Fighting for My Health
I have been walking a journey of unexplained un-wellness for over a year and a half. I admit that it has gone on as long as it has for, I have stopped the investigation and started over more than once as I could not bear to deal with the incompetence of the medical field, but more than anything the blatant dismissal of my voice and how I listen to my own body. When someone makes you feel small with their ego enough times, it can be really hard to stand up for yourself repeatedly.
I have not always been particularly good at listening to my body. For those who know me well or know of my books and work, I battled an eating disorder for over 14 years of my life in my young adult years. The entire basis of this journey was more to do about me not being able to listen to my body and the stories it was trying to tell. I had a disdain so great, a fear so dark that I chose to make it disappear rather than face the truth of what was behind it all. It took 14 years and then some, of recovery to release the pain and the trauma that previously would hide the stories within my body. Through that process I began to see how I lived my entire life afraid to listen to my body, afraid to admit if I was not feeling well and at a loss of how one takes care of themselves.
I was raised in an environment where one did not speak up for themselves; it was deemed selfish or self-centered. Later it would become more clear talking about the stories within my body where the secrets no one wanted told were found.
So, cut to today, and while I have found peace, healing, and a strength beyond my past; some life scars are still difficult to pass by. I let my health decline before I put myself in front of doctors for fear of ‘how I look’ ‘how I sound’ or ‘what if no one believes me?’ I often wait until I get into emergency situations when I am then forced to take care of my body for the pain or problem has become too great.
A period a few years ago, I began having debilitating anxiety attacks to the point of countless ER visits with no explanation. Cut to two years later when a neurologist finally shed light on the fact that it was one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted signs of perimenopause. I was so shamefully dismissed and drugged during that time as well, to find it was not my fault. Think about how many people walk these types of journeys alone and why depression and suicide rates are on the rise in this country. We need to share our experiences more, so that people do not feel so alone in their own life.
That is where I find myself today.
While the world walked in Covid the last two years, I too have been walking through perimenopause into the home stretch. I am no longer ashamed to say that I have lived with anxiety and depression my entire life. I am learning that this is a common denominator for most people. Where I take fault in the system is that every answer to any symptom I am experiencing is related back to these things above. I cannot imagine people who are walking this journey without support. For with my support system, I have had some pretty dark days, but they thankfully pushed me through.
Chronic pain is real.
Chronic exhaustion is real.
Autoimmune disease I am learning is one of the hardest illnesses to diagnose.
It is real.
It has taken me longer than it should have, but I am finally getting some answers very slowly. Some of those answers have been a lot harder to hear than others, but I am grateful for the ability to prepare my children and my future accordingly. Other avenues I am still walking the path of discovery with as much faith and inner strength as I can, for I know my body deeper today than I ever have in my life. It is speaking loudly and asking me to fight for it. I will continue to do so…I was encouraged to share this today for those who are not as blessed as I am to have support telling me to keep going offering their hand and ear as I walk.
I see you.
Do not give up the fight.
Do not quietly sit in pain alone when you do not have to.
Trust your voice, trust your body and fight for your health.
You are worth it.
Life should not have to be lived in pain.
No one should have to struggle alone.
I am a believer of using one’s life and voice. We are walking a journey together and our stories can be each other’s guides and strength when we are searching for our own.
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.