just seeing what happens. Obviously I still have goals and things I want to happen and want to achieve, but I’m just seeing what the Universe offers up and going with the flow. It feels calm and peaceful this way – not trying to hustle or force things to happen.
I’m so so SO excited about 2016, you have no idea! I know it’s going to be the best year ever, and I can’t wait to show up here so much more and help you through your healing.