My daughter once asked me if I trusted myself to heal.
My Mom’s side of the family have had thyroid issues for generations. Now I have a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. I have to take medication chronically – so against my philosophy of how to do life. I have managed the symptoms by changing how I eat, exercise, sleep, interact.
From a TCM perspective, my fire had gone out – too much fear (water element) had overtaxed my adrenals and kidneys. I could no longer absorb (small intestine, fire element) nutrients from my food. This led to poor digestion (stomach, earth element), allergies to gluten and nuts, and constipation (large intestine, metal/air element).
I have had to address the cause – adrenal overload, by introducing adaptogenic herbs and regular meditation, and the symptom – hypothyroidism, by taking medication. I believe I would not feel as good as I do if I’d only done or the other.
By doing regular gentle exercise (Yoga Chi Gung) to balance my energy system instead of going for a long run, I am slowly building up my passion and strength for life again. I radically changed my diet. For a time being vegan, then slowly introducing the odd piece of fish and eggs. I cut out all gluten and dairy. This, from a mental and energetic perspective has been a drastic change. I was hardwired by circumstances I perceived to be beyond my control to do things the way other people expected. We live in a society that entertains and socialises with food. Doing things differently was kind of anti-social.
Giving myself permission to change has been a long road. I am a very fixed earth sign – Taurus, with a predisposition according to my sign, towards thyroid issues. Change doesn’t sit well with me. Cultivating a sense of curiosity about how my life could be different has been for me, a slow process.
I believe that healing is many actions. It can take a scenic route. It’s certainly led me down a variety of pathways I’d never have thought to take if it weren’t for the illness.
I have learned to speak up about what I need. I have learned to listen more to my body and what it needs. I have learned that to feel safe and secure, I need to have routines that are allowed to change at my discretion. This way I can still have a perception of control over my life.
I have learned that a so called isolated incident like a diagnosis of illness is not isolated. It has many components that all link together. Your body tell a story that gets tricky if you ignore it.
Slow down. Listen to your body. The silence will lead to healing. The cure is irrelevant. It will happen of it’s own accord – or not. Take back your power and your passion by learning to do life on your terms. It is, after all, your life and no-one can do it for you.