One of my friends is very into astrology, and we talked about my birth chart… I am Pisces Sun & Moon with a Virgo rising… Apparently, having the same sun and moon sign is quite unusual, and she told me that it usually drives great self-sufficiency. It could explain some of the strong willpower and determination I possess. There is also a deep need to prove people wrong when I feel in my soul that I can do something.
Take my health diagnosis. The words from the doctor’s mouth say something like, ‘take this medication. It’s all you can do’. There are many things to be grateful to the NHS, but that mindset and attitude isn’t one of them. ‘You have to accept that you are a sick person now, and your life will have to change whether you like it or not’ was something I was told in the hospital.
My studies (HND Health, Fitness & Exercise & BSc Sport & Exercise Science) were about everything we can do to try and keep us out of the doctor’s office. 80+% of modern diseases are lifestyle and diet conditions, and small behaviour changes are preventable. Yet the government & NHS put minimal emphasis on this. They are more than happy to have the media report that the NHS is constantly at a breaking point, but they don’t continue to say, ‘Here’s what you can do…’.
I am not naive. I know WHY that message doesn’t get through. There is big money ruling the messaging.
So, it was up to me to ignore the shockingly bad advice… Yes, you have Crohn’s. No, what you eat won’t make any difference to your condition – are you f#@king kidding me?! Diet has no impact on a disease of the digestive tract… That was nearly as bad as the first GP I saw telling me that there was no connection to the ulcers in my mouth and the extreme pain I was experiencing at my tail end… The digestive tract connects the two… That’s 1st year high school science!
When I used to go into the day clinic to get the medication IV delivered, I would be sitting in a room with other patients (and medical staff) all drinking Irn Bru and Coke, and we were being offered premade white bread sandwiches and low fat, high sugar, artificially sweetened yoghurts for lunch. Not a single gram of fiber, not a vegetable or piece of fruit in sight. I always took my soup or smoothie in, and I was the one that got funny looks and asked ‘why’ I was eating/drinking that.
I need to take a breath here. I worked on my expectations of others in therapy while working on acceptance.
When I let go of that expectation of the NHS, I understand that it’s a service to identify a problem and offer medication to suppress the symptoms so they can get onto the next patient. It’s not about health at all. I think it should be renamed NDS (National Drug Service).
If you want to get healthy, it’s up to you to take control and make it happen.
My disappointment put fire in my belly to show what could be done and how to rebuild strength after a flare. How to have hope and faith in a healing journey. The bodymind connection is vital – if it wasn’t, the placebo effect wouldn’t even be a thing, and many illnesses wouldn’t manifest.
The works of Gabor Mate, Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine and others link stress and trauma to the manifestation of dis-ease and Kelly Turner’s work Radical Remission, where patients given terminal diagnoses made changes to their lifestyle and mindset and turned the prognosis if not the diagnosis on its head.
David Hamilton, PhD, in his book How the Mind Heals the Body, states ‘to accept the diagnosis, not the prognosis.
Search out others who have turned things around.
It’s crucial in your quest to take inspiration and avoid comparison – I got lost in comparison, leaving me brokenhearted and feeling like a failure. And be cautious of fads and the next miracle cure.
When you are on your healing journey, there are a lot of books, courses, and programmes out there promising you their method is THE ONE. Just like thousands of ‘diet’ books don’t work. If there was just one way, none of us would be sick because we would have worked it out by now!
I teach you to listen to your body and inner wisdom and do what feels suitable. I’m not too fond of dogmatic approaches to anything, especially your body, health, and healing. We are unique, as has our journey to this point.
Yes, some basics are: get adequately hydrated, eat real food, move your body and get good quality sleep. How you structure these has to be what’s right for you, depending on where you are on your life journey. A 20-year-old doesn’t have the same plan as a 50-year-old, and whether you are male or female will come into play too – the biology and hormone cycle is different. Other factors, such as job and family commitments, must be considered.
To be empowered, to know that there is more YOU can do. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
What is possible today?