One of my all-time fave flicks is that film with Robyn Williams (bless his soul) What Dreams May Come. It's about a man who travels to the bowels of hell to save his wife who committed suicide while battling depression.
I've asked myself many times since watching that movie if I'd walk through hell to save my soul mate? Would I walk through hell to save myself? Hells ya I would...and I have.
What does hell look like anyway? Different to everyone, I'm sure.
What if it means having to face your addictions? Your family trauma. Your abusers. What if it means putting your career on hold to find your healing? Not being able to begin a relationship with someone who you know you could love so madly it would blow both of your minds if you took the plunge...having to say goodbye to that to save yourself.
Are we not worth doing anything to save ourselves? Heal ourselves? And when we do, how many generations of change and healing are we affecting? I've been told 7. Where they got that number from I have no idea, but chances are it's from somewhere that makes sense...I trust her.
In my process of healing my body and soul I have come to the realization that I do want children after all and that my not wanting them for the past several years was a defense mechanism. Long story, but I've had incredible pain around loss with children and after putting energy into healing I'm now able to see I'll not only be an amazing mom, I can also rest assured I've broken the cycle.
"The cycle" for me is generations of mentally ill women who bear children and then abandon them when they're older. Like 8, 12, 16 y/o. Those wounds go deep boy, and tbh I totally understand why they did it. We often vilify those who don't act with integrity or honour, when I'm a firm believer that although we need to address the abuse, we could also back it up with support and empathy for the abuser because without that how can they change? If no one stops to ask, "Why did you do what you did? What happened to you? What do you need?" then how can they heal and change also?
We need support from others to rise. We need support, a non-judgemental environment and others who believe in our potential to heal, grow and change. Yes, even those who are 'damaged' deserve healing.
I decided 7 years ago that I didn't want children because I would probably repeat the cycle. Until last week when I had a major breakthrough and felt the energy of me being a mother while in an energy healing session.
With the help of a wonderful healer I've been working with I saw her with her children, loving them, teaching them. I cried with happiness. I know now that I have done the work to break the cycle and have enough tools to manage whatever might come up while being a parent, and I know now that I am worthy of experiencing such love.
I never gave up on my healing.
We (the women in my family) all had the same beginnings...physical, mental and emotional abuse and neglect which led to addiction and mental illness and in turn, physical illness as well.
Many victims of abuse fall through the cracks. They don't have the tribal support to lift them up. They may not have the resources or mental capacity to fight everyday. My heart is with those people. If you who are reading this is someone like that know that my heart is with you.
I've been fortunate enough to have a fire and fight in me that has allowed me to walk through hell to find my healing and come out the other side a stronger, better person. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars on courses, practitioners and supplements, I've moved through addiction, mental illness, I've been judged, left, mistreated, misunderstood, I've put my career on hold, boxed my family out for 4 years, lost a business...I've hired coaches and doctors with minimal results, I've thought I wasn't worthy of health and abundance, I've questioned my worth, my sanity, my abilities.
I've done all those things, but one thing remained constant.
I got up everyday and continued to look for the opportunity. My fierce, tenacious and dedicated energy toward my healing has never faded.
I know many of you who are reading this are not addicts. You may not know what it's like to dose your first (of many) hits of acid at 13 years old or feel such deep fear of losing your business or be 'found out' because you stay up for days on every designer drug ever created while still doing TV segments on "How to stay fit this holiday season."
Maybe you don't know what it's like to look around a room at all of the people you consider to be your loves, your chosen family and those who you are closest with and are also using and ask yourself "Is anyone else as terrified as I am?".
You may not know those feelings, or maybe you do, but I'll bet you do know what it's like to struggle with something so badly that you watch it uproot and destroy your foundation, whatever that looks like.
For some that may be watching your marriage fall apart. For others it might be financial ruin. For many it's losing their health to a disease or chronic illness. It could be a reno from hell or a career ending abruptly.
It doesn't matter the struggle, the fact is we all face some type of ruin in our lives. (That's just life!) Something that breaks us down to our raw, vulnerable and fragile core.
If you're the introspective type you're probably looking back with clear hindsight thinking "How did I not see that coming? How did I not handle that differently, it was SO OBVIOUS!!?"
I've spent 7 years doing that. Replaying my years of drug and alcohol abuse over and over wishing I had the strength to make better choices. Wishing I had the wisdom to say no to the man who invited me into a world of destruction, instability and pain...but that wouldn't have been any fun, would it?
But for real, I have to thank my ex-boyfriend who invited me into a world so riddled with addiction, co-dependancy and abuse because without him I wouldn't have the wisdom, clarity and strength that I have today.
Don't get me wrong, he's still a prick, and I did meet him with empathy and curiosity as to why he was the way he was only to be faced with his complete and udder denial and resistance.
But the good stuff is in me now because I've chosen to fight for my ability to self-soothe, reparent myself, find calm and peace, find mental health, a life without addiction and a body without illness.
PS I know we're all supposed to find forgiveness, be positive and all Ghandi-like and forgive, send love and let go traumatic events/relationships but I'm a firm believer in keeping it real and honouring what we're feeling. It's COMPLETELY NORMAL to feel anger and dislike someone cause they fucked you (figuratively not literally). No need to carry that energy around but it's ok in my opinion to own the fact that someone was a complete and total asshole to you. It's complex and complicated, I know...Just sayin'.
It's been 7 years since I sat in my FMP's (functional medicine practitioner's) office, looked her in the eye and said
"I think I've done something really wrong. I feel like I've done some major damage".
I knew in that moment that I had done serious damage to my body. I just knew. From the outside I looked just fine! I had long, healthy hair, glowing skin, I was lean and bubbly, I had a studio, was on television - from the outside I looked like I had it all.
On the inside I was dealing with multiple infections due to a vulnerable gastro system, neurotransmitter imbalance, a damaged HPA axis, hormone dysregulation, a brain injury
Remember those videos this is your brain on drugs? Yea. It's a thing
We didn't know any of that then. Instead, as I sat in her office, she presented me with probiotics, vitamin A, fish oil and sugar free diet.
It definitely wasn't a cure-all. Not even close. But it was a start.
It was me showing up for my health. It was me asking the hard questions, telling all the gory details, side-stepping shame to be vulnerable enough to tell a total stranger what I had done to myself to make myself so sick.
And then I did it again...and again...and again with countless other practitioners as I began to peel away the layers of myself...my health...my healing.
I've told my story, asked the hard questions, paid the outrageous bill, took the course, read the book, hired the healer - honestly, there isn't anything I wouldn't do to unravel the damage I did to my beautiful temple when I was struggling with the after effects of trauma. The after effects of abandonment, abuse, addiction and eating disorders.
Yes, it's been incredibly expensive and time consuming. I've lost my mind a thousand times and found it again only to be even stronger, wiser and more clear.
That's the thing about struggle and losing it all...when we keep showing up, over and over, fighting for our healing, we grow as humans. We heal. We become more empathetic, we connect with others on a deeper level. We can become better members of our community, be better business owners, partners, friends...
Struggle, when used as a platform for growth and healing, makes us better people.
I've spent 7 years healing and recovering from addiction, co-dependancy, depression and anxiety, infections, a brain injury, low self-esteem and PTSD. Sorry not sorry this is what happens when a child is neglected and abused.
They grow up not knowing their worth. Not knowing how to self soothe. They grow up not trusting, not knowing how to create healthy boundaries and you know what else happens? Their bodies start to manifest the pain.
When we lose it all because of struggle we have no choice but to rebuild. Or at least that's how my mind works. What's the alternative? To keep sliding and end up in a pit of despair?
Fuck that noise.
Yes, we spend money on things that don't yield ALL of the results...sometimes we spend money on things that bring none. Get over it. All that matters is you got up, trusted yourself enough to make a decision and hopefully found some learning.
A client of mine asked me this week if I believe that all of my efforts are actually helping? He explained that I seem like I'm still battling a lot of demons.
"I am. And yes, I've improved incredible amounts from where I was just 7 short years ago".
We must own where we are, without apology. It's ok to be exactly where we are.
Luckily, everything I learn I bring into my practise. I can teach, specialize and have empathy for my clients. That's priceless to me.
You though...my question to you is this...
When you hit a roadblock with your progress, do you look for the next opportunity or do you shut down in frustration?
If the latter, were you aware you do that? And are you ok with that pattern? If you want to see true change are you willing to walk through hell to save yourself?
If so, strap on your most badass boots and take your first step. Let's make this year the year you walk your fiercest path and be your best self.
I know you can do this.
Be well with hope
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