I’m one month into a healing protocol for this super-weird Hashimoto’s storm/Adrenal crash-apalooza that’s been happening for the better part of 2016.
Are we having fun yet?
My doctors said it was likely caused by some combination of perimenopause, stress and some more stress — and that it would be a 4 month to 2 year process of adjustment and healing.
I’m obviously voting for the 4 months or less version.
We took the doctor’s advice and gave up our traveling season to land in a home base: A cute little pad, two miles from the beach in So Cal.
I look out at the trees of the golf course nearby and, if I want to get to ocean, I can hop in the car for a five minute drive.
That all sounds charming but the reality is that my view, at the moment, is 21 boxes in my living room and the thought of getting in the car to go to the beach means I have to get up and find clothes that fit my body that is currently 25 pounds heavier than it was before this all happened.
I’d rather stay naked, locked in my room, away from the boxes and tight clothing…
I say that, mostly in jest, because honestly? Resting and being in bed is like a punishment for me – this over-productive mom, wife, and entrepreneur that I am… I just feel better doing things.
This is a time of resting and I am coming to terms with it.
I know I’ve talked about all of this before…. sorry about the repeat information… I’m just catching all our new friends up to speed.
So, in my restlessness, my friend, David Trotter reached out to me. He’s another highly productive person — kind of like on steroids. Whether he’s working on a new film, meeting with his marketing clients, collecting uber-cool artwork or hanging with his family – he’s the king of efficiency. And even though I’m a lesser version of that, he knows that this ‘having to rest’ thing is making me kinda crazy.
When he asked me how I was doing the last few days, I shared that it’s been hard to have a vision for being well. I’m so in the thick of the brain fog and exhaustion that it’s hard to lift my head to the horizon and see the good that’s beyond this moment.
He asked me two important questions that stirred answers that inspired both of us so, I want to share them with you.
His first question: “What would you tell your client who was going through this?”
I rolled my eyes for a second. Not at Dave, but at the recognition that I wasn’t going to be able to hide the truth from myself anymore. Because once I saw it, I was going to be accountable for it. As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, do better.”
These are the three answers I gave to David — and to myself:
I would tell my client these three things:
1. You are here for a purpose
There is so much deep purpose and goodness in your being here — that’s why you’re here:
Because God had a vision for you to be here.
If you can’t see a vision for yourself, lean into the Source who was inspired to create you.
Even though I’m not religious, I believe in a Benevolent, Creative Force behind our lives. It comforts me to trust that there is more to this life than what I can see — and that in those times — when I can’t see, I can ask for help.
Having vision for yourself, beyond this moment is hugely important to our healing. I was reminded of that by my friend, Dr. Sachin Patel, in one of his videos when he said, “It’s not enough to just want to get through this…” We need more of a vision than ‘getting through.’
Sometimes our vision is cut short by the pain we’re in or the magnitude of what we’re going through. I am finding it helpful in those times to say, “Help. Can you help me to see beyond now…”
I just think that we don’t know how much unseen help is available until we ask. So, I ask.
2. Think like a healthy person
Do the things a healthy person would do when they’re sick and not what a sick person would do to get healthy.
Healthy people have a respect for their body, give it what it needs to get strong again and recognize that this is temporary.
It’s like when I see a naturally thin person eat too many sweets. They don’t hate themselves and berate themselves — they just choose course-correcting behavior from a non-judgmental place. They’ll eat lighter the next meal or take a longer walk — but they don’t sit there hating themselves and defining themselves by that moment.
Same thing for people who enjoy general good health. When they get sick, they don’t act like it will last forever. They ground themselves, nap a lot, eat healing foods and call the whole thing “temporary.”
My husband does this when he’s sick. He’ll buy a bottle of Dayquil (not my personal first choice but he’s a grown up) take a bunch of vitamin C, eat extra citrus, drink extra water, moan and groan and sleep… a lot. He just grounds himself and rests until it passes.
I don’t always do that when I hit a Hashimoto’s bump.
I tend to feel bad about feeling bad — like I failed at being human or something.
Worry that it’s going to lead to something else.
Push myself until I feel worse – and then, the moment I feel a little better, I push myself and do too much again.
None of that works for me and yet, I do it.
Part of those unhelpful behaviors comes from the fear that we’re not going to get well, no matter what. There’s a hopelessness that’s underneath some of those actions.
Healthy people don’t live from that place.
Watching healthy people handle their bumps in the road can help us to shift how we see and approach our healing mindset and responses.
And the third thing I would tell my clients:
3. Watch your feelings
Feelings don’t always tell the truth about life but they tell truth about an underlying belief you might have about life.
For example, if you don’t have a vision for your future, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one — it just might mean that you have an underlying belief of unworthiness to have a future – and somehow that is blocking the vision from happening.
So many of my clients (and I) have dealt with that ‘pass or fail’ mindset: Like there’s only one right way to live and if you blow it, you fail at life.
Pardon my French, but that’s a bunch of bullshit.
If a child stumbled while learning to walk, and we said, “That’s it. You’re not allowed to learn how to walk because you fell while you were learning…” people would tell us we’re crazy.
Yet, we do that to ourselves all the time.
So many of us are learning how to live life. And while yes, it’s true that sometimes we make more conscious poor choices, life is a process of getting back up, taking responsibility for our part, and making the most of the new opportunity that this new day holds.
The answer might be to deal with the perfectionism that is feeding the lie of unworthiness and keeps you in the “I failed so I must be punished” mode of living. Once you do that, you can be free to have a vision for the future that awaits you.
David texted back,
“Exactly what I was going to say.”
I heard truth in what I wrote
And it made me sigh.
(Truth always makes me sigh…)
And then, he asked the second question: “What’s one good thing you could do (right now) that would align with all that truth?”
I love that question.
It’s about taking the reins of your life and coming out of victim mode.
It’s about letting go of excuses of why you can’t — and embracing what you can.
Because it’s all about finding your power by taking action —
That, my friends, is powerful.
Sometimes the powerful action is:
Or a walk.
Or doing yoga.
Or putting away the phone and social media and being present to the family.
Or taking a nap.
Or a shower.
Or listening to an inspiring podcast.
Or eating something healthy.
Or calling a friend.
Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is to stop swirling in your brain by taking one simple action and being present to it.
You can make chopping those veggies for a healthy soup
Or cleaning the dishes in the sink that have turned into a science experiment
Into spiritual experience by doing something good
These two questions
And these healing answers
All point to the same destination:
The power is in you.
I had the insight to David’s questions. I just couldn’t see what was inside of me at that moment.
A good friend, an atmosphere of love and respect and some key questions.
They were the perfect combination to bring forth some healing thoughts and actions that really served me.
Today was a different day because of it.
What action are you going to take, right now, with the truth that is coming to you?
Sending you love as you walk life’s healing path….
Beautiful teaching Stacey….. Thank you!
Hi Stacey, thank you so much for your wonderful email/Blog. It was very enlightening and very helpful.
I understand that how we see ourselves and also what we think and believe – and also may have been influenced to think and believe about ourselves, has a huge impact on our health in the long term.
Reading through your blog, it became clear to me that as children we can’t help but be profoundly influenced by the subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages we receive from family, friends and peers.
My research on Google has uncovered a study which proves conclusively that negative treatment we may have been subjected to as children, has a flow on effect as we age. In a nutshell, the more negative the environment and/or the people/role models we rely upon as children, the stronger the chances of having ill health as a mature adult.
This situation rings true for me. As an only child, I grew up in a dysfunctional household with a narcissistic father and a mother who acted like we were just a normal, average family to herself and the world at large. I was aware of an ‘atmosphere’ in every house we lived in. It wasn’t the house; it was the adults living in it – specifically my father. If he didn’t get his own way, there was hell to pay. I was constantly made to feel inadequate, self-conscious, awkward and tolerated rather than loved.
I was also the target for school bullies because we moved house frequently, as my father got restless if he was living in one place for any more than two years in a row and thought that ‘everything would be better at the next house’ which it wasn’t. It’s known as ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ syndrome.
I have been victimised and accused of saying or doing things that I just hadn’t said or done. It has been my experience that people around you tend to believe the accuser and any attempt on your part to explain or defend yourself falls on deaf ears, so you are unjustly branded as a ‘horrible person.’ I have also suffered sexual abuse at the hands of my narcissistic father from the age of 12. He threw me across the floor when I was 11 years old, broke my front tooth when I was about 17 years old and has slapped me hard across the face, so it’s a recipe for ill health right there.
My mother died in 2002 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cardiomyopathy. It was so sad to see her lose her mind to Alzheimer’s. At the end, she had no idea who I was. It was so very hard to take.
My father is in an aged care home but I have not seen him since 2012, after he told me to get out of his life. I couldn’t do anything right for him anyway. Typical narcissist!
I find your emails/blogs uplifting and helpful and look forward to receiving them. I do hope you achieve your 4-month recovery from your Hashimoto’s/Adrenal crash. Take good care of yourself.
Love and light,
Thanks girlfriend! I get the sick guilt too often, but I am now putting the phone down and taking a great salt bath for me!!!!
Great timing to read this after some horrible Hashimotos shit happening…;0)… just booked a docs appointment… and will focus on and believe it will be a good one! Took action! Yay! Wish you the best… hang in there… so will I!
Much needed advice as I walk in similar shoes with a Hashimoto slump. Thank you for your helping me see beyond myself.