It was the evening of July 31, 2012 and I had hit rock bottom. My husband and I were celebrating our thirteenth wedding anniversary with a lovely dinner by candlelight that he had lovingly prepared for me at home. At this point, I was aware that something was going awry with my energy level so I knew better than to indulge in my favorite red wine. But, even totally sober and immersed in this romantic setting I was unable to keep my eyes open. My head hit the table and I was asleep before dinner was even served. How did I get here? What was happening to me??
Unfortunately, we now live in a culture where environmental illnesses affect millions of Americans. Did you know that 1 in 13 children now has a life-threatening food allergy(1), 1 in 68 has autism spectrum disorder(2), and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in children is considered an “emerging epidemic”? There’s plenty of debate about the causes of these illnesses, but there’s no doubt that toxins in our food supply and environment play a significant role.
While our children are getting diagnosed with these modern-day disorders, us parents are increasingly finding ourselves beset with “mystery illnesses” ranging from sudden food sensitivities to chronic fatigue to autoimmune diseases - discouraging, vague diagnoses without clear-cut remedies. The most common victims are women in their 30s and 40s. In fact, it’s becoming more and more prevalent in teens and 20-somethings as well. In the beginning I was desperately in search of a label from mainstream medicine in order to identify and treat this curse. Now, a dozen labels later, I don’t feel like I understand my “dis-ease” from a medical perspective anymore than I did when I first began to feel unwell.
What I do understand, is that I cannot hide from the environment. It doesn’t serve me to blame the chemicals sprayed on my neighbor’s lawn to control the weeds or the mold found in our Florida home or the erythrosine (i.e. red dye no. 3) in my yogurt. These environmental toxins are simply a fact of life. I can do my best to avoid/remove them in a way that doesn’t make me obsessive because obsessing over this stuff doesn’t serve me either.
But, I digress. My point is that labelling my “dis-ease” didn’t help me actually get to the root of the problem. The problem is partly environmental, sure, but the solution was within me. HEALING, TRUE HEALING, TAKES WORK AND DILIGENCE. Work may sound exhausting. It certainly seemed overwhelming to tackle given the state of my body at the time, but seen in the right light, the work can be spectacular. As I’ve healed, I’ve shed most of those medical labels. Clinically, there may still be a few, but I’m now at peace with that. I feel better than ever!
Are you struggling with a mysterious chronic illness that has baffled the mainstream medicine community? Feel free to comment below or contact me. I am passionate about building a nurturing environment in which I can help others achieve health and vitality too.