My Health Scare, The Ultimate Rock Bottom, & Moving Forward
Hi my loves. AHHH, where to even begin here?
Well… I feel like there has been an elephant sitting on my chest for days now and that the pressure is finally lifting.
Actually the elephant has been there for a really long time and I just haven’t allowed myself to fully feel it or the immense weight it has been crushing my heart and soul with. Recently I have finally felt it all — a wall caved in, something in me broke, and the floodgates opened.
Big time. I felt it all, kicked and screamed and sobbed on the floor, cried it all out, let everything go, and I am… beginning to feel better from it.
Now that the weight is beginning to lift… I can breathe again. I am still questioning myself and feeling really uneasy with this new shift, but I am allowing the shift to come. I am allowing myself to explore it. I am allowing change to finally happen.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know I have been very sick for almost two years. I was healthy and thriving when I started this blog, then sick but functioning, then sick and not really functioning, then sick and not functioning at all with no answers, and then I finally had answers, and now… for over a year… I have been healing.
I know, I know. If you’re already aware of my journey, trust me – I am sick of telling the same old story. I am sick of living the same old story. I am so, so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Chronic illness makes you feel debilitated in so many ways, but mostly in the sense that it just DOESN’T go away. There is no real relief. There is relief for days, weeks sometimes even, but it always comes back. And while I am a firm believer in healing and that I will 100% heal (I KNOW I WILL), my health history up until now doesn’t really show that trajectory. It’s pretty soul crushing.
Rock Bottom & What it Taught Me //
So the reason this elephant weight is lifting off of my chest is because I have finally, finally, FINALLLYYYYYYYYY made the decision to put myself first. Unapologetically and truly, in all of the ways.
It is so hard. Honestly the hardest thing I have ever done. I am spending 95% of my time in bed. I am allowing myself to heal, not just from surgery but from this disease. I am letting my phone ring and ring without answering it. I am continuing to miss big life events of important people in my life and while it crushes me, it is my only option.
And most of all, definitely the biggest of all, I have decided to put a pause on my podcast for the rest of the year.
I know…. I am crushed. I wish it didn’t have to come to that. But I know that it does. Even through my sickest, worst, most awful days, I released episodes. Even when I took “two months off” last year I didn’t really take the time off, I was still releasing old episodes and recording ads for all of them.
And this time I am going to release old episodes too, for a few months, but then for a few months I am going totally dark and I know while it scares the shit out of me, I also know it’s the right move.
I will be back for SEASON TWO of the Soul on Fire Podcast in 2020 and you guys won’t know what hit you. I am going to be full of energy, full of life, full of zest, and have a wonderfullll time chatting with my guests and actually have the energy and the bandwidth inside of me to do so.
I honestly and truly cannot wait.
(I still have a handful of already recorded episodes that will come out for the next 3-4 weeks or so, so there is still some newness with great guests to look forward to for now.)
Otherwise… letting myself rest, letting go of this death grip I have had on my identity and reality as a blogger/podcaster/who I have seen myself to be for so long, is going to be so unbelievably good for me.
I am over the moon about taking this time truly off and to myself even though it SCARES ME! But the elephant on my chest lifts higher and higher the more that I think about it.
Rock Bottom Itself //
Ugh. I hesitate to even write about this. It was such a very intimate and horrifying event. I wrote about it on my Instagram, and I want to share just a bit of it here too because I really hope that by being open about it, it can help some of you. Also because I have shared so much of my life and illness until this point it feels funny not to share this, since it is really the catalyst for so much impending change.
You guys know I had the Lyme cavitation oral surgery last week on four different parts of my mouth (from previous wisdom teeth sites, which I saw on FB I had removed 11 years ago TODAY which is so insanely wild / universe vibey) and while the surgery itself was fine yet very painful… the detox I have experienced has been intense and brutal.
We are getting the toxins that were removed from the surgery biopsied so I will find out in a few weeks what exactly they are — mold, heavy metals, Lyme, parasites… what have you, but let’s just say whatever it is has been affecting my brain and body big time.
Before I went to sleep I took a lot of different things — my usual supplements, chlorella (a LOT of chlorella, too much chlorella I now realize) to soak up the toxins, my pain medication, and also THC.
Without getting into too much detail (too painful… too soon), in the middle of the night, I woke up and couldn’t move. Couldn’t see. Couldn’t feel my body except for my heart beating out of my chest and insane pain shooting through every organ and muscle and bone. Everything was black and fuzzy. I was seeing red, then white, then pure black. I thought I was having a stroke, a heart attack, or both.
One thing for sure is that I thought I was dying.
I went into the bathroom before it all hit me to try to get my bearings, and that is when I realized my body was shutting down. I screamed for Jonathan, he helped me through a LOT, and then we called my mom and she came downstairs (the perks of living in the same building as family).
I was screaming for Jonathan to call my doctor or call an ambulance but we really just didn’t know what was going on. It mimicked a panic attack and J and my mom weren’t sure what to do. There was no right or wrong — but if you find yourself in this situation, 100% call 911.
They stayed with me while I slipped in and out of consciousness. One moment I felt sort of okay, the next moment my heart was racing, my brain was throbbing and buzzing, I couldn’t see, and I felt like I was falling into a black hole. They stayed up, holding my hands, reminding me to breathe, until the worst of it continued to pass.
I was awake all night after that – if I closed my eyes, I would go into a spinning dizzy black hole and experience the worst nausea / panic I have ever known. It came in waves — the heart racing and the stroke-like feeling in my brain. The worst of it all was the beginning of it in the bathroom, feeling like every organ in my body was shutting down. Completely.
The next morning I looked up the reaction between my pain medication and THC. It was in the red zone for DO NOT TAKE TOGETHER. The combination frequently causes heart attack, stroke, coma, and death.
Whatever it was that I experienced, it was the closest I have ever come to feeling like I was dying. I saw my entire life flash before my eyes.
One day, when I have more distance from the situation, I will write about it in greater detail. I gained a lot of insights and was visited by many angels, guides, and even demons. I kid you not. I don’t know what it is that you believe in, but when you have a near death experience like this — the things you see are…. unbelievable and very hard to articulate. (Even for me, who is obsessed with articulating everything.)
Just know that one day, in a BOOK, I will share more.
I know that’s what this whole journey is for.
To go through it myself and help other people.
Write a book about it, and so much more.
The path of the wounded healer.
It is never easy, at all, but it is my path and I am honored to be on this path.
I am determined to see the gift in it, even on my darkest days.
If you think any of this sounds… well… like a fascinating rollercoaster of ups and downs, it’s mostly just a down. I have given up my life for this disease, I am mourning the death of my old life, I have hit a rock bottom so dark and painful I didn’t even know I could go there. I have experienced a depression from this disease that I really did NOT believe or think my mind would have the capacity to feel.
I see, with 100% clarity, why there are people taking their own lives every single day of every single year.
I know my path is to be here on this earth, I know it with my whole heart, but trust me when I say that I understand on a deep level why this life can be too much for people.
It is brave as hell to go through this.
Myself, all of the people who walk beside me, all who came before me, and all who will come after me — are brave as hell.
There are gifts in the dark corners of this experience. You get to see who your true friends are. The ones who show up in your darkest hour and stay, no matter what. And those who run the other way because there is nothing fun, nothing easy, and nothing normal about this situation. It’s really just messy and shitty from all angles.
Another gift is, you get to reevaluate your life.
Beyond taking a break from my podcast, I will be doing LESS in all areas. Dropping the pressure I have put on myself for so long — as a blogger, podcaster, friend, family member, fiancé, all of it.
I am enough. It’s okay if I disappoint people. It kills me, but it’s okay. The true, real, core people have always understood it and they always will.
My dear friends and healers Kelsey Patel, MaryAnn DiMarco, and Bree Melanson have all channeled very similar things for me during this time — DOING LESS & dropping the pressure. And a lot of other things. 🙂
The gifts are endless, truly. But I will talk about those another day.
As far as social media, I will continue to use it consciously because our community keeps me going and gives me strength. I am going to try to cut back on the time I spend on my phone for sure, and email, and technology as a whole. But in a conscious and mindful way, I would like to stay connected and keep sharing.
Plus, upcoming wedding…!
Over the weekend I had a lot of time to think. I sobbed on my shower floor for a good many hours. Sobbed HARD. I thought about EVERYTHING. I wrote ferociously in my phone, and will share a bit of it with you at the end of this post.
I thought a lot about my wedding coming up, in just 84 short days.
I thought about how little I have been able to contribute to the planning experience.
I thought about my mom picking up my wedding dress because I have been glued to my bed and the fact that I haven’t even seen it yet.
I thought about my almost husband doing all of the planning with our planner, invitation designer, the venue, and more.
I thought about this once in a lifetime, momentous day to celebrate my forever union with the man of my dreams.
I thought about looking back on this day in 5, 10, 50+ years… and how the one thing that will matter is whether I felt okay and healthy enough to be there and to enjoy it.
I am strong, and very tough. I push through everything. Every day is me pushing through. Working and podcasting for the last two years is me PUSHING through. I have learned to take a lot of downtime, but absolutely no one (including myself most of the time) quite understands or sees how hard I have pushed to continue to live and do things while feeling this way.
I do not want to look back on my wedding day and think, “God, I wish I would have allowed myself to take a break and get strong and healthy again for even just a few months.”
I am desperate to be just a little bit stronger, do some yoga, exercise again before my wedding. ANYTHING.
I see people talking about their “wedding body” and “sweating for the wedding” (nothing wrong with that), and I am over here like… I fucking pray I will be able to walk down the aisle and last though the wedding weekend without being in crippling pain and crushed by detrimental exhaustion.
But I too want to be healthy and strong on that day! More than anything. I know the physical and mental benefits of exercise. I am dying to get back to it, even in a very low impact kind of way.
So as I have said to my best friend 100 times throughout this experience, if all I do for the next 3 months is rest, go to yoga, and see the very closest people to me — then I will be happy. And that is really not what I have been doing up until this point. I have been doing so much, and it really has not included yoga, rest, or prioritzing.
On that new list does not really include work. I NEED to let go of that, at least for right now.
I know this is turning into a very stream of consciousness post, but when you lay in your bed and sob into your future husband’s arms about how terrified you are for your upcoming wedding because you thought and hoped and prayed you’d be healthier by now — you realize a lot of shit you thought mattered, doesn’t matter.
OUR HEALTH IS ALL THAT MATTERS.
Rock bottom is teaching me so much.
Yesterday afternoon I laid on the couch, thought about my clear schedule due to everything I am having to cancel, read a magazine and felt happy, truly happy, for the first time in so long.
I felt no pressure, for the first time in so long.
And guess what? The people who are meant to be in your life, will always get it. I am missing one of my best friend in the universe’s bachelorette next weekend, which is devastating and there is no way around that, but no one has been kinder or more supportive than her. (Clare, I love you.)
I know that anyone who doesn’t get it, just has never had to walk in these shoes and can’t fathom the compassion that is needed in order to try to understand it. But I am blessed to be surrounded by a handful of people with the biggest hearts and the most wholehearted compassion I have ever known. Plus, Clare and I are going to have the best re-do bachelorette before her wedding just the two of us and I am going to be so healthy and I can already see it now. 🙂
I choose to focus on that gratitude. I choose to focus on love, in my darkest days and beyond. ESPECIALLY on my darkest days.
Because I know I will enter into the light again. And I absolutely cannot wait.
I love you all so, so much. And would love your thoughts below. I am going to miss podcasting during this time but I will be releasing an episode with more detail about why I made this decision and what to expect, sometime in the next few weeks. XO
P.S. this is what I wrote in my phone while I was sobbing my eyes out all weekend:
wellness is sobbing on the bathroom floor, saying no to everything that won’t further your healing (no matter how hard it is), eating vegan ice cream for breakfast because your soul knows it will cheer you up.
wellness is canceling plans when you need to, consistently asking your body what it needs, and meditating before making any big decisions.
wellness is unapologetically putting yourself first even when every long held story in your head tells you you’re being selfish by doing that. it’s no longer worrying if people may or may not get it. it’s putting your energy back into you.
it’s not holding back the tears but letting them flow hard and fast. it’s wailing in the shower and not worrying if your neighbors might hear you. it’s mourning your old life because it was a damn good one and it deserves how much you miss it while also knowing everything will be okay again one day.
it’s asking straight up for what you need instead of resenting anyone in your life for seemingly not getting it. it’s laying in bed with your hands on your body sending your organs nice thoughts and love when that’s all you have to give.
it’s a fine balance between looking at old photos and videos and missing and loving who that girl was, and knowing that who she is and will always be is strong and beautiful and real and true and honest and good.
it’s sobbing and breaking down and hitting rock bottom and being okay with rebuilding. it’s being okay with things not being even remotely okay. it’s being okay with finally letting go and giving in and not forcing anything to flow. not forcing movement or talking or faking it in any way.
it’s asking for what you need.
^ and a hell of a lot more. More to come. XOXO