Since 2005, during what even my ob/gyn aptly declared a pregnancy from hell, I’ve spent the last 8 ½ years slowly accruing a slew of annoying health symptoms:
- Severe adult-onset seasonal allergies
- Adult onset anaphylaxis allergy to wheat
- Mild to moderate depression
- Low thyroid function
- Low energy & fatigue
- Unexplained weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Being cold all the time
- Itchy, hivey skin
- Muscle pain
- Ear Ringing (tinnitus)
These things were not life threatening (save the two times I arrived at the ER in an ambulance, unconscious, from eating a piece of toast), thus not enough to warrant acute alarm by the army of doctors I’ve seen in since my daughter was born.
Several doctors I’ve seen, in a shoulders-up-I-have-no-idea gesture, had always blamed suggested stress as the culprit. And it made sense: I was stretching myself thin as a business owner, mother, head of household, high school teacher.
You’re stressed. Case closed.
I’d been declared “normal” by my lab numbers more times than I can count, but let me tell you, life did not feel so normal. It was not so much fun. Several years ago, coming across a photo of myself looking incredibly happy with a group of friends on vacation in my early 30s, I recalled that I didn’t remember the last time I had felt such consistent joy.
Don’t get me wrong; I had caught glimpses of it: On a hike with my kiddo, or at the beach together near our cabin on Whidbey Island…..
….And on the yoga mat. Where I feel the hope that loving life again could be a possibility. I hold on to the teachings of yoga as a lifeline. At times, I used (I should say, use, in present tense, too) them to haul myself out of bed and out of my own despondency. In yoga, whether I was teaching or receiving, I felt, if not well, at least I was alive.
Even in the midst of spending the better part of a decade feeling so shitty, yogic teachings were always at the root of what little understanding I did have about our resilience as humans.
I like to think that my experiences have allowed me to learn empathy for other people’s struggles and pain. As a teacher, I’ve found a venue to share what has become my lifeline with anyone who cares to listen. I’ve become more and more transparent with sharing my own struggles, even though I sometimes cringe when I say too much.
Just the other day I was taking a class with Alison when a fellow student mentioned that he knew everything about me. “Boy, you sure tell all,” he joked.
Which stopped me in my tracks, and for a minute, I questioned myself. Am I too much??
Storytelling is my way to authentic teaching. And my hope in sharing my own struggles, is to create a space where others feel it’s OK and safe to feel human; because while yoga speaks to the journey of contentment and non-judgment, just by the nature of examining ourselves, can we feel a helluva lot of discontent and full of judgment.
Disclaimer: Do not attempt to do a fast of any sort without the support of a medical doctor. Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease and claim to be a doctor or dietitian.
This is merely an opinion blog. The information held on this blog is merely the opinion of a laymen individual. The information covered in this blog is open to public domain for discussion and in no way breaches or breaks the boundaries of the law in any state of the the United States of America where I live. I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have any formal medical background. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.