surrender. this is life.

I just woke up in my client's bed for the 3rd night in a row. Life. Is. Fucked. 

K, it's totally not like it sounds. My client's in Europe and offered me her place when I broke down crying the day I found out I had to move out of mine due to black mould.  

I haven't really been talking publicly about my health struggles lately because I'm so 'in' it. I like to write about my experiences once I've got the learning, but I feel like this lesson is gonna take some time for me to fully grasp. we go...

I've been on this anti-microbial protocol for almost 4 months now. It's to address infections that I've probably had since I was a little girl.

I've spent a lot of time and money investigating why I have had gut health and immune issues as far back as I can remember and I've been able to piece a lot of it together.  

It all boils down to genetics, epigenetics, being an asshole to myself and travelling to south east Asia and south America with no gut protection AND abusing hard drugs and alcohol for decades. 

It was the perfect breeding ground for infections to flourish and even though I've gotten myself to a much better place than I was when I began my recovery 7 years ago, I'm not out of the water yet. 

I joke often about Mercury being in retrograde and how that's responsible for anything and everything that's annoying in life. But for real, can someone explain why all of this is happening to me right now? 

Without getting too personal (I know, I rarely ever say that), I'll just say, this has been the worst year of my life in a long, long time. 

Don't get me wrong, the toughness of it all also goes hand in hand with opportunities for growth and positive change. But I'm not there yet. 

You see, being on an antimicrobial protocol for 4 + months, being exposed to black mould for 2 months, losing my family, moving 3 times, dealing with friendship/relationship stresses and cleaning up the mess after a very expensive separation is enough to break anyone. 

Even this little, positive bean.

The morning my doctor told me that I had to leave my home due to the mould, I'll be the first to admit, I lost my shit. Big time. 

It triggers all my soft spots. My health was threatened, even more than it's already been, and my stability pulled out from underneath me by having to move again.

Anyone who's gone through an antimicrobial protocol can probably speak to how difficult it can be to manage Herxheimer reactions. Depending on your liver health, genetics and how well you eat, sleep and exercise, it can present in different ways. 

For me, I know I'm genetically predisposed to depression, anxiety and addiction when under stress. That is how most addictions and eating disorders are triggered; stress!

I can normally manage day to day stress but when it piles up like it has recently, I can spiral. And I have. 

Deeply depressive days where I don't want to get out of bed, I can't focus, I just spin and ruminate over the overwhelm that are all the moving parts and problems in my life rn (Thanks Mercury, ugh). 

Skipping the gym, eating off my low lectin keto plan (hello paleo salted caramel bars!) and crying uncontrollably while ALSO fending off addictions has been my regular this past week. 

I haven't been posting on Instagram *gasp* which I normally do daily. My routine is off, my regiment and commitments are slipping and I'm watching it all unfold with (up until yesterday) complete panic. 

Yet, here I am, writing this blog, smiling at people I know walking by, participating in meetings with my business parter and thinking about my next Instagram post. 

In just 1 day, everything changed. 

Wanna know what it was? 

Knew it :) ... Pull up a seat.

I begrudgingly opened up and started spilling it all to my best friend, Jamie Lee. She always holds space for me in such a loving and supportive way so my hesitation had less to do with fear that she wouldn't understand and more to do with not wanting to hear my own voice anymore or be a bummer. 

But her soft and loving energy just melted me so I of course opened right up and told her all the gory thoughts, the feelings of being defeated, not capable, unlovable, a victim, all about how I don't want to do it anymore, I don't want to have to be strong anymore, I just want to end it all (sorry, not sorry, that's depression). 

Jamie, being an incredible healer and coach just knew what to say. 

She started by acknowledging how I felt. That goes so so far for me. Feeling seen, understood and validated in itself can neutralize frenetic energy. I personally can't stand someone trying to 'fix' my problem without me asking for their help. Anyone else with me on that? 

Then she said this.

What if you just surrendered. This is life. 

K, reading that it may sound a little insensitive but it wasn't. We talked about how sometimes life is really fucking hard! And that sometimes the learning doesn't come right away. But she reassured me that the learning will come. It always does. And despite my depressed, victimized state of mind during our call I was able to admit that that was true.

I stopped complaining for a minute. I stopped focusing on all that was messing with my positive flow and really thought about that point.

This is life!

It's not always hard techno dance parties and dating amazing men. It's not always trips to New York with dear friends and growing an incredible business. 

Sometimes it's everyone pulling at you, telling you what's wrong with your situation, that you're sick, that you're not the norm, that you're not the one, that you have to move out of your house, that you owe an insane amount of money. 

Sometimes life is really fucking hard. 

And I think my nature is to problem solve, minimize the negative impact on my body, mind and health by fiercely protecting myself to the best of my ability. After all, I didn't protect myself for years and that got me into a lot of trouble. So much that I'm still dealing with the aftermath. 

But what if that approach (to proactively problem solve EVERYTHING all the time) only works some of the time and not all of the time?

What if all of my intense efforts to keep everything in perfect working order and from falling apart is wasted? What if I just stopped resisting what was happening and let it happen? 

Now this is different than apathy. It's not about throwing your hands up, not giving a fuck and not doing anything to protect yourself or create positive change. 

I took it more as, what if I just stopped not being ok with what's happening and accepted it as a part of my life? A shitty part, but a part nonetheless. 

In my practise I work with a lot of people who are deeply struggling with health issues. They range from gastro, to mental, to addictions and unfulfilled expectations. And a lot of my online community are struggling with similar issues. 

Because, that's life. 

And yes we fight for a better life and improvement. Yes, we dream and have hope and change behaviours to better align with our wants. 

But I'll be the first to admit that the struggles in the dark moments when we're in bed, with no hope, with no idea why this is happening to us and no vision of a way out, those struggles are the fucking worst. 

Admitting that won't make those days go away (dammit). Though admitting that, even though I'm a health coach and am supposed to shit rainbows and optimism, helps to remind those who are reading this and are either in the eye of the storm or afraid of the next one that's heading their way, that although we are often beat up by the hardness of a storm we can always ride it out until a calmer day ensues.

Today is a better day. I surrendered to this hugely annoying and difficult time in my life. I surrendered, and I rose above the clouds.

Thank you sweet sister.

Be well with hope,
Cassandra Hope RHN + CPT  

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