I want to share with everyone my story this past year. I would like to write about it in a semi-transparent way knowing that those who are closest to me know what happened, while still keeping some privacy of my personal life with this blog. I want to share the parts of my story that are important. I want to write about my journey, because it has been one hell of a journey! I want people to know how it has affected me and what I am doing to get healthy again. Most importantly, I want everyone to know that if I can get through this physical and emotional trauma, then anyone can.
The purpose for writing this blog is to share parts of my story and the physical and emotional pain I have been through this past year. Part of me feels excited to share this, as it leads up to my next journey on how I plan to get my physical health back on track. The other part is scared, although I pride myself on being an open book, I guard my feelings very close to my heart and don’t share that part with many people.
I have been through difficult times in my life, but this past year really takes the cake. The first half included a major upheaval in my life, so from the get-go it was a little too much to handle. As most of my friends and family know, a little over a year ago my baby daddy and I decided that the relationship we were in wasn’t healthy and decided to split for good. I think as a family we all handled this pretty well, we both had our child’s best interest in mind and we were able to create a relationship that is healthy for all of us because of this. There is zero drama and we seem to be on the same page for our daughter on most issues that arise…unless he feeds her sugar! (LOL)
Fast-forward to me getting into another relationship almost RIGHT after the first break up. We all know this is a bad idea; rebound relationships are never healthy and never end well. So, after two failed relationships with my baby daddy and the rebound came a string of health issues … and extra grey hair!
My initial health concern wasn’t the biggest deal in the world, but I had some complications that caused me a great deal of pain in my back. I lost my coping mechanism in life. My pain was so bad through all of this that I was no longer able to work out. I can usually spin through anything and everything, but it was impossible through this pain. I was the girl that could do two spin classes in a row but it got to the point when taking it easy on the bike caused more pain than it was worth. Finally, I was told to stop the workouts until further notice. Spinning was my safe place. I was addicted and for good reason. It allowed me to check out for an hour or two and not think about my life. I remember crying on the bike on several occasions as it gave me an outlet to release my frustrations and anger and I didn’t know how else to do this. I don’t really talk much about my problems and I certainly don’t cry often. I have always thought “oh this isn’t a big deal “or “there are people out there that have it way worse than I do”, so I never really gave myself the time or space to be with myself… until my spinning was taken away!
I also lost a lot of quality time with my daughter this summer. Between not really being able to be an “active” parent because of the pain and all of the doctor’s appointments, I was heart broken. My little miss seemed fine in all of this, I am sure it was hard for her to see me in pain (I never once cried in front of her) but she learned to help mommy out and take care of me too. If looking at the silver lining, these are good life skills and I am grateful for what she has learned.
Self-Reflection: I want everyone to know that I am doing ok. My experience this past year has allowed me to reflect on my life. I realize that after everything I have been through, I am grateful to have experienced what I have. It has shaken me to the core and has made me into a stronger person. Being able to reflect on my life has motivated me to make major changes in my life; to not let my experiences bring my down but to turn it into something positive.
Acceptance: This health experience has allowed me to be real with people, and myself. I don’t believe I have ever had a major life crisis like this before. I wanted to believe that the worst was over, but then something like this arises. All I could do this time around was accept where I was in my life and where I wanted to go from here.
Priorities: I have written in my journal a lot. I made lists of what is important to me and what is not, and I made time for what was important and (tried) to give up what is not. As of now, I haven’t implemented all of my priorities but I know that these changes are a must in order to get where I want to be. One of my biggest accomplishments was making time for myself. By turning off my phone at work and not leaving Facebook open on my laptop, I made myself less available when I really needed the time to myself.
Learning: Through work and my personal life, I get to meet a lot of different people. I learned that I am a great listener but as much as I loved hearing about their life stories and life experiences, I felt disconnected at times. I believe I was not able to relate to their experiences as I had yet to experience life to its fullest. The saying “you don’t know until you experienced it yourself” has never had a stronger meaning until now.
“You have nothing if you don’t have your health”: Being unhealthy affects you physically and emotionally and it’s hard to get out of the rut. My health issues took mostly everything away from me this year. To say I have lost trust in people is an understatement, but I hold those who are close to me much closer. I no longer spend my time with those that are not worthy of my time and I do not visit people out of obligation.
Change: I was beginning to lose faith in everything. I did not understand what I was going through and it made me lose faith in the medical system. It was time to make some more changes in my life. Having a medical team you are confident with is so important. My new family doctor is amazing and has actually reached out to see how I am doing in between appointments. I truly feel taken care of with my new doctor. As mortifying as my 911 experience was, I was beginning to my restore faith again. So what if I haven’t showered in three days? So what if I had a messy house? I’m sure those cute firefighters didn’t know… I even got my own personal visit from the Fire Captain the next day. What a kick ass community we live in!
A Reawakening: What I gained from this GREAT loss in my life (other than weight) was the space to be with my thoughts and emotions. When I went to Prince Edward Island I began to do yoga again. Yoga is something I used to practice often and loved. Being in PEI was beautiful. I did nothing and made no plans. I spent hours walking, sitting by the water, thinking, crying, writing, and driving. I was able to be with myself and reflect where I was in life. I knew I didn’t want to return to Ontario the same way I left. . My week in PEI was a reawakening. Meditation was a new coping mechanism for me. I used the yoga videos on YouTube and I created a cellphone free zone during MY time. I would meditate on mindfulness, forgiveness and gratitude. I didn’t necessarily replace spinning with meditation; instead I wanted to use meditation to further my journey to being healthy.
I have gained another perspective on life that I didn’t have before. I truly feel like a different person and have been able to make connections with friends through all of this that was not there before. As I re-read my journal this morning I see that even through the worst time in my life, I am grateful for the life I have. I wrote, “My body aches. Everywhere. I am going to bed to rest my body. I am grateful my body is so strong to make it through all of this.” I really am so grateful for my own strength – it’s hard to put it into words.
Thank you for letting me share my story. I have started working with Sharlene Styles from PURE Natural Health & Wellness to get my health back on track. My next post will be about the steps I have taken to move forward from my pain and how Sharlene will be helping me along the way.