The trip I took all over the country makes more sense when you hear the whole story. But the version of this story that is easy to tell (Hawaii! Yoga! Snowboarding!) doesn’t give the exact picture of how life really is.
The version that is harder to talk about is the one that involves my newly defined, lifelong quest to find health, despite spending my entire existence believing that I would be sick for the rest of my life.
A Diseased Reality
I don’t have cancer or AIDS or anything omigosh horrible. But I was raised on prescription pharmaceuticals for “incurable” allergies, eczema, thyroid imbalance and athsma. Mmmm, dinner conversation. Or not.
People who knew me in my previous life, the one where I had a clear cut plan to be an engineer, only picked up on these ailments when they were around me for a while. My NEED to find my pills or ointments at some point during the day. My propensity to lotion application on a way-above-normal level. Athsma and sneezing attacks in kitty-filled living rooms. Late night trips to Walgreens.
A large portion of my adolescence and early 20s was spent filling prescriptions, worrying about heathcare costs, and buying infinite useless products from the health section in the rural Michigan shopping mecca, WalMart. I was sick, and that was my life, and I accepted it. For the first 23 years, anyways.
So now that that is out there, we can take a brief travel update to include the health aspects of my journey: Hawaii was all about getting off the pills and changing my diet. Oklahoma was spent eliminating every possible food allergen that could have caused these diseases, and living like a health goddess. Tahoe was about finding peace and happiness in my mind, healing my disease using positive psychology and healing affirmations.
Hawaii was amazing. But there were many times I spent scratching my itchy eczema skin raw and sobbing and calling myself Frankenstein and hating everyone that called me a leper and generally being pitiful. Not stories you generally take home from your trip to paradise. Oklahoma got me focused, but I was incredibly isolated, because all I did was religiously stick to my rice and beans diet, filling journals with detailed notes about my health. Tahoe… when I got to Tahoe and started to look inside myself a little more… that was when everything changed.
Through it all, I found something within myself, an answer to everything.
Love is confusing. There’s Hollywood-love that we watch in movies all the time. And relationship-love between happy couples. And friend-love that make cross-country road trips and crazy stories all the better.
The most important love for me right now, is love of myself. Every aspect of my sickness and disease are better if I love myself. The healthy lifestyle choices, like yoga, and eliminating processed foods, make huge differences, but aren’t enough if I still have a “fuck the world I hate my sickness” attitude. In a larger scope, eating well, and getting in touch with your passions and inner monologue are essentially self-love practices.
I chose 3 One-Year Goals when I finished my Joy Plan at the end of August, and my first one is practicing Self Love every day. Because, seriously, no matter what, if I sit down and meditate for 10 minutes, and I look in the mirror and affirm that I love myself and am totally awesome, and then I make myself food that nourishes my whole body and then practice yoga and do something that makes me feel alive… I’m not sick.
Back to the Quarterlife Crisis
My crisis is defined by my need to find balance between this girl who feels a need to share everything learned about health and healing chronic disease and this girl who is still trying to figure out how to live this health out sustainably, while enjoying life fully. I came home because I had found the answers and needed to find a way to incorporate them into my life. The first thing I did back in Michigan, was get my final thyroid test after having the drug out of my system for 6 months. It was fine. I was free of my ball and chain.
CRISIS MODE – NOW WHAT?!?!?! This is around the time I was to be found miserable at my parents house, trying to figure out what the sweetbejesus I was going to do with my life.
I’m at a very curious tipping point, where I feel like I have found the answer to everything I was looking for in regards to my health, but haven’t a clue how to turn it into my life. I’m confused and mad as hell at doctors and the pharmaceutical industry for putting me through years of unnecessary treatments. I hate the industrialized food industry for creating endless cases of allergies and eczema in children throughout the country. I feel like I’ve stumbled upon some giant conspiracy. (But I hate listening to conspiracy theories and feeling like the world is out to “get us” so I’ll try not to get all “aliens are poisoning us” on you gals.)
So while I let the dust settle from all these crazy revelations and experiences, I practice self-love daily. I curiously revel in the idea of relationship love, but I know, from experience, that until I can be stable in this “I am healthy and I love myself” attitude, inviting another person into my life will only make things more difficult.
Love is more simple and complicated than anything.