Throughout childhood I took pride in my resilience. I was not picky, ate most food and I was always up for novel experiences and enjoyed people. Looking back, I realize how this impacted me. I always felt tired, a bit weak and had digestive issues. The food I ate made me sick. In fact, I often skipped meals as most food made me feel ill, which is how I felt most people responded to food.
Although I enjoyed people, I needed down time to feel replenished. I hardly got this down time as I always had activities and events to go to. I loved people and just wanted to help everyone feel good. My peers would often come to me with their problems and I would help solve them. My self esteem was very connected to making those around me feel good. These are good qualities but they were also harmful as helping others and not honoring me led to many issues of self esteem. In many ways, I was lost, as I did not feel like I fit in. My worth came from having empathy for others, which I would use almost to my sacrifice.
Large crowds, scratchy clothes, loud noises and smells bothered me and I would have a stuffed up nose most of the winter. My environment did not suit me and my body reacted. As children, we are unaware of how this impacts us as we do not have the insight to realize that there can be another way, especially if our true selves are not honored by the adults around us. I found ways to cope through eating pizza and junk food. I ate very little but only enjoyed those foods as they were quick fixes. In college, I lived on $1 hotdogs and taco bell. I weighed 90 lbs so I was not concerned about vanity. I continued to eat like this in my 20' even after marriage and going to graduate school.
It was after I became a mother to my child, my body suddenly declined. Then came the intense anxiety and depression. My body started to become very weak and all of a sudden I felt a crash. The cortisol levels in my body were very high. I was constantly in this "fight or flight" mode and I could not relax. I no longer could sleep at all, which was very scary as I was a young mother and had much to do. I went to my internal medicine doctor who sent me away with a prescription of Xanax and sleeping pills, which gave me little relief and many more symptoms. There was no answers. Western medicine told me that these aches and pains were just "normal" for new mother. Then i thought I was just "insane." However, there was just this knowing that I was really sick and while there was an emotional component, what I felt was real. The physical pain was real.
Somehow this felt like a calling. A calling to live a new way, to become my true self. While I sort of understood this at the time, I often asked why did it happen like this?I felt months of agony barely sleeping with this intense racing heart. I would drive around the city just to try to escape from this intense anxiety. My body began to ache and i could barely hold my hands above my head. This is when I prayed to God. I had always been a fan of God but had not grown up with religion. It is in these moments in your life when you just hope that there really is a God, a universal force, something out there...
" Please God, send me to someone who can help me." The next morning I looked up different holistic doctors. I went to a few who did not help me. Looking back, I probably went to the "wrong" ones so I could find the 'right" one. This is the concept of synchronicity. It was like this new way of living, intuition something was now available to me.
Then I found a holistic doctor to help. A person who really understood all of the underlying mechanisms of disease and introduced me to another life. Through tests, we realized that i was sensitive to gluten, dairy, egg and i eliminated sugar from my diet. I was introduced to energy medicine, homeopathic medicine, and concepts as acupuncture and Reiki. I began to eat all organic and get weekly infusions of B vitamins through an IV. Within months I began to recover and within a year I was healthy, actually much healthier then I ever felt. I now understand how to " eat to live" and not "live to eat." My anxiety and depression mostly disappeared once I felt healthy again. However, I do practice meditation, grounding and breathing exercises on a daily basis in order to maintain balance.
The interesting part of my journey has been all of the awakening and healing which has occurred after I actually began to care for myself. This experience led me to a new life of holistic healing, and much more wisdom. I am no where near perfect but really understand how this growth through challenges occur.
This has led me to trust my intuition and opened a new way of life for me. This was only the start of my journey to living an authentic life. I now understand what is important and have learned many lessons. Self-care has been a priority and I honor myself as a highly sensitive person, actually I feel like it is a super power. The empathy and intuition leads me to great insights and it helps me work with my fellow sensitive people to find their way.. While there are many lessons I still have to learn, I constantly have faith that I will be led down the right path.