My name is Brooklyn. I struggle sticking with plans. I get bored easily. I don’t like feeling like my options are limited. I’m a seven type personality with a seven wing (if you speak Enneagram).
But sometimes life gives us surprises, like a diagnosis or a disease, that pushes us to limited places. Maybe you’ve been there?
My limitations started with being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. It wasn’t just the diagnosis that caused me to wonder about which habits needed to change, it was also the massive amounts of anxiety and depression I was experiencing at the same time. I can’t remember many days in my life when I wasn’t genuinely happy, healthy, ready for whatever the world offered. It was new for me to feel despair and extra exhausting to imagine what I needed to do to turn things around.
Writing about this is important to me because it’s a part of my story. I started a facebook group for support last year and I had no idea how many people were struggling to heal.
Here’s something that I know for sure. There isn’t just one way to heal. There isn’t just one fix. There are a lot of baby steps, all of them different lengths and taken with different cadence. So to say that things can feel overwhelming can be quite the understatement.
As a pastor, I know there is a spiritual side to our healing. But we can’t ignore the other sides, the sides that when in balance help us immensely on the spiritual side (the side where we believe again, feel hope rise in our bones, and trust that things will be ok, not just for us but for others too).
I thought it might help someone to know a few things that have helped me turn my stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Maybe you’re not sure what’s happening yet or you’ve just been diagnoised? Now you’ve lost most of your evenings to google searches and plunges into NetFlix to numb the chaos and the questions?
If you’d like to have a deeper conversation you can find people who want to have them in the Facebook group or by simply messaging me here. You don’t have to be terrifed when you look at your life. I believe our illnesses can reveal our wholeness. At the lowest place I was able to see the disruption of disease as an opportunity to love myself more fully. My disease isn’t curable, it will be with me for the rest of my life, but I choose to make the most of it, learn from it, and even love what it can teach me.
To the one reading this with tears in their eyes because you have felt so alone or maybe even ashamed, I say you are worthy of LOVE. I pray for your heart and your healing today.
HOW TO START HEALING
- Love yourself in the present moment. (Just as you are.)
- Let yourself be sad, give yourself permission to grieve.
- Write your feelings. Dump them on a page without editing one word.
- Switch up the scenery. Find fresh air.
- Wonder about the pain. Ask it what it can teach you.
- Medidate or pray. Ask for help.
- Give yourself the maxmium sleep opportunity at night. Go to bed earlier if you tend to wake at night.
- Choose an eating plan that fits your goals. (Be forgiving of your progress.)
- Find an eating plan that can help your body reduce inflammation naturally.
- Eat things that give you natural energy.
- Really try to stay away from things that perpetuate adrenal and cortisol fatique (like caffeine) Tea can be your friend!
- Read helpful things. (And read them again when you forget what to do.)
- Hold onto people. (Even when you don’t want to.)
- Find a place to chat with others who are going what you’re going through.
- Tell a few safe people about the details of your journey.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people when you have a flare up or make a mistake.
- Learn about nature. (Then experience it.)
- Replace toxic things with natural things.
- Instead of caving inside, venture outside.
- Find a way to learn about your disease and ways to teach your body to heal.
- Sit in on a wellness class or join a webinar.
Like I said, there isn’t a cure for me. These are simply thoughts for the journey.
I haven’t ruled out the miraculous. But I have been taking care- doing the work- finding ways to heal- and wondering if sharing them with others will be a part of that healing too. Love to you.