The past month or so has been challenging. I have been trying tirelessly to get back on my feet after appendicitis but somehow, it has been more of a mission than I thought it would be. Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and knowing how sensitive my body was, I expected that it would take time to heal, perhaps longer than the norm. For once in my life it was a beautiful feeling to understand exactly what was going on and what I needed to do. But, it has been quite the adventure.
First I had to deal with the fact that my body had just had major surgery for the first time. As you can imagine this came with its fair share of fear and anxiety both before and after the event. Then, I had to accept the fact that my CFS recovery had to be temporarily put on hold for yet another spanner in the works. I’ll be honest, that made me feel pretty defeated. Finally, I was feeling in really good place with my recovery and then WHAM! the Universe sent me this surprise. On top of all of this, in my already emotional fragile state, I had to deal with the frustration, anger, sadness that came with it. I’m a pretty strong, positive person, but my gosh has this been a lot of difficult stuff to take on. Did I mention that I was trying to get back on top of Uni work as well? Yes, another load to add on.
It’s funny though. The first couple of weeks I actually felt really good. Yes, I was dealing with more physical limitations then usual but I still felt in alignment with my healing. Then gradually over the past few weeks and with a few big events, symptoms have started to show- increased mental fatigue, concentration issues, increased fatigue, depression and anxiety (particularly social anxiety). As I do in these states I go out into what I like to call ‘Freak Out Mode’- What is wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? What am I not doing? Do I need to try this? Am I getting worse? If I wasn’t already exhausted enough, these just add to the mix.
While I have been actively trying to eliminate these thoughts from my mindset (yes on top of everything else), being alone with these and my own emotions has brought some pretty insightful lessons. You see, for many years all of these feelings were masked by anti-depressants, but now for the first time in my life I have the opportunity to tackle these, my deep-rooted emotions about childhood, teenage years and my experience with CFS and despite the pain they are bringing, the breakthroughs are so much more beautiful. These feelings and limiting beliefs have held me back for so long and now I feel I am really getting to the crux of it.
In doing so I know I’ve withdrawn myself a lot. From friends, from the world, from life. I’m just so in my head trying to figure these things out, trying to work through them that the world is just too much for me right now. Like I said to somebody the other day, I almost feel like I want to go into hibernation, perhaps in a cute little cottage in a secluded place, just to make sense of things. Deep down, I know I am going through this incredible transformation and right now, I’m stuck in the middle between the person I used to be and the person I am becoming. But all I want to do is go into the deepest part of myself to figure this out and then emerge, like a beautiful butterfly, as the new happy me with clarity and energy and a heart full of love. This in between part is not a pleasant place to be and I don’t want to play this game of tug-a-war anymore. I just want to fast-forward to the good bits but I know that as painful as it is, I need to learn to feel my emotions, understand them and transform my mind, body and spirit to align with the authentic, new me.
It’s still an ongoing process and quite honestly the uncertainty of not knowing how long it will take is frustrating. I want it to be over yesterday but I realise that life is not that simple. Deeply-rooted emotions and beliefs will take time to unravel and challenge and I must learn to accept that. Like CFS, healing is a journey and I know through experiencing and confronting both I will emerge a more enlightened, fulfilled and energised person. Right now, I must instead embrace the lessons I am learning and trust in the Universe and my Spirit Guides to guide me through this revolution.
- We are always changing- From one day to the next, we are a different person. Every day we are learning new lessons, having new life experiences which are helping us to grow exponentially. The good days, the bad days, each day is filling us with thoughts and emotions that we must embrace as lessons or take as growth. Change is an inevitable yet beautiful part of life.
- We are spiritual beings having a human experience- Wow how crazy is this thought?! The idea that our spirit is the driving force and our body is just a vessel that supports it. In itself, this emphasises the importance of spirituality. Whether you believe in God, the Universe, Scientology or fairies and unicorns, our belief in something is what enhances our lives. Like our bodies, our spirits must be nurtured, loved and supported so that we can provide it with a magical experience that will transcend into our next lives. Personally, I’m a huge believer in the Universe, Angels and Spirit Guides and know that they are supporting my healing and spiritual awakening to help me in fulfilling my purpose and learning valuable lessons to take to the afterlife.
- Feeling your emotions is essential- For 10 years of my life, my emotions were suppressed due to the masking effect of anti-depressants. Instead of dealing with the challenges of life, I sailed through life like it was all butterflies and rainbows. Truth is, life can be frikon hard and feeling the emotions that come with it are natural. Unfortunately, we live in a society now where feeling emotions, particularly negative emotions is seen as a sign of weakness or ineptitude. Instead, we act faux-positive, putting on a smiling front, running away from our problems or even worse, resorting to drugs and alcohol to escape it. Emotions- sad, happy, depressed, anxious, angry- they are all part of the human experience and they come to us as signs that something needs to be addressed. They are an inward response to catalyse an outward experience hence it is essential to work through them to find out what is causing it, feel it and figure out how to respond. This is my current reality multiplied. Like a kid learning to walk for the first time it is like I am learning to understand and navigate my emotions. At the end of the day, emotions are what make us both human and vulnerable.
- Transformation is hard, but there is light at the end of the tunnel- I can vouch for that- transformation is frikon hard. Right now, my mind, body and spirit are all transforming and it feels like there is total havoc going on in my body. I’m depressed a lot of the time as I keep thinking about where I have been in the past with my life and my recovery and at the same time ridiculously anxious about my future. There is a war between the me I used to be and the me I want to become. As I’ve come to realise, this is all part of the healing process and while in the past I would have given up or tried some quick fix solution, this time I need to ride it out.
- We are all facing similar challenges- I used to think that what I was feeling was unique and that nobody else shared the same emotions. Well with what I have been going through I have had no choice to open up to people about my experiences and what I’ve had found is that I’m not alone. So many people are fighting similar battles and in sharing and exchanging our stories, I have actually found myself developing stronger, more meaningful bonds. For someone who used to bottle things inside, this has been a huge relief and area of growth during this whole experience. Now I know its okay to talk about it.
- Healing is simpler than we think- Let me tell you, for the past 4 years I have been suffering from CFS I have been inundated with advice from people about how to get better. Detoxes, tablets, nutritional programs, supplements, you name it, it was recommended to me. Desperate for an escape from the pain and suffering of this illness, I tried as much of it as I could. Not surprisingly, none of them worked. You see what my body truly needed was realignment and re-balancing. For years I had neglected it and had subjected it to crazy levels of stress and this illness was the catalyst for change. As I now realise, healing comes in the form of slowing down, employing natural healing mechanisms, listening to my intuition and aligning my mind and body. Healing is going to take time, but now I realise the components, I’m half way there.
- Working through emotions is key to healing- Yes, that’s right. Emotions are often linked to underlying behaviors and limiting beliefs and through addressing these, we unlock the power of healing. Emotions, behaviours and beliefs that no longer serve us can hinder our recovery and if we take time to slowly sift through the negative ones, we can find that light at the end of the tunnel. For me, this has been an ongoing process and one that has really brought some clarity. Sure, its meant a lot of time in isolation, hiding from the world but I’m learning to navigate through actually feeling emotions for the first time in ten years, working through them and transforming them to positive ones, all while managing CFS recovery. Ultimately, these are contributing to my recovery but the more phenomenal thing is I’m slowly but surely healing from both CFS and depression.
- Tapping is an amazing tool- If you haven’t tried tapping, you need to get on that bandwagon. I was first introduced to tapping about a year and a half ago from a friend following the demise of a fling with a girl. I was having a really difficult time and naturally that had impacted on my CFS, flaring symptoms and causing heightened depression and anxiety. While I tried it a couple times, I didn’t really see many results so I gave up. However, after reading Gala Darling’s book Radical Self Love, I was inspired to give it another shot. And my goodness have I seen some results. I’ve tapped about depression, fatigue, self-love, anger, anxiety and social anxiety and in all respects, I’ve seen symptoms and emotions alleviate. Like anything, it doesn’t instantly mean these things disappear but over time, managing them becomes easier and easier and I am certain that in time, negative emotions will be limited and positive emotions absolutely unlimited in my mind.
- Self-love is crucial- You better believe it. Coming from a former self-hating individual, self-love has been the main theme of my growth over the past 4 years. Like recovery, it hasn’t been a linear process but it is often correlated with my state of recovery and levels of happiness. When I’m feeling like shit and unhappy, naturally I find it hard to love myself. But this year, learning to accept myself and finally, without medication, understand my body’s capabilities and limitations, its become a massive challenge. For years I resisted to accept the full extent of my limitations because I loved myself as that energetic, vibrant and excitable human I was and couldn’t love the more tired, less energized and lethargic version of me. While its been super hard, I’ve had no choice to accept it this year as I realised that in doing so, it was the only way I could move forward. I didn’t think I could love myself on the days where I couldn’t move from bed or do my hair or the days I couldn’t have a conversation but slowly and surely I realised I am still the same wonderful, amazing, kind human regardless. I’m not perfect but I can happily say I love myself and my life just the way it is- and I know that is only going to blossom more as my healing continues.
- The things that made you sick will not heal you- When I first heard this comment, it suddenly clicked. For years I was trying so hard to get better, using my Type-A, overly ambitious personality and striving to excel in every treatment I tried. Instead of stopping, resting and let my body do its own thing, I kept looking for that quick fix cure so I could get this illness out of the way and go back to living my buller-to-gate lifestyle. Well how wrong I was. In fact what I needed to heal was completely the opposite. I had to stop looking for solutions because the answers were inside me, not outside me. My body was tired and needed rest, love and support to re-balance, not more strain. After all, it was this that made me sick in the first place. It took a while for this to sink in but now I’m clear with my boundaries, rest without guilt, listen to my body and treat it with kindness and most importantly keep my expectations low and love for myself high. I knew that this involved facing my emotions and learning to live with them rather than fight against them. It also meant learning to work with Chronic Fatigue rather than continuing the war against it. Illness comes to us to bring lessons and this is by far one of the most valuable lessons I have learned to date. And now, I feel myself, my health and my life transforming.
So there you have it. Who would have thought facing such feelings could bring such insight! Its challenging, difficult and at times, soul crushing but knowing that working through these deeply vested emotions is contributing to my healing process brings great relief. I am sensitive and I feel deeply although I know emotions are part of the human experience so now I am embrace them and the beauty they bring. Anger, sadness, frustration, fear and disappointment, I slowly release them and replace them with happiness, joy, excitement and love. This I know is the powerful force I need to heal.
Sending love to you all on your healing journey
– teaghan lee