Anyone that knows me knows that about a decade ago, I was prescribed a medication by a doctor that made me very sick, and by very sick, I mean it landed me in the hospital for a majority of about 3 months, and then bed-ridden for 2.5 years after those initial 3 months. Furthermore, it took me a solid 5+ years after that of gnawing and clawing my way back to some semblance of health, and still to this day, I get flare ups from time to time that I have to deal with.
During the past decade, I’ve tried literally everything you can think of to heal…Eastern medicine, Western medicine, functional medicine, holistic care, naturopathic remedies, herbal remedies, pharmaceutical remedies, various neuroscientific remedies, psychological/counseling therapies, spiritual practices, TONS of “healing” programs, etc. Seriously, the list goes on and on. What have I found? There is no one thing that is going to work for everyone. If you find yourself a part of a program that states that there is, then literally run away as fast as you can – I tried so many different programs like this, and at best they didn’t help or maybe I found one or two things about the program that helped a little, and at worst, they made things much much worse.
The content that I put out on the Loving and Laughing site are things that have helped me through my own personal journey – they did not “heal” me, but they did help to make the journey a little more enjoyable, more comfortable, more acceptable, and the like. Like I said, I still deal with flare ups from time to time, so though I can say that I am tremendously better than when I was lying in a hospital bed hoping not to die, I am not completely healed – otherwise, the flare ups wouldn’t happen, and that’s that.
This is not to discourage anyone, and it’s also not to bash any healing program in particular, because many do have a lot of good and helpful aspects to them (it’s just a matter of finding what works with your body rather than adjusting your body to fit a program). Healing is absolutely possible, and I can truly say that SO MUCH healing has happened for me in terms of how I deal with the flare ups mentally and how much less intense that the flare ups are now. So, yes, healing has happened for me both physically and mentally, but I can’t say that I am “healed,” at least not in the sense of no longer experiencing symptoms of any kind.
Why am I posting this? Well, I suppose I want to explain a few things to those of you out there fighting the good fight regarding healing from some sort of affliction (mental, physical, emotional, etc.), and put some honest information out there about my own journey and experience in hopes that others can take what they will from it to make their own healing journey a little more tolerable.
Note Number 1:
Healing is absolutely possible, and it WILL happen if and when it is supposed to – that is a fact. However, some of the programs that I’ve tried (one in particular) instructed me to basically lie to myself and others by saying that I am healed/feel great/have recovered/etc rather than being honest about how I was feeling both mentally and physically. Their reasoning is that we need to tell the brain that it is recovered in order for our limbic system to believe this and get out of “fight or flight” mode so that everything else can fall into place.
If anyone does even a tiny bit of research into psychology and neuroscience, they can easily see that this can lead to something called cognitive dissonance, which is basically when your thoughts and feelings contradict one another. This is not good, because it can actually cause a lot of psychological stress, which is what these programs are saying that we are trying to get rid of in order to heal. How are we supposed to get rid of psychological stress with a program whose modalities can actually cause it?
A positive mindset is great and really beneficial when trying to heal, but what I found while doing this program in particular (and throughout my entire healing journey in general) is that I did so much better and felt so much better when I was just honest about how I was feeling, was gentle with myself regarding the fact that I was feeling that way, and encouraged myself that God’s promises are absolute truth, so healing will happen when it’s supposed to. After all, you can’t heal when you are pretending like you aren’t hurt. Trying to deny that I was in physical or mental pain was exhausting, stressful, and led to extreme feelings of guilt and frustration about the fact that I wasn’t feeling the way that I was “supposed to” believe I was feeling, and on top of that, I felt extremely lonely, because according to the program, I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone that I was feeling this way.
Note Number 2:
A healthy diet and supplementation can be great when it comes to healing. However, I once took part in a program that used a cookie cutter process for everyone – didn’t matter what your issue was, your gender was, your body makeup was, etc. This program used two different set protocols based on your oxidation rate (fast or slow), and that was it. If you were a 105 pound woman trying to heal from the after effects of a medication-gone-wrong, or if you were a 200 pound male trying to correct erectile dysfunction, but you fell into the same oxidation rate, you were given the same specific diet and supplementation regimen based on that oxidation rate (fast oxidation had one protocol, and slow oxidation had another). I understand the logic behind this – balance the oxidation rate and the rest of the body’s functions follow and homeostasis is restored (there is also scientific evidence to back this up, so I’m not refuting this) – but if something in the program didn’t work for you, you were basically screwed, because there was no other protocol, and the protocol they gave you was not adjustable.
Furthermore, if you went to your practitioner and said that a certain aspect of the protocol wasn’t working for you, you were told that you were doing something wrong by not following the program properly (like if your body wasn’t tolerating a certain supplement, then the fact that things weren’t improving was your fault, because you weren’t taking the full dose of that supplement) rather than it being the case that the program, or a certain aspect of it, was failing you or not working for you individually. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of mental anguish – especially at times when I was following the program to a tee, but it wasn’t working because some part of it wasn’t agreeing with my body (usually the supplements in my case).
Again, I’m not bashing these programs as they had some parts of them that were helpful such as diet suggestions, tips for positive thinking and reframing unpleasant thoughts, etc. I’m just pointing out that there are going to be some things that work for you and some that don’t – main takeaway is that it’s okay to acknowledge if some part of a program isn’t working for you and try to adjust it accordingly or omit it completely. Do what works for you, and don’t doubt your gut instinct when it comes to this stuff! You are the most well-versed expert on your own body, so you can trust your judgement when it comes to making it feel its best!
If you find yourself in a program that isn’t adjustable and tweakable for each individual, and their answer when it isn’t working for you is to follow it more rigidly, once again – put on your running shoes, and run away. Everybody’s body is absolutely unique, and there are no two people in the world that will need the exact same protocol when it comes to healing. Respect that – learn to love your individuality and uniqueness, and recognize and accept that your healing journey will be unique to you. If any program tells you differently, it’s probably not the program for you.
Note Number 3:
Along the same lines of your healing journey being unique to you, if you try something that doesn’t seem to be working for you, stop it, and don’t feel guilty about it. Your own healing will come from a lot of trial and error (or if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll find one thing quickly and that will be your answer)…regardless, it’s going to be your own concoction of things that you find that work for you along the way, and there ARE things that will work for you. It’s just a matter of a lot of patience, a lot of acceptance, and a lot of honesty with yourself and others about what you are going through, where you are at in a particular moment, and what works and what doesn’t for you personally.
Don’t be afraid to question things, experiment with things, and even incorporate things of your own that you come up with along the way. Like I said, the things I share on this site are not at all intended to be a “healing” program or an “end-all be-all” answer. They are just things that have helped me personally along the way. I even include some things that didn’t necessarily help me personally at times (didn’t hurt me either), but I know of other people that they did help, so I share it, because I know that it might help someone else. For example, though I am fine with them now for the most part, I went through a long stage where essential oils did not agree with me, but I know that they have helped a lot of people, so I share certain DIY’s that include them – some of which I now use, but didn’t at certain points in my own journey.
It is likely that you will find things on this site that don’t work for you or that don’t feel right for you, in which case – don’t use them – it’s that simple, and it’s perfectly okay (as an example, I have friends that love my recipes but won’t touch any of them that involve sardines – I LOVE sardines, and they make me feel great, but if you don’t like them or don’t feel good eating them, then just ignore those recipes – they’re not for you, and that’s okay). You will also likely find things on this site that do work for you, and that’s great – implement them whenever you are at a point in your journey where they feel right, beneficial, and good for your body and mind.
Overall, I just wanted to comment on the fact that healing is something that is so unique and personal to each individual, and it’s so important to realize that and respect that. I’ve been at this for over a decade, and the healing progress I’ve made is substantial, but it didn’t come without taking plenty of wrong turns, lots of tears and frustration, and a major learning curve regarding knowledge about me and the unique individual I am physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Be gentle with yourself along the way, and know that healing/management of a condition/improvement will come with time. Expect there to be setbacks, and learn to walk through those setbacks with grace and a learning attitude. When one is presented with a healing journey, it is almost never by choice, but it can be a truly remarkable adventure in which you can gain so much knowledge about who you truly are, who you want to be, and who you are becoming. You are unique, amazing, and truly inspirational and STRONG – know that, own that, and use that to become everything that you are destined to be. I’m rooting for you!
Sending healing thoughts and prayers to each and everyone of you out there who needs them! Much love!