For the first time I'm actually sitting here writing this blog and don't feel like I need to curl up in a snug little ball and wither away... It may sound dramatic, but those words don't really even come close to describing what chronic fatigue actually feels - sorry, 'felt' - like.
Day after day of feeling like I couldn't hold the weight of my own head - like lying on the floor was the best I could do - like my muscles were melting away and completely dead through to the inner depths of my bones. Endless hours wishing that someone would just flick a switch and give me myself back. Not once did I actually feel truly awake. Driving was a challenge as was holding a normal conversation with someone. You know that sunken hungover feeling you might get after a huge night on the town? The kind where you can do nothing else except just crawl into bed and wait for it to pass? I had that feeling for about 3yrs. It was horrible. I had never felt so alone, lost and powerless.
So how did I go from that to this? I thought I'd jot down my journey very briefly - maybe someone out there can relate. I remember reading a blog entry another woman had written about her journey with CFS when I could barely keep my eyes open and it helped me get through that day. It was a great gift to feel understood - even if only via this weird and wonderful web of computer-connectedness;)
I won't go into everything as it would take a whole book and I'm not quite up to THAT, haha... Basically, after years of living hard in more ways than one, my body went 'kerplunk'. My 'self' had had enough and was telling me to shed all those toxic layers that I had worn for too long. I was presented with no other option. When your body just doesn't work - that's a pretty big sign. It was time to wake up!
The toxic food and substances, the toxic thinking, behaviours, relationships and attitudes all had to go. I had to be kind to myself - truly kind and not just resigned to the situation. I went from saying "just F*&@!ing DO it!" to "oh well, whatever", until I finally realised that what I needed to say to myself was "I love you". And mean it! Instead of fear I tried blind courage - I tried believing I could do life when all the evidence was to the contrary. I felt I had no choice - but at least it was a start.
During my pregnancy I almost absent mindedly stacked on over 30kg. There were complications during the pregnancy which meant I was stuck in bed or in a sedentary position for months with insatiable cravings for EVERYTHING. It took me well over a year after Aria's birth to get to a place where I could walk properly again - so on the excercise side of things I was the most unfit I'd ever been (by a long shot) and I felt 20yrs older than what I was. I knew that tackling the weight would help with the fatigue so I started to look into my options.
Weighed down and in pain.
Mainstream Doctors were at a loss as to what they could do for me so I was required to broaden my horizons and look elsewhere. I began to learn about food and what is actually IN most of this so called 'food' - what it really does to a person and just how toxic it all is! I was absolutely flabbergasted! At first, the more I read, the more I wish I hadn't! Once you begin on a journey towards health - truly and honestly begin - there is no going back! After discovering all the chemicals, additives, weird and wonderful preparation methods and plain old deceit attached to most supermarket foods I found myself looking fresh fruit and vegies square in the face and introducing myself. We were to become best buddies.
My interest in raw food and holistic health had been born. I read all I could manage and drank in each new fascinating fact with eagerness. After experimenting with many different food plans (and it is an ever evolving journey - one that I'm still on), I found what works for me. I firmly believe that we are all unique and that what works for me may not even come close for someone else - but for now I have settled on a raw vegan lifestyle. I'm not out to prove anything, so I'm not thoroughly, religiously strict. I try to stay real about it and have no hard and fast rules that must never be broken. I have tried that in the past and it just didn't feel right or make much sense to me. It was stifling and defeated the purpose which was to feel free and able to experience all that life has to offer. I must say though, that the more I learn about health, the less I want to go even remotely close to anything that falls outside of the category of fresh/organic fruits and vegies. It is a very natural process for me.
Other than the 'food' thing I addressed the whole exercise issue by taking up yoga again at my own pace. I wasn't able to do a lot at the beginning, but after a while I could feel myself freeing up and it really has done wonders. I forced myself through the brain fog into at least one walk each day where I picked up the pace to what I could manage. I needed to shift some of that plaque in my body and get the energy flowing. Something that helped at the beginning was what I call the 'wobbly world' gym. A friend of mine organised for me to have a few sessions at a gym where there are lots of machines that wobble you around and get those juices flowing. Mostly everyone else there was over 60 and loving it:) The machines basically do the exercise for you. I only needed 2 sessions before I felt I'd had the kick start I needed. The following week I was out RUNNING! Not far or fast (just up the road) - and it felt damn weird, but I was running! I am also a huge fan of many detoxifying practices such as jumping on a mini trampline to get the lymphatic system going, regular dry skin brushing, 'oil pulling' (there's heaps about this on line if you do a google search) as well as getting into the ocean as much as possible to re-mineralise (even if it's just my feet!). Smudging, using crystals, essential oils, getting out in the sun and drinking lots of the purest water I can get my hands on has helped immensely too.
I started to meditate more regularly and did a lot of soul searching. As those toxic layers were being discarded from my life one by one I was able to see again where my passions lie. I began getting creative again in new ways - crafting, I taught myself to knit (of all things!) and to use a sewing machine. I began playing music again and singing. I permanently switched off the T.V and refused to take in any form of 'the news' and have never regretted it. I find the news far too negative and one sided. It is not love centred at all - I began to ask myself "why on earth do I need to know this stuff! Sure, this is all terrible and I can hardly swallow while listening - but do I actually NEED to know this?" I have found that any item of news that I need to know I always find out about anyway.
Bioresonance therapy is another thing that has helped me greatly. This is a wonderfully supportive method to help get over any ailment and I will be eternally grateful to my lovely practitioner. This therapy has particularly helped addresss the viral side of chronic fatigue - the glandular fever, M.E and other mosquito born viruses. We also did lots of work on areas such as chakra clearing, emotional balancing, gluten/dairy and sugar issues, digestion, colon cleansing and getting rid of heavy metals (to name but a few).
To cut a long story short there are many, many, many different things I have tried and so much that I have learnt along the way. Life has become a lot clearer and I have been able to see what is good for me and what I need to move on from. I have moved away from unhealthy food, medicines, toxins, relationships, and self talk to a much brighter and fuller experience. It's all about love! Loving yourself. Putting in the effort when you have no energy to do anything of the sort. Taking your life seriously enough to work hard at giving yourself what you honestly need. When I was at my worst, barely able to open my eyes, the last thing I felt like doing was making a green smoothie, going for a walk, connecting to source/love/spirit and researching my options while talking nicely to myself the whole time. Heck, I could barely even light a candle and put on some essential oils. When I started out it was all too hard - but it was worth every bit of effort.
Loving my new dreadies too - a further expression of my spirit:)
I am now 25kg lighter, feeling free and excited about the future. I've made some hard decisions and have had to confront many fears - some of which were rooted in years long passed - and face up to the truth of my situation. I needed to feel safe and loved right at the very centre of my being and I think being so debilitated is what it took for me to wake up enough to finally get there. Overcoming chronic fatigue has become an amazing gift and a large part of my life journey. I am now able to be fully present for my beautiful little girl and am functioning with joy while leading a full and vibrant life. I have started teaching piano and flute again part time and am doing things I never though possible. The light is back. While I wouldn't say I'm all the way there yet, I'm well on my way and have turned the biggest corner of all - I am empowered and not a victim - I am based on love and not fear.
If you have read this far (congratulations, haha...) thankyou! Thankyou, for reading through this pretty jumbled account of what has been a huge transition for me. This post may appear to be quite long winded but believe me when I say it is just the absolute tip of the ice berg!
To the ever evolving journey... to life!