Life never quite works out how you plan does it? I mean, having an autoimmune disease for your 21st birthday wasn’t exactly how imagined I would start my crossover into adulthood. Constant stomach cramps, chronic gas pain so bad so boyfriend took me to the emergency department every weekend and a general – “feeling like crap every day but I will get up and drag my sorry arse out and bed to my full time job and full time uni degree cause there’s people worse off than me was” was how my life was. Couple that with constant late nights of dancing (and sometimes way too much drinking) every Thursday to Sunday of every week must’ve been playing havoc with my body. But it was a strong little thing….It actually kept going, unlike so many other stories you read of the "how I healed myself women” I didn’t fall apart then, my body didn't shut down..... no I pulled myself through, got diagnosed with Coeliac disease and although got a lot better, was never quite the same…And I’ve been searching for that elusive girl ever since.
I briefly found her in Darwin during the years my husband and I lived in what I now recall as "Glow Years" – an oasis of calm we had found up there in the North - the perfect job (if you call flying eagles a job) a beautiful house out bush teamed with the most perfect weather (okay so ignore the months of Oct-Dec known as troppo season !) and the most loveable beautiful friends I have ever encountered in my life…..During these years, I struggled constantly with my weight, my body image, feelings of insecurity and not being good enough, skinny enough, or just enough full stop. Then something happened…I let it go, all of it, and all of a sudden, within months, my being just became radiant. It shone through me - my boyfriend says it was like that most perfect light in the late afternoon which gives the wilderness its fairy glow. I ate organic chocolate, I had full cream (bio-dynamic) milk and butter and I also worked damned hard as a zookeeper. I didn't do crazy exercises or go to gym every day and squat my heart out. What I found was Yoga. I saw this little add up in our local shop saying "Hatha Yoga with Mary" and I went along, and it quite literally saved me. No joke. It gave me peace and solitude and a place to me be. To get used to being me. To stand in my light and feel its power. To this day, its the only thing, except love my partner, that I have done consistently.
Then my world came crashing down, AGAIN, whilst on holidays in Cairns, I awoke to a phone call which I will forever remember as quite possibly the most horrible day of my life. My dad had had a serious stroke, was still alive but on life support and I needed to be home NOW. We arranged to fly back to Darwin then to Adelaide and I remember bits of it but most of it is a tangled blurry mess of crap. I remember the planes being late and taking 2 days to get to him and he kissed me goodbye and said 'I love you Middo" and then , like that, he was gone, forever, no more hugs, no more Middo, no more love, just gone, cold forever gone from my arms and my life in an instant. I remember being overcome with a horrible sense of nothingness, the light left me that night, it poured out of me like a waterfall flowing for the last time as a river dries up. I ran out through the doors and there were people and family and they wanted a piece of me, they all wanted to offer their arms. Which is what we do isn’t? it’s what humans do. But I wanted none of it, I wanted to run out of that hospital and keep running until I got to a place where this hadn’t happened and my family was still somewhat resembling a normal one.
That night, that week was not real, I seemed to float through seconds and minutes but it wasn’t really me. The grief was unlike anything I had ever imagined. And the feeling of being so alone yet so surrounded by loving people was excruciating, painful and sad. I returned home, broken, dark and lonely for my dad. And it was yoga, more specifically meditation that saved me from those depths of darkness. I meditated every morning to Kirtan, chanting over and over mantras of love and devotion, until one morning I woke up and I felt the tiniest glow, creeping into the corners of my soul and somehow I knew it would be aright, one day it would be okay.
Then marriage, the most beautiful thing in the world was done before any other tragedy could occur. To this day, the happiest moment of my life. Afterwards, though, that glow diminished slowly again. We moved to another state, it was cold and dreary. Then a job which destroyed my soul and all of a sudden that glow that had begun to work its back, disappeared. AGAIN. But I met shining lights, down there in the cold, friends, who helped me through and told me to do whats in my heart and makes me happy. And so I did.
After years of searching in every diet, every exercise, every job, I still am only just getting my glow back and then WHAM……."why thank-you, did you say you needed a little bit more of a challenge? I think you did, well here you go have a thyroid autoimmune condition – Graves to be exact, and how about we throw some chaos into the mix too this time, just for fun, like 2 fatalities at the national park where you work, so tragic, they hit the heart of your soul?"
And here we are, right now, in this moment, wondering how did it all come to this? What was it about my energy that so magnetically attracted these conditions to my life? Genetics, yes, there is a gene for what I have and then there is a predisposition to other autoimmune (hello graves) but what was it that I was doing to attract these things? I wondering …. Then finally it hits me…
What if it’s just because, what if it’s just because….I need to let it all go, let go of being owned my these diseases, being owned by the people who want to give sympathy, empathy, a dear nod and some poor you vibes……what if I just let it all go and let it pass and started to heal myself? What would happen?
So, I read books, blogs, pages of scientific journals, scoured the globes (from my Macbook) searching for the ways that I can regain my glow, my light, my soul. And I have concluded:
We, as a species, are capable of great things; of re-writing our genetic expression, of stopping the spread of cancer, of walking again after being told we would not and healing our bodies through our minds. So therefore, so am I. I am capable of healing myself and my body and of finding my glow again.
I am not defined by my autoimmune disease…. My autoimmune diseases DO NOT HAVE ME and I WILL GLOW AGAIN.
It is possible to live, not with Graves, not despite it, not without-out it but just live…and to GLOW.
Come on this journey with me, connect with me or work with me on yours - I look forward to the light Mid x