My Self-Care Story

My Self-Care Story
For most of my life, I have taken care of others. Even as a young child, I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders and had a legit "Cinderella Complex." It was weighty, it was burdensome, it was my reality. Taking care of myself was not on my radar. Quite honestly, I once thought self-care was selfish. I now understand that self-care is vital. I must put on my own oxygen mask before I try to help someone else secure their mask. I need to be refilled (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) because I cannot pour from an empty cup.

For the past 20+ years, my physical health has suffered as a result of mental and emotional trauma, as well as a weakened immune system. As I am learning more about the human body, I now understand more fully that our bodies are intricately designed and that our physical is affected by our emotional and mental state and vice versa. Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

In November of 2015, while on a mission trip, I contracted the Zika virus. In a normal, healthy body, Zika is similar to the flu and would be in and out in a week or so. For me, it was a completely different story. Because my body was so broken by 20+ years of other viruses, Zika took me down and kept me down. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months. While the initial symptoms lessened, joint pain, fatigue and brain fog lingered. Doctors and specialists did not know how to help me, so for over a year and a half, I was passed from one doctor to another. During this time, I also became keenly aware that my mental state of health was in shambles. I was diagnosed with Developmental Trauma from childhood abuse and C-PTSD from abuse suffered in my adulthood. Many people walked out of my life, unable or unwilling to stick around for the long haul. I was told by family members and doctors alike that the Zika was all in my head and that I was just lazy, not sick. I began to believe those things and the self-loathing that came with those feelings crippled me even more.

Finally, in the spring of 2017, I was referred to a doctor ninety minutes away. I knew the doctors at this center helped patients with long-term Lyme symptoms, and since my long-term Zika symptoms were similar, I called and asked if they would help me. During my initial consultation, muscle testing revealed that, in addition to Zika, I also had Lyme. I tested positive for mono, Epstein Barr, and neuropathy. My thyroid and adrenals were also completely out of whack. I learned that the malaria and parasites that I had contracted in Haiti in 1993 were also still affecting my health. The Zika virus went inside of my broken body and "woke up" 25+ years of viruses. I wept during that appointment. FINALLY, SOMEONE believed that I was sick. FINALLY, SOMEONE cared. FINALLY, SOMEONE was offering me help and a way out of the fog of constant, chronic pain.

At the start of 2107, I felt God was asking me to pour into myself and to practice self-care like never before. I felt Him calling me to do whatever it took to find the healing that my body and mind so desperately needed. And, if I was obedient to Him, He would provide for every financial need along the way. And, my friends, as I sit here writing this a year later, I can testify of His faithfulness and provision. I have received over $50,000 in medical and mental health care in the past year and EVERY DIME has been covered by Samaritans Ministries and generous gifts from friends and a family member. I am in awe of God's provision and cannot thank Him enough for taking care of each need.

From June through November, I followed my doctor's instructions of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet, natural supplements, weekly treatments, a healthy dose of essential oils, bimonthly counseling sessions and weekly processing with a few trusted friends. In late November, I was retested for all of the viruses and diseases. I already knew what the results were going to be, because I felt so much better than I did in June. DORMANCY. What a beautiful word! Apart from ultimate, complete healing (which God CAN do and I am NOT opposed to this possibility), dormancy is the best case scenario. These viruses will always be a part of me, my "thorn in the flesh," if you will. However, with proper nutrition and self-care, they will remain dormant. I was then advised to follow up with Stem Cell Therapy, and on 12/21/17, I received that treatment. Within weeks, I had increased energy and can literally feel life coursing through my veins. The new cells will regenerate and repair damaged cells for up to ninety days. And, to my utter shock and amazement, Samaritan's Ministries covered the treatment! The following spring, I had a second round of stem cells, and that treatment was also covered. 

In January of 2019, I was introduced to another doctor who uses muscle testing and acupuncture. She is a wealth of information about health, wellness, nutrition, hormone health, and so much more. After spending three hours with her, I knew which viruses, foods, supplements, personal care products, essential oils, environmental allergens, etc. I was reactive to. After one or two acupuncture treatments, I was no longer reactive. My treatments with her accelerated my healing journey. I have been able to introduce many of my friends to her and they have benefited from her treatments as well. Now, a year and a half later, I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in decades.

These are snapshots of my story. But, I know this is so much bigger than lowly me! I share my story to give you courage to share yours. I practice self-care to help you do the same. My journey, like yours, has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. We are stronger together than we are apart! No man is an island. We need each other.

I want to give you permission (because sometimes we just need that) to LOVE YOU! TODAY. THIS WEEK. THIS YEAR. Do not put off self-care for one more day, week or year. If someone you loved was slowly dying, you would want the best of care for him/her. GIVE YOURSELF THAT SAME CARE, MY FRIEND! YOU ARE WORTHY! THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU AND THIS WORLD NEEDS YOU!!! In this blog, I will share resources that have helped me on my journey. I pray that you will choose the ones that will bless you on your journey to health and wellness.

If you are a Christian woman rebuilding your life after an abusive marriage, join us at Held & Healed.