Never feeling like yourself, because you're struggling with chronic or long-term illness, mental or physical, is horrific. I've been struggling with seemingly chronic illnesses since 2015.
---> How Illness Changed My Life
I had always been exceptionally healthy. Always.
My life changed in one day, in the summer of 2015, with a bad stomach ache, diarrhea, interrupted and light sleep, low energy, and dizziness.
That was just the beginning. For years, I faced:
Regular & terrifying, unexpected vertigo episodes
Daily dizziness and lack of balance
Daily intense neck and shoulder pain & tension
Nightly abysmal sleep quality
Daily extreme fatigue and low energy
Daily persistent brain fog
Daily increased light & sound sensitivity
Daily excruciating abdominal pain & bowel movements
Recurrent SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
Recurrent yeast infections
Dandruff and eczema
I became worse with time, consistently developing additional health issues, while dealing with normal life challenges that compounded them, namely:
- draining, unfulfilling, & inflexible jobs
- feeling lost and directionless, personally & professionally
Altogether, I was experiencing a different kind of life than I ever had before; a chronically debilitating, holistically unhealthy one.
--> It was physically and psychologically devastating. For the first time in my life, I had no idea what to do and where to go for help.
---> I visited every doctor and specialist I could, and spent thousands on medical bills, with little to no actual improvement.
Nobody knew what was wrong with me - worse; top doctors told me I “looked fine” and told me to “get a good night’s sleep and feel better tomorrow” … after YEARS of sleeping, and feeling, terribly.
… can you imagine? I felt unbelievably frustrated, unseen, scared, & alone.
---> What I Did to Feel Better
-> I read books, articles, journals, online forums - anything to identify the cause of my health problems; something my doctors didn’t have an interest in, or didn’t have the means to pursue.
--> I advocated to be tested, by yet another GI specialist who had no answers for me, for something I’d read about called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Based on the symptoms & medical histories described, I thought I had it; I was right.
Unwilling to accept this, I pursued my own answer, and focused on what I could do, instead of everything I couldn’t.
-> I read books, articles, journals, online forums - anything to identify the cause of my
health problems; something my doctors didn’t have an interest in, or didn’t have
the means to pursue.
--> I advocated to be tested, by yet another GI specialist who had no answers for me, for something I’d read about called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Based on the symptoms & medical histories described, I thought I had it;
I was right.
I continued to trust myself and my bodily intuition.
With a growing understanding of how my ill-functioning body worked,
I adopted healthier habits & lifestyle changes,
& my needs:
1. My symptoms became more manageable, and I minimized derailing flare-ups, by sleeping closer to my natural rhythm, and eating, exercising, and meditating, more regularly and effectively.
2. I chose a home environment, inherently supportive of my lifestyle and health goals, by moving out of the place I shared with wonderful, but unfortunately, also depressed, unwell roommates, and into a home with a supportive, personal trainer boyfriend and health-conscious roommates.
3. I made lifestyle changes, and did fulfilling work, which energized me further to pursue answers, by changing jobs, and careers.
4. I began building a healthier mental framework, conducive to realistically achieving goals (like choosing a next career step v. my "perfect" career, forever - I did!; Health Coaching!), by exploring my own self-limiting thoughts and behaviors standing in the way of progress towards my goals (like pursuing perfection, or NADA).