Maybe you are where I was three and a half years ago, wired + tired at night, hardly sleeping, waking up never feeling rested, going back to my deepest sleep in the earlier hours of the morning only to drag myself to my coffee pot mid-morning, so anxious I could crawl out of my skin, heart racing, simple tasks seemed insurmountable, I felt hangry (hungry +angry) constantly, I wanted chocolate with every meal, and just straight up felt confused with what was going on in my own body. I felt frustrated, like my body had betrayed me. I was always laid back before, but now, I felt like a total stranger living in my skin. I knew my face but not my feelings. Mornings used to be calm and something I’d look forward to, now my mornings were accompanied by panic attacks + chronic fatigue. Even after having a baby, I knew this wasn’t the language of a balanced body at peace with itself. Maybe you can relate.
The goodness is in the growth, the being stretched, the not-so-ideal. It’s still not fun, but my goodness it’s where the discovery is.
Dear young(er) me,
I’d love to tell you how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned, how much you’ve tried, and just trying is and was courage. No, you haven’t figured everything out (no one has). No, it’s not perfect (it never will be), but you’ve made definitive strides and helped others along the way, you’ve found many of the answers you were looking for—the ones you were quite frankly pissed no one could offer you at the time—the medical system failed you again, but this time you dug deeper, you didn’t stop with a prescription, you ended with a designation and more knowledge than you could have dreamt of.
While the majority of your issues certainly all have a root cause, you’ve learned that you can’t necessarily out-supplement or out-nutrition all of your issues, but you can examine them without feeling like you need to fix them first; maybe not everything needs fixing, it needs tending. Because of that, you were led to an amazing counselor who is helping you mentally and spiritually.
With that being said, not every issue can be resolved quickly, you never were very patient. You’ve waded through hard waters, often times you thought you’d go under, but you persevered. You’ve grown physically, mentally and spiritually. You’ve grown, labored and nurtured two human lives from your own body; this is the true meaning of sacrifice. You’ve gained knowledge and wisdom. You’ve leaned into hardship instead of running away (you don’t have that luxury anymore) sitting in pain and being idle was never your version of fun and it still isn’t, but you’ve learned that life isn’t a constant dancing monkey, not every moment is entertaining. You’ve learned more about who you are, the good and the unhelpful.
You’ve learned that “should” is a lie, rarely do things look, feel or seem like they “should” and often times these expectations are the true thief of joy; from this you’ve learned how to recalibrate your expectations. You’ve learned how to do things on little to no sleep, your biggest fear.
You’ve dealt with your insomnia in every way imaginable and it’s still not perfect, it may never go back to way it was or what you think it “should” be, and everyday you revisit these thoughts and come to terms with the difference.
You’ve learned how incredibly resilient the human body is, especially your own.
Your brain may not be as sharp as it once was, but give yourself grace, there’s a lot of demands in this season.
You’ve learned weakness + compassion on a level you never knew was possible. Your desire to help people and relate to others struggling comes from your journey, what a gift.
The struggling, the wanting answers, the small steps—they all count, for you and for others. I think we tend to all get lost in our brokenness that it dissuades us from just taking the next best step. Even when you felt broken, you kept stepping.
Forward momentum, no matter how slow, is still progress.
The people who didn’t have the right answers was a gift so you could find them for yourself, take ownership and experience change.
Medicine isn’t the holy grail, but it’s not weakness either, sometimes it’s just a bridge to the next destination of true healing.
Seeking out answers is being strong.
Doing unconventional things takes more than financial resources, it takes dedication. It’s not the easier way. But you love the unconventional way, you love the learning, it’s exciting, empowering and healing.
Waking up, just to go back to sleep is not only okay, it’s necessary and doesn’t make you a failure.
Your body’s way of communicating is through symptoms, if we can learn to listen, we can lean in and learn what our body needs, instead of suppressing symptoms with bandaids, we can really get to the root. Symptoms are our compass, pointing to our body’s deficiencies.
You don’t need every single answer at the same time, the body needs space + time to reconcile some things, be patient and keep doing things that help you in the waiting.
Motherhood changes you for the good, but it also changes your brain, your feelings, your outlook, your thought patterns, but most intensely, it changed your clarity, joy and spontaneity. A sudden jerk into unforeseen and uncharted territory. What now? You’ve learned how to muscle up and get things done even when you don’t want to do them.
You’ve learned to ask the the better question: what gives me life—what makes me feel ALIVE?
You, like many, struggle and wrestle for joy and peace, you’re no stranger to feeling overextended, overwhelmed and sometime, if you’re being completely transparent, lackluster. Welcome to life, there’s no quick fix for these feelings.
Most importantly, you’ve learned to say, look how far I’ve come.
“We fall. We break. We fail. But then, we rise. We heal. We overcome.”
I wish someone would have shared these things with me when I was early on in my health journey, so if you’re meeting yourself at a crossroads in life and need some encouragement, I hope this is that for you. Take heart in your health.