I have been a cruel stranger to my body for a very long time now, and these past few weeks have taught me that wretched and shameful fact. Just this week, I have learned a lot about myself, both mentally and physically, and more importantly, I have learned that these physical ailments I have been a hostage to since 2009 were my own outcries. The blood work came back from the lab and I saw my doctor the other day to discuss the results and they weren’t good. There a number of red flags, banners belonging to each house of illness waving across the battlefield of my body. To name a few, they discovered severe inflammation, bacterial infections, viral and fungal infections raging inside my G.I. tract like a storm of infectious doom. Not only is my stomach and digestive system in free fall, but my thyroid has decided to stop working on me. While this may not be an issue yet since I am still young, it will be within ten years and there is no time like the present to begin healing.
Sitting there with my doctor, as he ran down the list of big fancy medical words that struck fear into my heart with each complex pronunciation, I began to become aware that all of those episodes of pain, nausea, ongoing headaches, fatigue etc. was my body begging for my help and love, yet all I had been doing up to this point was muffling these cries for help with antibiotics, Advil and any other forms of medication that might treat the symptoms yet no the cause. Lets face it, we all prefer to do the adult thing and ignore or run away from any problem.
I came face to face with not only my physical complaints, but my mental. In a way dealing with the physical is easier, you combat the root of the cause and stick to the regiment. With the mental afflictions however, you are lancing boils of emotional pain surrounded by years of dysfunctional scar tissue and doubt. Another sentinel of health I am working with is a wonderful nutritionist and life-coach. Walking into her room, I felt a surge of emotion and was already on the brink of tears. It had been an exceptionally difficult week, and as my dear friend had pointed out to me after I told her of my sudden explosion of tears, the body and mind remember each doctor’s appointment. And since I am no stranger to doctor’s offices and receiving frustrating news of , “well we just don’t know what is wrong but take these it’ll help for now.” Her office was not an office. It was an oasis. A sanctuary from life and all its troubles. The room was awash with a warm glowing light pouring from a fountain head of a pink Himalayan salt lamp. Out poured a stream of healing radiance and I gladly bathed myself in its brilliance. I sat there across from her, two strangers in a safe spot nestled away from the world, and she gently coached me through opening up to myself after all these years and acknowledging each and every emotion inhabiting my body.
“They are guests, Laila” she told me in her soothing voice, “say hello to each of your guests.” Reluctantly I closed my eyes raw with tears and looked within. I pictured myself walking to each room of complaint and pain and opened the doors slowly to meet the guest. The first door was the door of fear that dwelled deep within my heart. Upon entering this room I was confronted by a shapeless dark ominous creature. Here it was, the monster that weighed heavy on my heart and latched itself onto every thought or emotion I have felt or had, and now I must come face to face and treat it like a friend. I looked at it and we locked eyes in my vision, and suddenly this creature transformed itself into me at two-years old. My two year old self was also crying and threw her arms up to me, asking to be held, loved and felt. I picked up my little delicate self and held her close and the fear was melted away into a softened understanding.
I walked through each hall and entered each room of anxiety, overwhelming doubt and sadness and recognized each specter who soon became friend. In that room of pink and gold I found peace with myself, a person who I have long ignored and dismissed. I truly regret this time lost with ‘me’ but I now have this knowledge and new-found respect for what my body and mind needs. Be gentle with yourself, those painful pangs you may feel could be the forgotten you just wishing to be picked up and held.