In November of last year, I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism.
Loosely translated, this means my body’s thyroid gland hasn’t been pulling its weight for who knows how long.
When I was finally diagnosed, mysterious symptoms that had been accumulating for the previous few years, such as fatigue, headaches, weight gain, night sweats, day sweats and various body aches and pains, suddenly started to make more sense.
My first labs were frightening. Results showed I had enormous levels of a hormone normally only associated with pregnancy and breast feeding (neither of which were relevant to me). My thyroid was clearly on an extended vacation and had left my pituitary in charge with only vague instructions to “take care of things.”
I felt terrible. Vials and vials of blood were drawn. Between tests and while waiting for the test results to come back, I occupied myself with extended naps, which my body and I needed to recover from exhausting activities such as waking up, showering, and getting dressed.
I started taking thyroid pills, and slowly but surely my test results began to improve.
Then, just when I was finally starting to feel encouraged, my body developed mysterious aches at the joints – elbows, wrists, knees, hips, ankles.
At night when I would get up and pad across the floor to the bathroom, I could almost hear my body creaking as we walked.
A little history – the year I graduated from college, my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Her thyroid was removed, and she began a lifetime regimen of pills. Now we visit the same doctor to get our prescriptions refilled.
What I have learned from all this thus far is simple: my body has a life of its own.
Just as I have been born into a certain family, a certain culture, a certain mindset and gender and set of talents, so too have I been born into a certain specific body.
Furthermore, my certain specific body comes complete with its own unique DNA, which in part may dictate its life path as surely as the circumstances of my birth may in part dictate mine.
I don’t get a say in my body’s life, other than how I may choose to respond (or not) to what it is experiencing. For example, right now my body has put on a noticeable amount of weight that it flat out refuses to let go of, and I am not at all happy about this.
I also know that I can choose to respond as I did in previous decades, which was to adopt eating disordered behaviors to attempt to bend my body’s independent life to my will.
Or I can choose a new, kinder and more supportive response, which is to partner with my body in its current struggles, eating and thinking and living healthily day by day as we work together towards the healthiest possible future for us both.
Either way, I am now aware of something I never knew before now: my body has a life of its own to live. In this, my only choice is to be its foe…or its friend.
How I partner with my body to improve our life together:
- By studying the foods and supplements that can provide healing.
- By taking rest, even if it means not checking something off my to-do list.
- By making its needs a priority in my life.
- By consciously working to see it with kind eyes and speak to it with kind words.
- By being patient with its ups and downs and transitions.
Life Lesson: Can you relate? Have you ever felt like your body is doing something you don’t want or like or can handle? How do you respond? What works to keep your relationship with your body kind and caring in these types of situations? Do you feel at odds with your body, or do you feel like you and your body are friends?
P.S. This post is from my free monthly e-zine, Love & Feathers & Shells & Me. To join our email list, CLICK HERE. 🙂