Once a month on the site, I will answer one of your questions in detail pertaining to your health journey. And yes, we will dive into a bit of my own in order to shed some perspective you are all desiring. While I have put this chapter of my own behind me, the number of emails weekly has gotten overwhelming. And it is glaringly obvious that hundreds of you are looking for hope - medical protocol strategies - answers that don't seem to be coming - perspective. And you are coming to me for it. I am just really humbled & honored to help you.
I have finished reading all of your emails. Your stories are heartbreaking - motivating - inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing so openly with me. And a heartfelt thank you for entrusting me with such personal information.
So, there will eventually be a tab on the site called 'Recovery Room' and you can head there to see if any of what I have shared resonates with you. Please note that my only medical background is in medical sales (aka no medical background). My experience essentially lye's in my own personal climb out of illness, treating with the best of the best in both holistic and western medicine & persevering through until I healed.
Let's get started. I needed to choose one person to answer. And the person I chose is a young woman named Yides (cool name). Yides, this one is for you!
Yides & I exchanged several emails. She contacted me after reading several of my health related articles across various publications. To share a slice of Yides situation so you all best understand my response: Yides is dealing w/ multiple chronic illnesses and in the process of healing, she has grown incredibly hard on herself. And being surrounded by successful friends rising through the ranks of their careers, she is almost "embarrassed to be ill". She bills herself a 'healing junkie' and seems to have a physician team that is costly but helpful. Yides question is, 'How can I learn to not be so hard on myself'?
Hi Yides (smile)! I told you that my first blog post of the year would be for you and I mean that. Hmmm...so much to share....thank you for asking my perspective. I kind of wish I could respond in a vlog style (video blog) so you can see the infliction & tone in my voice. Because I found myself doing a vertical nod when reading your emails. In other words, 'I get it' so my words below coming from a place of understanding and well, love. I can certainly say that I have stood where you stand. And we need to get you standing on new ground. Let's try.
First some inner thoughts via my own journey:
When I got sick, I was striped from my 'title' via my job as an Immunology Specialist, a reputable 14 year career with a company highly admired by most in the medical industry, all of my savings that took me over 15 years to accumulate, my hobbies of travel & athletics, etc. So basically, I (like you) was left with 'Who am I' now that I am stripped bare? And while it's the most challenging journey I have ever been faced with (still is), there is no bigger lesson of faith - endurance - stamina - perseverance - and character....none.
People are vastly unaware of how reliant they are on 'career title', 'salary', 'lifestyle', 'capabilities'. Who are any of us when the titles, materialism, hobbies, earnings......are wiped away? Think of how reliant women are of 'I am 38 and not married - I have got to be married - this is soooo embarrassing'. All of these mental 'ideals' are the societal norm and they now bore me. But who are you when NONE of that matters and ALL of it (all of it) has been washed away in a health crisis? Who? It's an impactful question that I pray none of you reading ever have to answer beyond metaphorically. And frankly, no one could answer unless they have gone through the experience. So, focus on character Yides and not worldly pursuits. It's a great place to start and you will be all the better equip to further heal.
I used to want to throw a softball at anyone who would get all philosophical while I was suffering severely. It didn't rest easy on my mind. I was angry, heartbroken, desperate & pleading with all my might for help from God - daily for two years. And I - like you - was so ridiculously hard on myself. I gave myself a verbal beat down from every direction I could. Yides, I hope you gather that being hard on yourself is not flattering or healthy (0: I was stuck with an illness that people couldn't 'see', having to repeatedly explain & often defend my new normal...while I suffered terribly. I felt trapped in a body I hated. And then Yides, God began to work through me and in me every single day (quickly too). He began refining my perspective, lifting the veil, shining the light, giving me direction and providing me with the 'right' support via friends, physicians and family. The redemption story started when I actually let Him.
My advice to you is rather simple per your question. Yides, you need to love yourself like He loves you. Do you know what that type of self love will then look like? Before I share, let me tell you bluntly (you asked), you are clearly not loving yourself and in the process of kicking your own ass, you have trampled all over your confidence. Because when you really truly adore yourself like He does? You are going to start to rise UP in confidence and believe in yourself. You wouldn't treat your child the way that you are talking to yourself, would you? Nope.
The foundation you are standing on is NOT about titles - comparisons of careers - comparisons of salaries - comparisons of what 'she can do but I cannot do'. Are you ready to hear the foundation of which you DO stand on whether you realize it or not?
You stand on the foundation of Jesus Christ...you do. And if your faith is not strengthened yet by what you have made it through, you & I can skip this blog, jump on the phone together and I will convince you further however long it takes b/c you are worth it Yides. You stand strong in that you are loved beyond what you can ever possibly even fathom. Try to fathom that kind of love - let it seep through you - and then start feeling it. My confidence level sky rocketed once I got through where you are. So have faith you are in a phase my friend - one that will be far behind you as soon as you make the decision to eave it there. Revel in your endurance to achieve wellness & healing.
Yides, most of your friends (guessing) would not make it a week in your shoes. So, the first thing you can do that will help YOU is lose any ounce of embarrassment. Just lose it. Grab a hold of confidence within you because it is there and begin to handle your day to day with an inner knowing that you are walking through a battle that you were chosen for whether you like that fact or not. And you can handle it. You can -you will - you are. And you can fully heal whether the doctors said you will or not. Put your business hat on and look at what healing modalities you are spending your money on and what doctors. Sometimes in the healing process, we get so caught up in what we are doing (supplements, physician appointments) that we don't stop to ask the MOST important question which is THIS: Has my functionality increased? Yides, THAT is the most important answer to a question you didn't even ask...haha. So, another blog post - maybe next month. The body's own healing mechanism given an alkalizing environment & lifestyle has proven again and again clinically that it CAN and DESIRES to heal itself.
So right now, you are working against your body and with chronic illness, you have to work as a team. Think of your words - mind - body - all as one team - one family unit. And approach it as such. You respect every part of the team/family unit. And for the team to succeed, you provide encouragement, nurturing, tools to healing, kindness, love and a specific game plan so the entire team knows the direction to go. Being cruel to your body (b/c that is what you are doing) by being cruel to yourself is one in the same. And you know where it has gotten you, right? Nowhere good.
An analogy that a doctor at Mayo Clinic used with me that I really resonated was this: Kelly, if the love of your life had a broken back and he couldn't stand, would you stand over him yelling 'Get up - you suck - I cannot believe this is happening - come on - MOVE - go jogging with me - what is wrong with you'. I would certainly hope not. Yides, you are doing a deep dive into further illness with your approach right now of 'being hard on yourself'.
You need to be kind to yourself and I don't know how to teach self love. But God does. So, ask Him how. And if you are not a Christian or you do not believe in God, gosh....you are missing out. And I say that with all of the gentleness in the world. I have had so many people say 'keep your faith to yourself' through my journey. I have been ridiculed to my face for my faith. And I have been laughed at but I quietly smile because I am standing on His foundation - and I'd rather be standing in my shoes then anyone else. It's impossible to share any aspect of my own healing without mentioning The Healer.
I hope this answers your question Yides. I hope something I wrote provides you with hope to ignite your own healing. I believe you can do this! You have the tools and a game plan - now the rest needs to come from you. And I would be doing you a disservice if I told you that you can do it alone - without Him - you can't. None of us can.
Hugs & tons of love pouring into you today....from this girl in Chicago!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.