I re-read an old article of mine that details my 5+ year health related struggles when nobody could tell me what was causing my full body issues that were holding me back in all parts of my life.
I had depleted all of my physical, mental, and financial resources. I felt totally hopeless, and I never thought I’d see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily I finally found the light that I had been so desperately seeking.
To be so clear, I absolutely know that my struggles, and what I went through, pale in comparison to the struggles of countless people. I realize how lucky I am, but at the time, I was so inside my own head that I couldn’t see things quite as lucidly.
My struggle taught me some incredibly valuable lessons that will remain with me for the rest of my life:
1) I absolutely learned to make my health and happiness my number one priority. Like so many people, I spent many years working out and eating purely to control the way I looked, and I cared so much about what other people thought. Losing my ability to feel good (make that feel ‘’normal’’) and to be physically active made me realize what matters most of all. Health and happiness. Just as important, by looking after myself, I will be a lot more capable of taking better care of others.
2) This is something I am extremely passionate about as during the 5+ years I was struggling to regain my health and life, I spent well over $20 000. I experienced endless frustration, anxiety, and heartache until I finally found someone who was capable of addressing the root of my problems. These issues stemmed from a bad car accident I had been in, but one that I walked away from without a scratch. My car wasn’t quite as lucky, and was totally destroyed.
If you are dealing with an injury or illness, really fight to address the actual cause. While working with people who help you manage the symptoms is fine, do everything in your power to work with someone who can tell you WHY. Avoid working with people who ONLY deal with symptoms and who do not look to address the underlying cause. This is absolutely imperative.
3) Educating yourself is extremely important. In fact, learning, knowing, and understanding are vital. Do not be a passenger in your recovery. This can be any kind of recovery. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be an injury or illness. Be present, and never stop learning. Learning is such an amazing part of life anyway, and my thirst for knowledge and bettering myself is endless, but when you are struggling with something, educating yourself, researching, and surrounding yourself with people who are smarter and who know more, will be even more significant and impactful. At least it was for me, and always will be.
4) Never Give Up. On the days when you feel like giving up, just keep going. No matter what. Keep fighting for your health, happiness, and for your life. I fought tooth and nail to find someone who could help me, and once he did, I had to relearn how to do everything. I had to relearn how to move, how to think (in terms of my health, I had become so conditioned to assuming the worst would happen as it often did), and I systematically rebuilt my entire body and mindset. There were times when I felt like giving up, but I did not. I guess I was a lot mentally stronger than I thought. No matter what you are going through, you absolutely can find the light at the end of the tunnel. While each light might be different, embrace and own your ‘’light.’’
5) Having supportive people in your life, and people who care, makes a tremendous difference. A huge regret I have is when I was dealing with my physically and mental struggles, I told very few people. I actually told nobody the full extent of my issues, or how I was feeling. I often isolated myself as I felt like nobody would understand, that I would be judged, and that people would think it was all in my head. This was a huge mistake on my part, and turned me into a shell of the person I am now. Bottom line, seek out supportive people, and let them into your life, and into your soul. This will be a total game changer.
6) Be grateful. There isn’t a single day that doesn’t go by where I’m not extremely grateful for my health, and my ability to be physically active. This is truly a gift that I will never take for granted again. While I definitely have my ‘’poor me’’ moments, and I know this is human, I do my best to pull myself out of these moments as quickly as possible. I am well aware that I have a lot to be grateful for. Like many people, I was extremely guilty of taking my health, and the many privileges I know I have, for granted.
For every single day that I remain on this earth, and I hope this will be for many more years, I will be very grateful. I will do my best to express this gratitude in positive ways, and to hopefully make some difference. Any difference. No matter how small. Whether it’s helping another human, animal, or something else, I hope to make a positive impact.