I would like to start by saying that this isn’t, by no means, medical advice. This is my own journey and experience. I understand that everyone is different and each body is different. I just want to share a bit more about myself and inspire you to keep up with your personal fight.
I was diagnosed with Cronh’s disease about 2 years ago. I spent almost one year in bed, not being able to move because of the pain. I couldn’t go to work, I had to quit university and I was psychologically broken.
I was not able to have a normal life and I was not able to function as an independent individual. My partner had to take care of me most of the time because I couldn’t do it by myself. I felt depressed, lonely and hopeless. I was on a lot of meds. These didn’t just make me feel even worse because of their side effects, but were also putting me in high risk of cancer and infections. I felt miserable. I felt I was having a nightmare that never ended. Besides, even if I was taking all that medication, I wasn’t seeing big improvements.
The doctors I had were treating the symptoms but they didn’t try to go to the root. I am not blaming them but the western medicine culture. They didn’t have a deeper understanding of why my body was behaving this way. I had no nutritional recommendations (apart from cutting out fiber, raw foods and legumes … which are foods that actually helped my recovery later on when I decided to be the one in contol of my healing!). It seemed that I was condemned to live that way forever. I was told I had to surrender to the sickness and the medication and accept that it was going to be always there.
I got tired; I didn’t want that to be my reality. Deep inside I knew there was something different waiting for me. I decided to make a plan to treat myself naturally with foods, supplements and mental work. Then, I went off my meds and started my real healing journey.
First, I needed to understand the why. I knew the symptoms were caused by inflammation so I decided to work towards eliminating any possible sign of inflammation in my body. Either caused by foods or storage of negative emotions and past trauma.
I will expose the main points of my plan dividing them by: nutrition and mental work.
Increase of fiber consumption: fiber is really beneficial for your gut health. It feeds the microbioma helping keeping it in balance.
Quit oils and processed foods: oils and processed foods create inflammation in the body. Besides, most of them are empty calories without nutritional benefits.
Elimination of refined sugars: refined sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in the gut.
Reduction of soy and gluten: those products might cause some inflammation. Because my state was delicate I decided to reduce those in order to avoid any possible focus of it.
Incorporation of supplements and probiotics: I did my research and found out those supplements that could prevent inflammation and help my digestive track to heal from all the wounds. I was taking: turmeric, slippery elm and bowsellia serrata. Besides, I was making infusions with fresh rosemary, thyme and ginger. I was also taking a probiotic supplement and fermented foods such as Kombucha and non-dairy yogurts.
I realised there was a strong connection between my brain and my gut. This was a huge realisation for me. It meant I was the one in control of my body. I could redirect my thoughts in order to help the healing process. I became more connected with my body and intuition. I listened and observed to understand better the functioning of my body, to gain power and control over it. These are some changes I made:
I stopped identifying myself with the disease: the ego needs to find labels, needs to have an identity to rely on. If we believe the ego reality, we are giving the power to make it truth. That’s why I decided to make some changes in the way I used my language. I stopped calling the disease “my sickness”, I tried to stop talking about it with my family, friends and partner. I didn’t want it to be an important part of my life. I decided to consciously create my reality and stop listening to my subsconscious chatter.
Affirmations: I found affirmations that empowered me like “I am able to heal my body” or “I have everything I need within me”. I repeated them as much as I could (in the shower, when cooking, before sleeping, when waking up). I felt stupid at the beginning and I didn’t really believe what I was saying to myself but… now I surely do!
Visualisations: I worked on visual meditation. I decided to imagine my body as a forest. The forest was initially dark, sad, colourless and dying. I imagined how my light was healing this forest. It was becoming greener, full of colourful flowers, animals, sunlight and running water.
Meditation: I meditated in order to calm down my mind and observe my thoughts. This allowed me to become more aware of my body and my mind. Identifying my thought gave me the power to replace them when they were not benefiting my healing process.
I moved away from toxic environments and people: I decided to stay away from everything that could cause me emotional discomfort. I understand that this is not a possibility for everyone but choosing to let go of what no longer serves you is life changing.
All of this work still continues nowadays. I made a priority of taking care of myself. I see this as a lifelong journey more than a quick fix. I sometimes still have some symptoms and I don’t always feel good but I have learnt to identify them and work to reduce them as much as I can. I have never felt as healthy as I feel now and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I give thanks every day for having pain free days, for feeling energetic and active. I can now appreciate even more life.
If I had the choice I would choose to live this nightmare again because it changed me. It gave me perspective and wisdom. It made me the person that I am now and it allowed me to appreciate health more than I ever had.