The Healing Crisis
Four years ago I couldn't walk without pain, drive down the street without turning right back around, or focus on much of anything. Food was no longer fuel, but yet another trigger. My period warranted more than just a few sick days. I had chronic pain and no clue why it was happening to me.
I visited doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, herbalists, acupuncturists, body workers, astrologists, and really anyone who offered a glimmer of hope for me during a dark time. A few months into my chronic pain I found out I had ovarian cysts, a crooked spine, and a (now seemingly false) diagnosis of Lyme Disease...and this was all on top of Irritable Bowel Syndrome I had been managing for years.
I don't regret seeing all the specialists I saw, or getting into debt for a while in order to heal my body. I regret no part of my healing process, and nor to I wish that it hadn't happened to me. The chronic pain I experienced during this time made me a softer human, with more empathy for those who're suffering and in pain. But, if I could offer some wisdom to those who're sick, it would be to honor the mental and spiritual aspects of healing.
As my southern father would say, "you got to get your mind right." While he usually rattled off this idiom in the context of competitive sports, it applies to wellness as well. My healing process catalyzed when I decided it was OK to be sick. It was OK to tell people I didn't feel well. When I finally allowed myself to take the journey day by day, and listen to my body versus fighting it.
We have a big misconception in our society that we are either well or sick. We are clean or we need to detox. Even the popular phrase "balance" is misused by the very industry that touts its benefits. Balancing takes engagement, and wellness is not stagnate.
There is also a ton of focus in the medical industry to figure out what "it" is. Yes, you should get tests. Yes, you should probably should seek out more than just a alternative care provider, a team is always better than one anyways. It takes a village to heal. But, try to be OK with not knowing everything. You are unique, and you are not your diagnosis. Remember that anything is possible, including a better day tomorrow.
As cliche as it is, try not to attach yourself to the pain, or to be defined by it. Not only will meditation, breath work, and a quiet mind help to reduce the pain, as many studies are now showing, these practices will also give you clarity. With a clear mind (even if it lasts just 10 minutes) you can create a clear practice, you can become your own best healer and seek out the remedies and practitioners you need.
If you're going through a tough time, know that you're not alone, and try to trust in your body's incredible capacity to heal. We have been there, and we believe in you!
XO Summer Ashley Singletary
While everyone's healing process is unique, some of my tools might resonate with you. Here are some of the remedies I relied on during my healing crisis. I also urge you to get the medical attention you deserve and most certainly need.