Anxious in anticipation, my body kicked into overdrive the two weeks leading up to the start of the school year. The first week and a half week of school unfolded with chaos as I struggled to attempt a full load of classes. This resulted in an eventual breakdown and a dropped class. Three weeks of intense stress worsened my POTS and GI issues significantly. Immediately after honoring my body’s signals to slow down academically, I was reinforced of my physical need to take it easy with a nasty cold that dragged on for a week. Days after that began to clear up, I mysteriously contracted hands foot and mouth disease. This joyous virus left me with a fever and dozens of painful sores in my mouth. I was nearly bedridden for 10 days. Here I am a week later and my body is left in shambles. I have been fighting to function through crippling fatigue and worsening POTS for the past month and a half. I have been putting forth every drop of effort I have to do a mediocre job in school. I have been experiencing a feeling of groundlessness and overwhelm running back and forth between my house in Encinitas and my house in Ocean Beach for appointments. I have had to pass up many social opportunities, surf sessions, weekend trips.
But I am doing the best I can, and that is enough.
While intensely focusing on “healing”, I have been struggling to embrace the present moment with optimism and acceptance. Healing began to feel like a loaded term. I wanted to reframe my idea of healing: rather than seeing it as a means to happiness and normality (whatever that is), I am challenging myself to view healing as learning to love my body in the present moment no matter where it is with no expectations but to be listen to and honor my needs.
What does this look like to me right now? No “exercise” but rather healing movement: surfing, walking, stretching, resting when I need to (which is currently a lot), saying no to things, protecting myself from toxic relationships/energies, letting go of ego around school work and daily meditation/practicing mindfulness. My goal right now is not to obsess over the sufferings of my past or anticipate the sufferings of the future, but to take my life day by day.
I am hopeful for the new treatments I have been experimenting with: functional medicine and clinical hypnosis. With a functional medicine doctor I have been working on expanding my diet- eating less starchy foods, adding in more greens and eating more variety. I am taking a cocktail of new supplements that target gut health as well as undergoing additional tests to fine tune some of my adrenal, thyroid, digestive issues and more. It has been helpful to have someone look at my health comprehensively, fill in the gaps that other doctors have missed and provide a holistic plan of action rooted in reliable science. I don’t feel my doctor is just guessing what I should eat or what supplements I should take like I have felt with many professionals in the past.
In addition, I am very excited about clinical hypnosis. Through hypnosis, I am targeting improving my functional digestive pain, feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, brain fog, etc. Clinical hypnosis is basically a deep meditation that sends your body into a state of trance. In trance you are more receptive to suggestions, so it has an 80% success rate at improving symptoms. I practice the visualization techniques I learn on my own at home.
As I continue with these new therapies, I will keep ya’ll updated with what is working for me. In the future I am hoping to share some gut healing recipes on this platform. But for now, it’s one step at a time:)