Believe me, I really wished I could have just woken up and that everything I had been dealing with was all a bad dream.
This incident happened to me in July of 2010. My doctors had me on 11 prescription medications, and I was somewhat sedated... asleep you could say.
(The whole story is in my two memoirs: Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain. Plus, I combined the contents of these two books into On The Move: Autobiography of a Survivor.)
You see, once upon a time, I was overwhelmed by Depression, Anxiety, PTSD from multiple incidents of trauma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Epstein Barr Virus), and Adrenal Fatigue plus the pain of Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Facet Syndrome, Nerve Compression, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and Polycystic Ovarian Disease--leading up to permanent disability in 1998.
When I could no longer work, I lost the identity connected to the work I did. Then my identity became the afflictions I had, including being a "disabled person." Despite antidepressants, I dealt with an increasing amount of stress, anxiety, depression, struggle, and low self-worth.
Then in 2005, I found out I had Grade 2 Spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 due to a bilateral pars fracture... and that I was born with Spina Bifida Occulta at L5... which was the root cause of the pain and weakness in my legs.
As a result of this encounter, I decided to stop taking the 11 prescription medications I swallowed every day cold turkey. (Please don't do this!) These meds included antidepressants, antiseizure drugs (2), muscle relaxers, opioids, PPIs, statin drugs, BP meds, diabetes meds, and more.
For the 1st 24 hours, I was OK and thought nothing would happen. Then the withdrawal hit. For 5 days, I was terribly sick. I had the sweats, chills, diarrhea, and felt like I had a severe case of the flu.
Then I WOKE UP!
I felt like I was injected with amphetamines! And, I thought I had experienced a miraculous cure! (Maybe it was a manic high?)
I went from spending most of my life in bed to experiencing strength, energy, and absence of pain as well as the inability to sleep more than 2 hours a night. This adrenaline rush lasted for 3 months, during which time I seemed to be downloaded from the heavens with a life purpose--to USE THE TALENTS I HAD BEEN BLESSED WITH.
I started writing non-stop, all of which became this blog and the many books I’ve published so far.
A few months after 'waking up,' I swung the other way and crashed. The pain, weakness, and depression returned, plus I began to have anxiety attacks. A recovering alcoholic said I "hit the wall."
All my Primary Physician had to offer was more prescription medication, which I sadly accepted because I couldn't afford to see a Naturopathic/Holistic Doctor or get any of the alternative therapies I wanted.
But I had to know... what happened during the 3 months I felt fantastic? And could I feel that way again?
I continued to do more research to try and figure out what had happened while building this blog, adding links to all the blogs & websites I found pertaining to my challenges.
My thirst for learning more about my body and natural solutions intensified, and the internet began to deliver one documentary series after another pertaining to autoimmune disease, nutrition, vaccines, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, and alternative treatments for chronic pain. I listened to interviews with holistic doctors and practitioners from all over the world. Then I purchased some of their books to read.
I learned about nutrition (healing leaky gut & improving autoimmune issues) and lots of positive psychology (your thoughts create your life).
I learned Conventional Medicine (the route I had taken for my issues) is generally for managing diseases and disabilities once you develop them. As for me…
- There was never any mention I could have gluten intolerance and other food sensitivities that were triggering autoimmune responses that targeted my muscles, ligaments, and tendons as well as metabolic imbalances. (It turned out painful arthritis was a reaction to oatmeal, painful fascia knots were a reaction to wheat. High blood pressure was a reaction to salt. Diabetes was a result of sugar addiction.)
- There was never any mention I could have a leaky gut from all the antibiotics I had been given which were also triggering autoimmune reactions.
- There was never any mention that Epstein Barr & Herpes viruses can affect your overall nervous system, including spinal nerves. (Anthony Williams/Medical Medium).
- There was never any mention that my thought processes were distorted. (Cognitive Distortions.)
- There was never any mention that childhood and adult trauma contributed to my cells' inability to recover (cell danger response) and my nervous system being stuck in fight or flight.
- And there certainly was never any mention that by focusing on everything that was wrong, including my life circumstances and ailments, I was attracting more of it (Law of Attraction).
Energy Medicine, however, returns homeostasis and BALANCE vs. DIS-EASE as well as providing COURAGE and HOPE. I found a new highway to achieving health and happiness, even putting away my wheelchair after depending on one for over five years.
I learned that patterns of thinking and believing produce chemical reactions in your body, which affect your nervous system, digestive system, endocrine system, hormone production, energy level, and balance... all of which immediately and directly impact your immune system.
I had beaten myself up (my own worst bully) for 'freezing' each time I had encountered a traumatic situation and couldn't defend myself. Then Peter Levine's book, Waking the Tiger, relieved me of this condition when I learned it was a natural defense mechanism to FREEZE. Then the trauma(s) stay frozen in your body until you find a way to discharge the energy.
I learned about the Law of Attraction and realized how by focusing on all that was wrong with my life, I attracted more of the same.
Once I began to focus on GRATITUDE, MIRACLES, and SYNCHRONICITIES, I began to attract this instead (or noticing them where before I didn't). I began to meet holistic health care practitioners who offered treatment and solutions, including one who bartered for what I had taught myself how to do--publishing, social media, and website creation.
I learned about the 10 Cognitive Distortions (10 Forms of Twisted Thinking)--and acknowledged I had all 10 of them, which contributed to unhappiness, pain, and depression.
- I kept track of my thoughts.
- I matched them to cognitive distortions.
- Were the thoughts I was thinking true?
- Did I have proof?
- Am I discounting the positive and ruminating about the negative?
- Is there an alternative way to think about this situation?
- Will this matter a year from now... or five years from now?
- I had to be in pain in order to exist.
- I had to be perfect in order to be loved--and because I wasn't perfect, I was unlovable.
- that in order to utilize the Law of Attraction, you have to love yourself enough to believe you DESERVE to have what you desire?
- that you will attract people in your life who REFLECT your lack of self-love issues?
- that you cannot love others as you love yourself if your idea of love is DISTORTED?
Indeed, my readers, when I began to figure it all out, my life shifted dramatically! Amazing people and circumstances began to manifest all around me, including the transfer to a newly remodeled apartment!
I am still challenged with the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 (which is now Grade 2-3). In June of 2018, I had to get back into using a wheelchair. While others have endured fusion, for me, the risks far outweigh the benefits.
I still have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Pain (although not nearly as severe as it used to be).
But having a PURPOSE enables me to cope with it, and living in JOY works better than taking pain pills (most of the time). I can catch myself ruminating when in the midst of a flare-up and reframe, instead of staying stuck in depression. I even discovered (or rediscovered) my passion for sharing and making a difference.
I've had to discontinue Toastmasters, but am still part of like-minded social groups such as the Central Texas Writers Society and the Rumley Club (Texas Education Extension Association) which provide community, an essential ingredient to mental health.
On this site, I have provided links to meditations, videos, articles, exercises, and websites that were instrumental in my transformation. Come inside... and find some inspiring solutions for your life!
I am eager and willing to inspire personal transformation for you, just as it has happened for me.
There are many more 'albums' on my Pinterest Page.
I also post on the Lampasas Pain Support Facebook Group so be sure to request to join the group.
Be forewarned, though. Too much time on your computer, tablet, or smartphone will aggravate your condition and repetitive motion injuries are painful! Looking down at devices continuously messes with your neck and all the way down as you lose the natural curve in it.
Hope is knowing that just because everything you tried in the past hasn't worked, it doesn't mean there isn't anything new still to be discovered!