This is the first time in a very long time I have had enough headspace to do anything other work, what is absolutely urgent, putting my kids to bed or veg in front of the TV at night. Working full time, trying to be an active and attached parent, and dealing with a number of illnesses had really taken a toll on my physical and mental health. Tonight after I put the kids to bed, I did my 8-brocade in the house and then went outside, where the weather was amazing. I did my Gentle Kung Fu routine (well, the first half, as that’s all I’ve learned so far!) and saw people taking pictures of Jupiter. So after completing my exercise, I grabbed my camera to capture Jupiter and the Full Moon! This is such a great place to be after the past few months. This is a huge victory for me…
In the fall, my normally perfect blood pressure had shot through the roof, I was waking up in the middle of the night from panic attacks and I could not control my emotions, which flipped flopped between range and helplessness. The condition I had was causing so much pain that was no longer being contained by the prescription painkillers… I was not well, I could feel it, but only ever did things that made it worse. I was trying all the time to think about exercise or eating healthier… but I had zero willpower and very little headspace to make the right things happen. I was going in a downward spiral. Desperate, I knew I had to make changes, so I went vegetarian, I started waking up earlier to do meditation, I joined an inspirational coaching group on Facebook, I started taking Qigong. For the first month, I felt great… I was making changes and I was feeling more zen about things.
Then… as things started to slide… the cracks in my mental health started to show. At first, it was a bit subtle and was mostly just negative self-talk that emphasized the loserness of everything I did, thought, tried, and failed. Every situation, any thing at all turned into a self-bashing session that left me struggling to breathe. I second guessed every single thing I did… then it got worse. My work suffered, my confidence was shattered… I no longer liked people at all. I could not function anymore as a mother, wife, colleague. My whole body and brain shut down. Even on days when I wasn’t struggling with pain, I no longer could done what needed to get done.
To have it happen once is one thing (3 years ago)… I thought that I had fixed things by changing jobs, but what I now realize is that I did not deal with the many fundamental issues that continued to plague me and was slowly destroying my health.
Health, I have come to discover, is a very complex and yet simple thing. It’s all inter-related, there are so many things going on and so many things influence so many others. Over the past month and a half, I have been taking a shotgun approach to figuring how to fix my problems. I’ve been reading books, searching forums, seeking various types of health providers, trying out stuff from the health food stores… and it all boils down to: Eat, Move, Sleep, Think, Feel, Believe, Do.
Eat to provide nutrition. Anything else starves the body and causes it to crave bad stuff. Humans have to move in order to maintain physical and mental health, sitting is the big evil thing now. That and sugar. Sleep enough or the body cannot rest and heal. Think in a way that is constructive. Feel good… feel love… feel positive… Believe in what can be and then do it. Just do it. (Not withstanding that some of what we deal with are genetic inclinations… so, we may have to work harder to overcome them…)
This most recent part of my journey has been TOUGH, but it’s brought me so many amazing things:
- I’ve found songs again! The theme songs for me right now are: Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha feat. Florida Georgia Line and Like I’m Going to Love You by Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend.
- I’ve rekindled unconditional love for my kids… I am very committed to ensuring I have headspace to be with them and enjoy them. They are amazing human beings.
- I’ve found people who are wise to hang out with! My amazing Qigong/Taichi Shifu trains at the park 365 days of the year with a number of his amazing/wise students. And what I’m learning from them is life changing.
- There are healthcare practitioners who are patient-centred and holistic! While many have been great, I have to say Naturopathy I think is the way to go…
- There have been amazing friends who have reached out to support me in a way that I never felt like I deserved, each person reminding me about and reconnecting me with parts of me I had neglected.
- Old, old friends from long time past who are also going through their own challenges, who have reminded me of who I once was and can be again.
- My amazing parents and mother-in-law who work so hard to take good care of themselves and always want to help us.
- My sisters who are just plain amazing people.
- The organization where I work is amazing, given me the opportunity and time to focus on my health and heal.
- My husband who is my partner, best friend, cheerleader and backup to everything. So creative, honest, funny, solid, always accepting me for who I am, what I do, and will to do whatever it takes.
So grateful! Now the next part of this journey is going to be figuring out how to fit in all the things I need to do to improve and maintain my health in a sustainable way (I will need to priority and cull!). This is not a choice, it is the way. Health is way too important. It’s right up there as #1 priority along with Family.
Wishing you peace and health, happiness and love.