I’d been struggling with some health issues over the past few years that involve a plethora of symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue and digestive issues, major sleep issues (to the point where for a few weeks straight I couldn’t recall one night that I actually fell fully asleep. It was such a weird and terrible thing to experience), and the most significant of them all, which was a diagnosis I received almost 3 years ago of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The symptoms for this vary for each person, but mine mainly included insulin resistance, no menstruation or ovulation and, as a result, infertility. Doctors told me there was no way to cure PCOS but that the symptoms were treatable with diet and exercise, as well as taking birth control to manage my dismantled hormones and basically give me a fake period each month, as I was not able to have one on my own. The minute they told me they’d treat my hormonal symptoms with a hormone-faking pill (which is exactly what it is- it fakes hormones in your body to trick it into thinking it’s already pregnant so you won’t ovulate) was the moment I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands.
These doctors mean well, but they only know what they’re taught, and it was becoming clear to me after years of seeing doctors and specialists trying and failing to figure out what was wrong with me, and receive countless side-effect-ridden prescriptions blindly written to me to mask the symptoms I was experiencing rather than treating the core of the cause, that some things were being lost in translation in their teachings. And I was not going to continue experiencing the byproduct of that.
I chose to try healing myself naturally. The way that I saw it, something caused this… our bodies do not just decide to give up on us. I don’t believe that. Something happens, whether we are aware of it or not, to trigger these illnesses and injuries, and I refused to accept the idea that “it just happens, we don’t know why, and we don’t know how to fix it”. If something happened to cause it, something can be done to change it, and I felt deep down in my core that it began with what I was putting into my body. I started by removing any prescription medications, moved on to removing and over the counter medications, and soon began learning what would be the most beneficial and non-beneficial food to our bodies for optimum healing and overall health. Now, I am certainly no doctor and was starting at square one with my learning, but I did have an advantage that no other doctor in the world had on me, and that’s the fact that this body is my body and, therefore, I could learn to listen to it and allow it to guide me in my journey. It definitely wasn’t easy because I still had an array of symptoms that were interfering with my everyday life as I started out and I didn’t have any quick fixes to give me comfort, but what I was going for was actually curing the root of the cause and yielding longterm results rather than band-aiding it to get through the day, so I was prepared for the struggle of figuring that out.
And oh yes, it was a struggle. It honestly felt like I was trapped in my own body a lot of the time because I had so much love for life and desire to explore it, but my physical body just wouldn’t allow me to do that like I wanted to. I almost never had the physical energy and ability to do the things I wanted or see the people I wanted to see, and I actually lost touch with a lot of friends who came to think I just didn’t want to be around them. That obviously wasn’t the case, but I was embarrassed of my health issues at the time, and even more than that, since I didn’t really have any idea what they were exactly or how to address them, I just didn’t think many people would understand. I mean, telling someone that you can’t meet up with them because you just don’t have any energy sounds petty, and telling them that you’re chronically fatigued sounds like you deserve an Oscar for your drama performance. So I usually either fibbed and said I was working on an art project (which I honestly couldn’t have focused on if I’d wanted to most times because I was so fatigued and uncomfortable), or I used the general “I’m not feeling very well tonight” excuse as much as I could until it wore out.
When it was mostly the fatigue and maybe just a little bit of pain and discomfort were hitting me rather than a bombarding of all my symptoms at once, I was able to push through it if I needed to with coffee and/or alcohol. They each helped to numb any of the pain or discomfort of my other symptoms and supplement some energy so I could hide what I was going through for a few hours. But that wasn’t always a dependable outcome and both coffee and alcohol had adverse effects in the long run- they both disrupted my sleep, created imbalance to my hormones, and aggravated my insulin resistance more. Not to mention this very real truth- who wants to have to depend on coffee and/or alcohol just to barely function in life? That’s no way to live, and neither is having to constantly miss out on seeing your friends, or to fear that you can’t commit to a job because there might be many days that you don’t have the ability to perform or even show up. Worse than that, there were many times when I would think to myself that even if I stumbled across a miracle and were able to have children, I wouldn’t be a very good mother because I couldn’t imagine ever truly having the energy to get up and play with them, take care of them, and just truly focus and be there with them throughout their lives. Being that kind of person seemed so far out of reach for me… I couldn’t remember what it was like to function “normally”, and I envied anyone I saw who did.
I clearly was not okay with living this way, for so many reasons. So I worked really hard. I spent a lot of time over the last few years doing my own research about health and nutrition and trying different approaches to healing myself naturally. I began making small changes in my diet as well as with my routine in exercise activity and sleep, which were the two hardest parts to address because they felt the most out of my control- exercise felt like an impossible activity to engage in and sleep didn’t seem to want to be a part of my life. But with consistency and determination, I was able to make changes within my life that began to bring results.At times, my attempts were met with what seemed and felt like failures. But I came to learn that within every failure was a learning experience, and with that, I began to see failures as opportunities and, therefore, ultimately successes. It wasn’t easy in any way, but it has been a heck of rewarding journey and I truly wouldn’t change one bit of it for anything. If I had not experienced these difficulties with my health, I would have never had the motivation to pursue and reach a better life like I have… had I not experienced these struggles, I would never know the vibrance of true health like I do now. I’ve learned so much about diet and nutrition, herbs, exercise, meditation, and about myself, as a huge aspect of healing physically was diving into lots of emotional healing that needed to happen, and I’m grateful for every bit of it.
Throughout my journey I continued learning, continued growing, and after some serious patience, I finally began to see progress… slowly, but surely, I saw progress in everything that doctors either “couldn’t figure out” or deemed to be “incurable”, including and especially my PCOS. I’ve never had so much constant, positive energy, so much mental clarity, or so much inspiration and drive for life, and finally feel like I’m free from my cage, able to be me. It’s so amazing what taking care of yourself can do for not only you, but for the world around you. At this point, I can say with confidence that every single one of my “symptoms” is gone- insulin resistance is long gone, fatigue is a foreign concept to me, my digestion is fabulous, hormones and sleep are rock solid, and I officially had my first menstrual cycle in 4 years a month and a half ago, followed by a swift second a mere 32 days later…!! I seriously can’t even express how happy I am about that. I have always felt in my core that being a mother was a huge part of my purpose here in this life, and while adoption is a welcomed concept for me to consider as an addition to my future family, I’ve also always envisioned experiencing the miracle of carrying my own child. I’ll go into the experience of receiving that diagnosis in another post soon, but to put it briefly, it quite possibly was the absolute hardest, most heart-breaking time of my life. I felt like my truest purpose, and worth as woman, had been swiped from beneath me, and I didn’t know where to go from there. It was a hard time, definitely. But I’m stronger for it, and I’ve triumphed over that negativity and created my own future, and that future includes a beautiful, wonderful, healthy family!
I never knew just how much health I was missing until I reached a level of vibrance that I would have thought to be impossible from my lowest point. While so much of what I’ve learned is tied to health and nutrition, and I’ll be sharing the details of that in posts to come, one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned through this journey is that mindset is everything, and recognizing that our circumstances do not define who we are or where we can go is key. There’s always something we can do and create if we want to badly enough, we just have to make the choice to do it and begin taking the steps toward that goal. Allowing someone to tell us that something is impossible, even if they mean well, is robbing ourselves of the opportunity to experience the opportunities that are truly available to us as well as robbing others of benefiting from our example.I’m grateful for every stumble and fall, but I’m even more grateful for the blessings that pour abundantly from them! I hope we can all see our circumstances as blessings in any light, because that’s exactly what they are. There is always good to be found and strength to be gained. Have a happy day, beautiful souls. More blog posts to follow regarding the specifics of the changes I made in my life, but for now, just work on the mindset and know that it is possible. See you soon, loves! ❤