When I was a young child, I lost my grandma to cancer. I watched her slowly wither away. I was devastated. I went from a happy-go-lucky child, to one who was almost obsessively worried with the fear of losing my mom too. Worry and anxiety dominated my life for several years after my grandma’s death. Then, again, as an early adolescent, I lost one of my grandpa’s to cancer as well. He literally shriveled up to nothing right before my very eyes. This pushed me into a second depressive state.
Through both of these experiences, I internalized my worry and fear, so much so, that for several years my doctors thought I had a stomach problem. I was tested for stomach cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, colitis, celiac disease, IBS…..every possible digestive condition possible. And every test came back negative. The reason for my ailments? I was LITERALLY internalizing all of my stress and worry into my stomach and digestive tract. My stomach was eating toxic emotion for every meal, every day.
It’s also why, when I went through the stress of my first marriage, I dropped nearly 60 pounds, from 160 to under 100, in a few short months time. I simply stopped eating, and literally “lived” off the stress hormones.
During my first marriage, I also developed extreme TMJ. I would grind my teeth, and clench my jaws so intensely from the stress I was dealing with, that my jaw would simply lock shut, causing excruciating pain. To this day, I wear nightguards in my mouth every night, and I have a heavy duty narco-psychotic RX, that is for a short term use, to loosen the muscles in my jaw, for those now rare instances where the TMJ rears its’ugly head.
After I left my first husband, I broke out in 5 types of hives, resulting in my family rushing me to the ER. Every possible test was run for what could possibly be causing my rashes. The diagnosis? All my tests came back negative. The extreme stress I was under caused my body to simply flip out and basically set off emergency signals. The RX given? Eliminate stress from my life.
I had a skin cancer removed from my face at 37.
I went on HBP medicine at 38.
I had to go to physical therapy at 39 for a shoulder injury I had experienced at the hand of my ex-husband, only to suffer the muscular consequences almost a decade later.
Without hair dye- I was almost completely gray at 40, stress induced I’ve been told.
At 41 I had ovarian cysts that ruptured, causing me excruciating pain.
I could go on, but I think you’ve got the picture. You can experience so much stress in your life, endure so much trauma, that at a certain point, your body will simply say, ENOUGH. It will go on strike. It will flip out. It will check itself into rehab. It will say to your mind, “I’ve put up with you, now you need to listen to me.”
And while I’m a hypochondriac ( hey…..I pay $2,000 a MONTH for Kaiser coverage for my kids and I, so I’m going to darn well go to the doctor whenever I FEEL like it), I have also become a growing believer in Eastern medicine too. I don’t want to treat my ailments simply by reactively popping pills. I want to get myself holistically healthy from the inside out. I want to prevent as much, if not more, than what I am simply reactively medicating and treating…. I’ve already started using essential oils daily (if you’re interested, I’m a distributor of doTerra Essential Oils), and they make a big difference, in certain areas of my physical and emotional health.
I’ve also recently started studying the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda. I’ve learned that my dosha is a combo Vata/Pitta dosha. The elements that I primarily embody are represented by air, space, fire, and water. Noticably absent is earth, which is the dominant element in the third dosha, Kapha. Earth is the grounding, balancing element, offering stability and steadfastness of nature. And while I’ve learned to be very stable and steadfast as a parent, it is not my natural bent.
And then it dawned on me…. It’s the reason why, every opportunity I get, I want to be in nature. It’s why I love gardening, and find it so therapeutic. It’s why I love walking barefoot in the sand and dirt. It’s why, growing up, you’d more often find me in my tree house or backyard lawn than inside in my room. It’s why I always need to see horizons in my vision, why my house decorations reflect mountains and beaches; and why, if I ever get the option, I choose sunlight over fluorsecent lighting any day. It’s why I’d rather camp in a tent than be in the highest, most beautiful fancy hotel room,at any opportunity.
And then it dawned on me….. All of this is why this tattoo, with its’ shades of brown and green, has always brought me such pleasure. Because the earth, browns, greens, natural fibers, and being able to be in places where I am surrounded by greenery and granite, bring me so much joy…because they balance me out. They strengthen areas in my own psyche where I’m weaker. They literally breathe life into my soul. And it’s why, since I’ve been a young child, I have loved the lyrics to the songs I sang in my church’s children’s choir,“Down By The Creek Bank” and “Ain’t Gonna Let the Mountains Praise The Lord”. And it’s why three of my all time favorite Bible verses are, ” But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand Isaiah 64:8“; ” Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19“; and “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.Isaiah 58:11.”
The very rocks cry out, reflecting the very essence of God Himself; and it’s in that Rock, that I find my strength. Namaste.