Saturday, January 26, 2013

Soul Food

For months my life was in shambles. I felt like a caged animal, filled with so much emotion I didn't know how to express. I was filled with ancient, primal sounds coming from some place deep within me. I felt trapped, lost, angry and desperate.
I had just been diagnosed. and instead of being happy and relieved (though I was those things too) I was upset. It was another thing I didn't know how to handle. It was the loss of something so precious. It was evidence of where I'd failed. I felt like i was participating in a horror show. I didn't understand. I felt seering loss, a sense of complete brokenness.

It was January 1 when things began to change for me. The first day of a new year usually means making resolutions i know i'll never keep, being sentimental about the year gone by yet excited for a clean slate in the new year. This year is turning out to be different. I feel better then I have in a very long time. I'm finding my 'muchness' again. I'm coming out of the darkness and walking towards the light. I'm happy, and I'm excited for my future.
Not long into January, I discovered a fabulous lady called Kris Carr. She had stablized her chronic stage 4 cancer and her lifestyle was intriguing to someone like me, someone living in desperation with the knowledge that something had to change or I might not make it through this and be ok.
So I started juicing, and eating more veggies, and working to diminish inflammation in my body. And it started working. I started feeling better, my energy improved, the amount of pain I was having lessened, and I just felt better, happy, like I was glowing.

Today was the first time i had an ionic footbath. I was a little nervous, but mostly excited as I stepped into that small room. I submerged my feet into the tub of warm water, and almost instantly toxins began to come out of the pores in my feet and into the water.
I listened to the sounds of the people and things around me. I felt the warm water on my feet, felt it as more warm water was poured in to the bath, as a cup of electrolyte water was placed in front of me. This was the sound of care, the feeling of someone watching over me.
I rolled up the pant legs of my jeans, watching as toxins were released from my body. Toxins released from every part of me.
We made conversation as I soaked my feet, the water changing from golden amber to mud brown with bubbles.
"Drink plenty of water in the next 24 hours," they reminded me.
Care was being given.

This was my first time recieving an ionic footbath. Yesterday, as I walked through the aisles of the health food store, I saw a poster. Holistic health is something i find intriguing, and so when I saw the sign I was ready to give it a try. Emotionally speaking, when I discovered holistic health and this kind of medicine that wasn't just about symptoms, I was crawling on my hands and knees. I was exhausted from trying to reign in my emotions, faituged from fighting an uphill battle with grief. Natural medicine, for me, wasn't about possibly improving my symptoms and feeling better. It was about pure survival. It was knowing that if I didn't do something I was going to get smaller and smaller until I was barely a speck in a microscope.
On December 31, it was the worst day and the best day. It was the day I knew I couldn't fight anymore. I was desperate. I was tired of fighting, tired of pretending to be ok, tired of living in this place of constant grief. Was it my own fault that I was feeling like this? Was I not thankful enough? Maybe, like some people seemed to think, if I was just happier I wouldn't be feeling like I just lost one of the most precious things in my world, like death had just come and settled in to my body.
I say it was also my best day because after curling up on the couch and watching a movie and crying and wondering what i was going to do now, I watched the sunset out of the big window in our family room. It was the most beautiful sunset, with colors of pink and golden and purple and wisps of blue. It was the day I began googling and accidentally stumbled upon an article about some celebrity who had tried a natural diet. I was intrigued, and read more, and more.
So I decided to try. Things couldn't get any worse, and I had nothing to lose. So in a matter of days I began juicing, and eating more veggies, then slowly cutting back on my animal products. The holistic approach to my health wasn't just about my physical symptoms, though. I began feeling lighter, feeling better, which gave me the energy to finally sift through all those emotions inside of me I'd kept buried for so long. Finally i had a license to feel all of these things.
So, 3 times a day, I have felt there, standing over my juicer as veggies spun out of control, over the stove as ingredients mixed together, most of the time to create something that would nourish my body and also, in turn, my soul. As I scour the internet, looking up new holistic health plans, I let myself dream of a new future for myself.
When I say this new life style helped me, I'm not just saying it improved my disease related symptoms (though it did.)  I was in a coma and I got diagnosed and that's traumatic and awful and it's not ok for me. Nothing can make being sick not suck for me - not even the love of my amazing friends or talking with other chronic illness survivors or writing or hot bubble baths, though these things are all crucial in my healing journey. Nothing will ever make what I've gone through ok or not traumatic or not suck. but holistic health does something for me. It's something I can control. It gives me the ability to deal with my emotions, or to lose myself and not think while I cook or find new delicious recipes or remedies.
For so long I've worked so hard to take care of everyone else. But this is me taking care of me. it's feeding not only my body but my soul. it gives me control in a life where things are always needed from me.

I had my first ionic footbath today, and it was a release. as toxins poured out of my feet, something inside of me released. Care was being provided. While my life still spins chaotically and things are still needed from me always, natural medicine gives me stability. It's restored my faith in myself.
Today, as I rinsed off my feet, wiping all the brown sludge from my ankles, the lady who was doing my footbath said to me, "I don't say this to a lot of people but I have a feeling you're going to change the world."
I smile at the thought. Maybe I am. But right now I am changing my world. And, for now, that is more than enough.

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