The last few days as I’ve sat down to work, nothing has come to me. I’ve wanted to be doing anything else but sitting here, writing (and somehow I ended up distracting myself with the black hole that is youtube conspiracy videos (today I’m all about #keepingitreal!)).
Yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well (I think a die-off reaction). The weekend I spent in bed (felt like toxicity, not sure what caused it).
I have ‘bad’ days still. They are few and far between now (yay!), but I still have them. My pain threshold is a lot lower than it used to be!
No, I don’t have it all figured out and I don’t pretend to (psst: this is real life, NO one does!). I am here, in the trenches with you, figuring this out as I go and making mistakes along the way.
So it’s time for me to tell you the story of how this year started for me. I made some really big mistakes, and my health took a few giant steps backward.
I love to keep it real with you, although sometimes this is better done in hindsight, so I can actually learn the lessons from and then show you what NOT to do! I’m really good at that haha.
Today, I feel like it’s time to write it all out, part therapy session for me, part learning from a real healing journey for you.
You may have even noticed that I disappeared for awhile back in Jan/Feb (or maybe not lol).
The story actually starts on Christmas Eve, when my ex moved out of the house. We’d been together over 9 years, so it was a bit of shock but I was doing well.
Everything was good, my health was the best it’s ever been, I was feeling really good, my stomach was good, my energy was good, I was feeling strong and building my workouts up, I had lost 15 kg and felt amazing, and I was really excited about this new chapter in my life.
Christmas day I had a giant smile on my face as I chatted with family about this new beginning, about what my plans for the future were.
I decided to look for a job. Working at home was fun, but it was also lonely, especially with not living with my ex anymore. After being chronically ill for years, and doing freelance design work at home for years, I decided it was time I got back out into ‘real life’. I thought this new chapter would be a really good time for a fresh start, and to meet a new social circle.
It took me less than a week to get a job as a practice manager at a wellness center – sounds pretty ideal, right? But from the moment I got it, something felt really ‘off’.
I felt like the whole thing was all about money, numbers and marketing for them, over people and helping.
I felt morally and ethically not aligned to their business and what I was doing.
The hours were all over the place and not 9 – 5 so routines were out the window.
And I soon found out a full-time week to them meant working up to 46 hours a week, including one or two days a week that went from 6am to 8/9pm with a 2 hour break in the middle.
I was really worried about my health. I thought since I’d only just got on top of things, that it really wasn’t a good idea to push myself that much, that I needed to give myself more time.
But of course I didn’t listen to myself. I listened to other people. They told me I’d be fine, that I’d been doing so well lately, that this is just what ‘normal’ people have to do. And I so desperately wanted to be normal.
I was sick of being that sick girl.
I was sick of feeling like I was using my illness as an excuse and for a way to make myself special (even though, deep down, I really don’t think I did that).
I didn’t want to quit another thing in my life. I wanted to prove that I could see something through and NOT use my health as an excuse. (I have this tendency to quit or run away when things get a little hard or I just don’t want to do it – I wanted to show myself and everyone that I could stick something out).
I just wanted to feel normal.
And with my health going well, I’d felt the most normal I had in a long long time.
So I stuck with it. Pushing through 46 hour weeks, pushing through 12 – 13 hour days. Pushing, pushing, pushing.
In my off time, I would fill it up with other things to do – workshops, friends, family etc. Every spare second was filled during that first month.
I couldn’t stop myself. I got into this energy of just.keep.going. And I couldn’t stop. If I stopped, I knew I would fall apart.
I think I was distracting myself as well. I knew if I stopped, I would really notice that my ex wasn’t around anymore and the adjustment to life on my own would be harder. And it was. On weekends and at night, it was so noticeable.
I felt so alone. I’d never been alone – we had been together since I was 16. It was so quiet and empty. So I filled my life with as many things and people as possible so I didn’t have to deal with it. (See? Shining example of what NOT to do!)
My routine had got so out of whack, I wasn’t doing the basic things I needed to do to stay well. It’s not like I was eating bad and being unhealthy, I just wasn’t taking care of myself properly and wasn’t doing my healing routines anymore.
I couldn’t cook myself proper meals, I was barely eating (like sometimes I’d eat some fruit at 6pm and thats it!), didn’t have any time to do bone broth or juices, exercise was the last thing on my mind, I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t meditating. I was still trying to do my juicing, but I’d have to take it with me and it would sit in the fridge for hours.
All the things that were important for me to feel good, and my continued healing, went out the window. I couldn’t make them a priority anymore.
As the weeks kept going, I couldn’t fake it any longer, my energy was fading. I got glutened not once, but twice and it took me down like a bullet.
I remember, one Sunday I was at a family dinner at my brothers house. I went outside onto the patio, and I stepped on some beer. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, until about 30 minutes later when I was in excrucitating pain, my stomach about to explode. I’d been glutened. From beer. That someone had spilt. That I stepped on with bare feet. #lucky
The next day I had to start work at 6am and was supposed to finish at 1pm, I made myself go, just to prove that I could be normal, that celiac wasn’t going to rule my life. The boss kept me there until past 4pm with no real good reason. And I was just wrecked after that.
But I felt completely stuck – because I’d committed to this job, and the people working there were awesome so I felt bad for letting them down. I hate letting people down, I’m a crazy people pleaser.
I kept pushing for another few weeks, until eventually my body just gave way. You know those marathon runners whose legs just start to betray them and stop working? My body did that.
I lasted there I think about 5 – 6 weeks until my body wouldn’t go anymore and I had no choice but to quit.
I ended up with a nasty cold for a week and my body pretty much in shambles. I could feel that my adrenals were SHOT, my thyroid was struggling, and I was exhausted and fatigued beyond belief.
I had self sabotaged all the progress I’d made in just a couple of weeks, just to prove a point. To who? For what reason? It all seems totally silly to me now.
I had totally disconnected from myself, and my intuition, which was telling me to get out of this horrible situation.
Now, almost 3 months later, I feel like I’m really starting to recover.
I learnt a lot from this experience, but I still feel like a bit of a dickhead and wish it didn’t happen!
But that’s life. We learn and we grow. We make crazy mistakes that we wish we didn’t. Ah well. Pick yourself up and try again.
And at least the good thing is I know what to do to heal, I know what to do to recover, and I know now my health is my absolute #1 priority above anything else. I will never, ever, let it fall down my priority list again.
As I keep having to learn: without our health, we have NOTHING.
Sometimes we need to get sucked back down to really learn the lessons we need to. Sometimes in our journeys we take a few steps back along the way. It’s okay!
If you’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’, if you’ve let health slip down your priority list, if you are where I was a few months ago and struggling with doing the right thing for yourself when your getting stupid advice from other people;
You can ALWAYS pick yourself up again. You can ALWAYS get back on track again. You can ALWAYS turn things around.
Every day is a new chance to start fresh, to make a new beginning. To say that from this day forward, things will be DIFFERENT!
The things we value the most, that we’re the most committed to, that we decide on, that we connect with and focus on every day, those are the things we achieve.
Health has to be our #1, above all.
We are not ALIVE if we’re not healthy – in every sense of those words.
Everyday I wake up, and I reconnect to my top 3 values – health, truth, freedom. I commit to making my health my #1. I decide that I am going to get to amazing, 100% health and vibrancy NO MATTER WHAT. I focus on that everyday.
It’s scary for me to share all of this with you. I almost didn’t want to. It’s hard to be this vulnerable and this transparent. I don’t want you think I’m stupid for making these mistakes, or that I suck for getting caught up in my emotions and life and letting my health go to crap.
But truth being my #2 value, I think we learn best when people are raw and real, and totally open and transparent. That’s what I love, that’s what I try to do, and that’s why it’s important that I share all of the ups and the downs with you.
The lessons to learn here:
Don’t listen to other peoples well meaning advice. Ever. Listen to yourself, no matter what it LOOKS LIKE to other people, or what they think. (aka I should have quit straight away when the job felt wrong to me and I didn’t think my health could hold up).
Don’t push yourself past your limits. (aka I knew I was pushing myself and I knew I shouldn’t have pushed)
Let you’re body heal 110% before you go crazy. (I was so excited to feel well after 9 years of not, and so keen to get back out in the world after 4+ years of being at home sick, that I raced ahead at the first signs of health, and didn’t let my body DEEPLY heal 110%)
Shae + real work = don’t work. Haha. I need my freedom. I need to have my health at #1 on my priority list. I need to be doing something that I feel morally, ethically and truth-ily aligned with.
I love what I do here. I love connecting with you. I love writing to you and talking to you about all of this health stuff. I love health coaching. I love researching and learning about new health stuff. I LOVE THIS! And I know now this is what I need to be doing. The stuff I can share is life-changing (can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on next week! I hope you’re ready to seriously change you’re health.).