This article is the first in a series where I'm pushing way beyond my comfort zone. I'm going beyond my worry and discomfort, putting myself out, sharing the life challenges I've experienced, and what is helping me overcome them. I hope that sharing my experience will help you in your quest to achieve joy and abundance!
Whether we realize it or not, we are all here to experience love, abundance, connection and a sense of purpose. I don’t expect to be happy-happy-joy-joy in every moment, but I do expect to have an underlying sense of peace and contentment. Most of the time I now have that sense, but not always.
Illness has been a huge part of my life, and it’s taught me a lot. From the time I was a teenager, a mysterious, complex, and hard to diagnose set of symptoms including exhaustion, burning brain fog and body bloat, anxiety and depression dogged me. I had food sensitivity reactions to everything from chewing gum to chocolate. My inability to resolve these challenges through the medical system set me on my spiritual path. Some of you who have known me for a long time have read what I’ve written about this before. I was seeking answers for myself and I ended up being able to help others find their answers.
I’ve longed to be completely healthy. Optimistic by nature, I’ve celebrated improvements, hoping I’d found the answer. I must admit, some of my belief that I’d found the answer came only from my head. Much as I yearned to, I hadn’t healed to the core. Still, a spark of light shone within and kept drawing me forward, promising me things would get better.
After the breakup of a long, toxic relationship I set a clear intention for love. I made a list of the qualities I wanted in a man and in a relationship. Then I started putting myself out there. Three years ago I married the man of my dreams. He met every quality on the list.
Shortly after we were wed, my higher-self seemed to have decided that since I was finally in a healthy, loving relationship, it was time to get to the bottom of the health situation. Marrying my ideal man brought great joy, but it didn’t fix everything. Pervasive, desolate thoughts washed over me regularly, often waking me at 3 a.m. “I have nothing and no one. No friends, no family. I’m headed for disaster.” I felt utterly alone and terrified. This thought pattern was very life like and convincing. It took me out of the present moment. It unwound whatever progress I made personally and professionally. I couldn’t recognize opportunities and openings. Instead, my mind insisted on nothingness. Many days it felt like I was starting from square one.
Yet this depression wasn’t completely debilitating. I’d had worse bouts. I never had full on panic attacks. I could still function. Low grade anxiety and depression had been with me for so long I had no other reference point. I didn’t recognize these feelings and thought patterns for what they were. I just knew that something kept holding me back.
I spent an extremely intense period working extra hard to connect with my body, heal family wounds and deepen my connection with Spirit, as well as seek medical help. My progesterone was found to be low. I suspect it’s been off since puberty, when the symptoms started. My hypothyroidism and deficiency in the neurotransmitter GABA are related to low progesterone. Low progesterone and GABA deficiency, along with a dysfunctional, stressful upbringing, exacerbated my genetic predisposition toward depression and anxiety.
GABA deficiency can affect the entire body. In addition to depression and anxiety it can cause pain, tightness, and trouble sleeping. Since I was in my late twenties I’ve had night sweats and woke up at 3 a.m. GABA also affects immune function. In my case the imbalance contributed to the onset of a significant Epstein-Barr infection. Epstein-Barr can cause chronic fatigue myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).
The metal implants that were placed in my feet after surgery, three years ago, resulted in nickel toxicity. Somehow I also picked up a big load of lead. My copper IUD didn’t help matters.
The metal was the last straw for my overloaded body.
All these factors contributed to my fatigue, fog, bloating, inflammation, anxiety, depression and allergies. It was such a crazy, complex, intertwined ball of symptoms. I was embarrassed to talk about it, like I was flawed. Having neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances at the root made it feel crazy.
My mind told me I was supposed to have it together all the time. Yet as a healer, even when I’ve been struggling, I’ve been able to put myself aside and be fully present for others. My challenges have actually brought me closer to Spirit and given me more empathy for others.
It’s important to talk about challenges. In doing so, we dispel the darkness by bringing it to the light. Having difficulties is not a moral failing. Challenges don’t prevent us from receiving guidance from Spirit.
There’s a good chance I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the mystery. My head is clearer, I feel present in my body instead of spacey and foggy, my energy level is improving and I’m sleeping better. I feel grateful, connected and optimistic. Even as one who is very closely connected to Spirit, it’s still difficult for me to talk about my own challenges. But facing my challenges, and sharing them, has helped to bring me to the other side.