Updated: Jun 26, 2019
This journey of rising higher and uncovering who i really am under the tangled mess of societial pressures, labels, and subconscious beliefs started long before I was consciously aware of it. I believe our bodies are our greatest indicators to whether we are on the right path in life or not. They know who we are, who we came to be, what they like, and what they don't like. They have a built in security system to alarm us when we are in danger, when we are hurt, and when we are not in alignment. One day, my body spoke to me.
It was my Senior year in High School and I caught what seemed like the flu. I would recover only to find myself sick again. I then continued to get sick until I was chronically ill. There was one thing for sure, this wasn't the flu. I became so ill that I no longer was able to process food, my body quickly and rapidly eliminating whatever I seemed to put in it even liquids. I was unable to go to school and spent most days in bed asleep while frequently being in and out of the hospital. They performed test after test after test and put me on medication after medication and nothing seemed to be hopeful. I begin to slip away from my reality on earth, so depleted I didn't even feel cognitively here anymore. It was like Lindsey, my soul, left my body and was watching from the outside in. I felt the most alone I have ever felt in my life and the numbing sensation of life leaving my body one day at a time kept me in a trance. My body dwindled down to 60 pounds at my worst, so dehydrated I had pediatric nurses sticking me from head to toe trying desperately to get an IV in me to rehydrate my body. They exhausted all options with no answers or improvement. I remember vividly the day they whispered outside my hospital door, coming in with plastered fake smiles of their faces. Their words still echo in my head today, "unfortunately, we have done everything we can think of at this point and at the rate and condition of your body we do not foresee you surviving much longer if this continues".
What they did not know, is I was already gone. The body that had been running on autopilot no longer was a viable home for my vibrant, outgoing, showy, dancing soul. It was too toxic. Why. Why me? Then, something happened. After basically being given a death sentence, i shot back into myself. I realized no one could determine my fait but myself, and i would prove just that.
I stopped going to the doctor. I began to try and be up more during the day. I drank amino acid drinks, and i told myself "look body, i'm sorry for all the problems we've had, but we are going to come back from this, you CAN NOT fail me now". I began to slowly recover to a functioning standpoint, I went back to school for the last couple of months, and I started to ease my way back into connection with my body again. I weened off infusion treatments, I weened off amino acid supplements, I weened off all the medications, and I weened back into eating. I wasn't totally healed but I was functional. All I craved was normalcy, but it was all for the wrong reasons.
For the next year or so I spent my time juggling being a first year college student, working 40 hours, working out, and maintaining the social butterfly in me I so greatly missed out on most of the last months of my High School career. I was better, I was functional, but I was not completely healed. I refused to admit I was still sick. I refused to give up my life again. I refused to ask for help. I continued living a "normal" life. I did not want people spreading rumors, noting me as the sick girl, and my life to be put on hold anymore. I just wanted to be a "normal" 17-year-old. I partied, I studied, I worked full-time, I thought I was doing everything "right". In reality, I made my disease my normal. I worked around it, vomiting bile in my regular functional life like it was no big deal.
After about a year, I heard myself, i heard my soul. "Lindsey, you cannot live this way anymore, this is not a life this is a lie". I heard it so clear, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped. I realized, I in fact had been living a lie. This wasn't who I was, this wasn't taking care of myself, this was NOT living.
For the first time, I asked for help. The next week I was scheduled with a team of new physicians at a new hospital. I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Chronic Pancreatitis, an unknown Autoimmune disorder, and my gallbladder was functioning at 0%. I was scheduled for a gallbladder removal, placed on pancreatic enzymes, and told that I would have a very difficult life. I was advised that my life expectancy would be around 30, i'd have massive issues conceiving, and I had a high likelihood of developing diabetes and cancer. I was told gently that I would never be "normal". Pancreatitis is normally a disease caused by extreme drug and/or alcohol consumption and I was advised that drinking, smoking, and doing drugs would only worsen my condition. For someone who had not even reached the age of 21 yet, this was a social death sentence in itself.
I took the pills, I went to the treatments, stopped drinking, stopped partying, stopped working for a period of time, and had to take a break from school. I was crushed. I felt I had no life. I remember distinctly laying on my couch thinking why should I stick around if this is my fait. I became suicidal, I felt victimized, I felt betrayed by my own damn body. When you take away school, when you take away partying, when you take away the job at 19 years old you're left alone, suffocating under your own tears, in the dark. I was depressed, unhappy, hurting beyond belief. I kept asking myself, "why me!?", shouting and crying at the top of my lungs. I harbored an unexplainable hatred for myself in my teen years, and this only intensified with my diagnosis into the perfect storm.
I eventually returned to school, returned to work, and tried to maintain somewhat of a social life while trying not to drink (and failing miserably) over the next years. I was sick of not being invited out, I was sick of feeling alone. I would tell myself i'll go out and just not drink. That turned into one drink, one drink turned into two, then three, then four, then sometimes even more. I did this off and on for years. Every time, I felt a immense sense of guilt and a sense of being "wrong". There was a time when i was laying on my bathroom floor after drinking, my lips were blue, I began to loose color, and my mom came in and revived me. Still, I continued. It felt like I was putting a gun to my own head, and I simply just did not care. It became a vicious form of self sabotage that I indulged in much like those who use self harm. Surface level I started working out a lot as a distraction and in the best shape of my life, eating a super clean diet, working, going to school, and being social in moderation. About once a month I would end up on the bathroom floor again vomiting for 24 hours in the worst pain i've ever known. I would then get up and go about my life as normal. They warned me this was my life and it was a down hill spiral from the moment they diagnosed me, so I listened. I was living a double life again. Doing all the things on paper that qualified as healthy, I was pretending to be happy, I was studying to go to law school, and at the same time playing Russian roulette with my own body.
My soul spoke again. "Lindsey, you can not do this anymore. You can heal yourself, you know what to do, but its going to cost you". I looked myself in the mirror and knew i had to show up for myself otherwise this cycle would keep repeating. I remember I subconsciously picked the date and event of the last time i'd drink and told myself, "this is it, if you want to heal you have to get uncomfortable". So i pulled the plug. I stopped drinking, i stopped self sabotaging, and i stopped running. I also felt called to stop birth control and all pharmaceuticals. I was ready. There was no turning back now. I began working through the reasons why I did not like being alone, i worked through the blocks I had around my worth, I began a journey of self-love and self-discovery. I started meditating every day. I vowed to listen to my intuition and my body at whatever cost.
I found a plethora of herbs and adaptogens to help deal with birth control detox, to replace my other medications, and to treat my diagnosis. I dove into integrative medicine, ayurvedic medicine, holistic nutrition, and herbs. It became fun. I didn't realize i was "alone" because I had my head shoved inside of a book most of the time educating myself. I started eating completely whole foods only, stopped eating anything processed or packaged, I continued buying organic, I stopped eating legumes, stopped eating canned goods, stopped eating sugar regardless of it was raw honey or coconut sugar, I stopped using oil, I stopped using salt, and I stripped myself down to whole fruits and vegetables only. I started THRIVING in a way I had not experienced in YEARS. My energy was through the roof, my skin was better than it had been, and I was feeling GOOD.
Subsequently, I began to dive back into my faith and into spirituality. I began to understand the law of attraction, manifestation, and the power of what we think, feel, do, and act. I began to understand that how we subconsciously feel, what we subconsciously believe, and tell ourselves is what we create in our world. I was led to understand what truly loving myself was. I begin to trace back through my past, realizing that I often in difficult times would say and wish I would just get sick and die. I recalled just how many times over the years I repeated this to myself. I remembered how many times I kept trying to find something wrong with me to justify my self hatred. I remember how many years I spent trying to be someone I wasn't, trying to fit into boxes, self destructing, and loathing my own reflection. I visited these patterns in a non-judgmental way. I laid out WHY, I retraced my steps and allowed myself to dive deeper into what caused me to feel this way. I vowed to myself that I would retrain my brain; I would rewire myself and my thinking. I started falling into gratitude, I started holding myself, I started dating myself, I started caring for myself, I started the journey of developing a real relationship with myself for the first time. I deconstructed what I was told to do, be, have, and want. I learned what I truly wanted, I gave myself room to be a mess, to cry, to scream, to laugh, to love myself. My thoughts quickly began to shift from that of lack, hatred, and self sabotage to optimism, abundance, and love. I loved myself. I found myself. I spent days curled up on the floor of my bathtub crying shedding the beliefs I had told myself. I spent days in so much emotional pain I could hardly function. I dug up the worst possible memories I had around myself and self worth. I faced those demons head on. I knew, I knew at the end of the day it was what I needed to do. I needed to show myself that I wanted to live, that I did not want to die. I needed to rewrite the script.... so I did.
I was healing my mind, my body, and my soul. I was glowing from the inside out and although I did not look perfect, my skin was purging from all the birth control leaving my body, I wasn't always super energetic, I was greatly lacking a social life, and I wasn't happy with my career life, I was IN LOVE with me. The feeling of loving yourself was like coming home for the first time, a high so wildly invigorating it drowned out the chaos of everything that wasn't perfect. Slowly but surely I knew the love was penetrating deep down into the cells of my body, I knew the reprogramming of my subconscious, the care for my body, all of the work I was doing was healing me. I felt it, I knew it, I TRUSTED it.
Then one day I was sitting at work and out of nowhere I felt this immense pain I felt like my insides were all rupturing. I quickly got up and attempted to drive myself to the emergency room while trying to stay sane. I made it, I was parked in front of the ER, tears streaming down my face, screaming in pain. I tried to get out of my car, but I couldn't. Normally, I would have killed myself trying to prove I could do everything without help. This new me, however; realized she needed it. I managed to get my door open, "okay, Linds you got yourself here, you got the door open, that's it, you got this, you got this baby girl". I saw a police officer standing outside and I calmed my breath enough to get out a panicked and painful "HELP, PLEASE! PLEASE HELP!". As the officer disappeared into the hospital entry way, I repeated to myself in my head "you got this, this is the last straw, this is the last time, this is the illness leaving your body, the last fight it has left, you are fine". Within two minutes (that felt like a lifetime) there was a handful of nurses quickly rushing me from my car into a wheelchair. I was rushed back to a room and they advised they were going to give me some medications, I asked about them I questioned the ingredients, and at this point they clearly looked at me as if I was crazy. I denied medications because I didn't trust them any longer. I laid there in pain as they tried to draw blood from me as I tried not to scream bloody murder. My body began to calm down, the burning in my chest subsided, the cramping, stabbing, and pressure inside of me began to decrease to a tolerable stage. I laid there telling myself, "i don't want this anymore, this is not me, i'm fine".
An hour or two later the doctor comes in. I knew by the look on his face it was bad news. "Well your white blood cells are 2x the normal amount, as well as your liver, pancreatic, and kidney enzymes. This is usually indicative of organ failure, but you will have to follow up immediately with your treating physician". What? What the FUCK? i was dying? Again!?...I walked out of the emergency room four hours later and looked up at the sky with tears uncontrollably flowing from my eyes, "I DON'T WANT THIS ANYMORE UNIVERSE, DO YOU FUCKING HEAR ME I DON'T WANT THIS ANYMORE, I'M DONE. THIS IS FUCKED UP. I DON'T FUCKING WANT THIS ANYMORE".
I arrived at a theory, maybe my body was just filtering out the illness, the toxicity, the negativity, the old me at a rate so quickly it couldn't keep up so it did what exactly it felt like, it overflowed. Now, I understand this sounds crazy and i've grow up in a home around modern medicine for 25 years and have taken medical courses. I know this sounds completely batshit crazy, but it was what I really intuitively felt. So I rolled with it. I TRUSTED it was okay. I followed up with my primary physician, they tested my blood work again, and it was now 4x the normal rate. They told me i'd have to be scheduled for an emergency procedure the following day, my 26th birthday. I didn't sweat it. Something just took over me; something was guiding me, leading me, reassuring me I was fine. I was at peace; somehow in the chaos of this I was at peace. I woke up the morning of the procedure, dancing, singing, and smiling. Why? To be honest, I have no idea. I went into the procedure and surrendered, I told myself I was okay either way. I knew I would be okay.
I woke up with my mom and a nurse along side me smiling. "Did you hear me?", my mom said. "They found nothing. You don't have chronic pancreatitis anymore either. I don't know how but everything looked good". My honest drug induced self's response to this was "LETS DRINK CHAMPAGNE!!!". My true colors were obviously showing. The next day I questioned whether they had misdiagnosed me or whether I had truly healed myself. I started obtaining previous medical records and looking for attorneys. Then, it hit me. "No Lindsey, you healed yourself". I was looking through the medical records comparing them and it was clear as day that I was truly sick. Honestly, I had never seen my records before and I was vastly more ill than I ever realized. I realized then that I really healed myself. I slowly began to integrate in foods that I had sensitivities to again without issues and started being a little less strict with my diet. My hair started growing again, my nails started growing, the color became back into my skin, and my skin cleared. I realized then just how much power we have; just how much our thoughts and beliefs influence us. I realized the power of food and just how much our food is fucked with, how much is hidden in our food, hidden in pharmaceuticals. My life was radically changed FOREVER. I was not the same person I had been, no I shifted. I realized the importance in being authentically me, and I realized I am not and WE are not here to simply work our life away and numb it with nights out drinking into oblivion. We are not meant to settle. We are not victims to society and our familial ties. We are not victims to circumstance. We are our circumstances. We are our power. What we believe, what we feel, what we think, our subconscious, our bodies, what we ingest, it is all determined by us. What we feed ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically is what we become. The power to change your life isn't fait, it isn't luck, it's YOU.