When I was in my 20's, I always had headaches, backaches and stomach problems. I've also been prone to anxiety. I can remember at least 2 nervous breakdowns in my life - the first one at the tender age of 17.
The ex used to joke with me that I should've been a pharmacist for I knew every medicine that a doctor would prescribe for various ailments. Most likely, I'd taken them myself!
About 10 years ago, I was having panic attacks and close to another nervous breakdown. My doctor prescribed an anti-depressant for me. As usual, I judged myself harshly for having to take a pill simply to deal with life. The pharmacist told me that anti-depressants are 99% of what he doses daily. Wow. The whole world needs a pill to deal with life!
During my first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to watch my diet closely. I found that my father had diabetes but never took care of himself or changed his diet. I knew that meant that I could possibly become a Type II diabetic in life as well. After my daugter was born, I was told I had high cholesterol as well. I was heavier than I'd ever been in my life and thus decided to go on Weight Watchers. I lost 35 pounds and learned how to eat smaller portions.
Then when my first daughter was about a year old and after a month of ear infections, her pediatrician recommended tubes for her ears. Being the protective mother that I am, I did not want my baby to have surgery - though many parents do it and swear by it! I decided to do research instead. I found the best book and it changed my life: Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child
This book gave options for how to treat all ailments and childhood illnesses. It covered herbal remedies, conventional medicine, diet, acupressure and homeopathic. I found that my child was having allergies to oats. Once I stopped feeding her oats, her sinuses cleared and she didn't have any more ear infections. I also found that when she was ill, the best way to treat her was homeopathically. Unlike the drugs prescribed by conventional doctors, homeopathic remedies have no side effects! (There are complete blogs dedicated to homeopathy so I won't go into it here. Or check out the National Center for Homeopathy.)
With my obsessive nature about learning, I dove head first into the study of homeopathy and natural living. I also decided to wean myself off of my anti-depressant. All of this occurred during the downward spiral of my marriage. I wouldn't recommend weaning off of serotonin helpers during the most emotional time of your life. Whew! It was rough but I did it and survived due to natural and homeopathic remedies. I also turned to yoga during this time to help me. And I began extensive studies of spirituality and A Course in Miracles (ACIM).
With all of these changes in my life, I began to notice things about myself. I was suddenly acutely aware of food that my body didn't agree with. Some foods even affected my moods! I began avoiding those foods and foods laden with chemicals or trans-fats. I also stopped worrying about my weight and began to eat whatever I wanted, but in moderation. I no longer craved sugar or sweets. Yoga brought me more awareness of my breath to ward off any panic attacks. I began to meditate. My back didn't hurt anymore. I only had headaches right before my cycle. My stomach problems were gone. I broke the "plateau" weight-wise and began to trim down to an even healthier weight.
I am by no means the healthiest eater, the most serene or the fittest person in the world. However I think with the awareness that I have gained, I am strong, more balanced, am in the best shape and feel better than I ever have in my life.
I bring all of this up because I recently had a checkup with my homeopath. She recommends homeopathic remedies to help me (and my children) to stay balanced emotionally. During my checkup, I was telling her how the Course helps me so much intellectually. It took nearly an hour for her to get down to the core of me emotionally. I kept spouting off all of this spiritual jargon to hide whatever pain I felt emotionally. It was then I realized, there has to be a balance somewhere between the two.
I realize so much of what ACIM is telling me intellectually but I can't always apply it emotionally. Hmmmm, perhaps the homeopathic remedy will help me to apply what I know intellectually? Perhaps the more aware I become spiritually, the less I will need a homeopathic remedy to help me emotionally?
There is still so much to learn about myself.
I love this quest. I never thought nearing 40 could be quite as awesome as 20-something. As long as I keep on learning, becoming more wise and more aware, the only way is up! Am I going to be the coolest old lady one day or what?