“Actually that medicine isn’t meant to work long-term. Your body figures out to how to get around the medicine and it is longer effective.”
Wait…what? I switched the phone to my other ear because clearly my right ear wasn’t working.
“Come again? I must have misheard you because I thought you said the medicine no longer worked which is complete insanity because I can’t survive another month, week, day or hour of this shit!”
Okay, I didn’t really say that but it was what I was thinking. The previous two months had been a waste because I was back to where I was prior to taking the medicine that was supposed to be helping me but really it mean it solved absolutely nothing. It was in that exact moment that I knew my health was going to be up to me because modern medicine had failed me miserably. That moment, that decision, changed the trajectory of my life. And no, I’m not being dramatic. I went from feeling helpless to taking charge of my life in a matter of seconds. Actually, it took me years to get to be able to make that decision but the decision itself was done in a blink.
I dove headlong into research to find what the possible root causes were behind my symptoms. As I dug, I began to find some consistent information that told me my nutrition was off. I made some changes and finally found the relief I had been looking for all along.
What started out as the typical American teenager diet became my downfall in adulthood. As I transitioned from teenager to adult and added more alcohol, poor sleep, and all the other things that come with a stressful job and starting a family, things began to show up like acne, brain fog, chronic sinus infections, headaches, and gastric ailments galore. With that came some horrible side effects like misery, low self-esteem, frustration, and hopelessness.
It wasn’t until I after had my third child as I was speaking to the nurse that I hit my breaking point. And I’m so very grateful for that moment. Before any real change could happen for me, I had to say, “No more!” and it was in that one tiny yet very powerful moment that changed my health. It all came down to my decision to change.
I had finally decided to care for myself and do whatever I needed to do to get to the bottom of my health issues. I refused to no longer accept that this was going to be my life. It’s amazing how long we allow ourselves to suffer before we give ourselves the love and attention we each deserve. We give to everyone else and often put our own needs and desires on hold, sometimes indefinitely. It’s also easy to hide behind the status quo, dated (and biased) research, and all the excuses in the world.
I reflected on that time of my life recently, because I had a reminder of how hard big that decision can feel for some people. A few months ago, I had a friend ask me to share some information about the health benefits of essential oils and she ended up ordering a few. When I tried to arrange a time to explain how to use her oils and set up a game plan, I got nothing but crickets. After a few more tries (which ended up being months later), I finally just asked her if I had done something wrong, in my teasing sort of way. She replied that she was embarrassed to tell me that she hadn’t used her oils yet. While I was relieved to know I had not done anything to make her mad, I was sad to hear that she hadn’t used her oils yet. It became clearer when she had added that she wasn’t quite ready to get into “that lifestyle” just yet. I realized that for her just making the simple decision to use essential oils felt monumental.
She had equated using essential oils to mean that she had to shift her whole lifestyle. A common misconception about adopting a healthier lifestyle is that we have to go all in. While I did go a little radical with my diet when I learned a lot of my health issues were because of poor nutrition, I didn’t shift everything right away. Getting to where I am now was a gradual process. The most important thing was that I just started. It took me time (10+ years!) and consistency along with the desire to make permanent changes to get where I am. I wanted to become healthier and happier more than I wanted to be sick and tired.
We can choose to take baby steps or radical jumps when we decide to explore a healthier lifestyle. The important thing to recognize is that by taking a step forward, any step, is progress. It doesn’t matter how big or small that step is.
As much as I would love to help as many people as I can, there is nothing I can do until they decide to help themselves. What I can do, whether it is here on my blog, Twitter, my Facebook page, or Instagram, or through face to face conversations is to help inspire others to make that decision. Oh my gawd, I want to help erase the shame, guilt, frustration, low self-esteem, depression, denial, and even anger that comes from chronic health issues so bad! I was there and I know how bad that sucks! I wish I could invent a magic change button to turn off those feelings but I know the only way to make those feelings go away has to come from within, to choose to stop doing what isn’t working for us. The magic happens once we make that decision.
It’s okay to start small but the important thing is to just start.
I’d love to know:
-What are your roadblocks to change what’s not working for you?
-What keeps you from saying yes to a better quality of life?