The Dark Side of Healing
In the midst of my journey with mold illness and autoimmunity – I so longed for certainty. For clarity. For a world where the variables leading to disease could be identified and eliminated. The belief driving me was that I could control my way out of disease.
I was on a strict autoimmune diet. I was hydrated. Slept. Supplemented. Listening to every ounce of information I could get my hands on that would crack the case of why I was still struggling. And I was stuck in a vicious cycle with myself - one where I would have a few good days or weeks and then - wammmo – seemingly out of nowhere – an unseen force would whisper – come here Jane – I could usually feel the tipping point. Like I’d pushed slightly too far – found an edge and down the slope I would fall into an abyss of symptoms and tears and questions.
What changed? What variable did I let slide? I would then begin the agonizing process of reliving every input I had made for the previous few weeks. And then I would begin the questioning process. Was it the almonds I added in? Did I enter a moldy building? Maybe one of the supplements I’m taking is the problem. It was like input interrogation with the belief that I simply was not controlling my environment enough.
For me, a real turning point came when I sat with myself in tears one morning – cross-legged on the couch. I was in the midst of another flare up that left me with a fatigue that reached down so far I was afraid to feel where it ended. It was a hopeless feeling. Like the world of known causes had been fully explored. There were no rocks unturned. I had done all of the known things. Control wasn’t working anymore.
It was a tremendously humbling experience – one where my body clearly spoke – Jane you are not in control of this. And although terrifying to sit with the reality that I might not control my life - there was also a sense of peace that came with it. Like a relief that there was something beyond the known map I had been living on. Something beyond the story of health and disease I was telling myself.
It was on that day that I left the world of the known and entered the world of the unknown. Embarking on a journey of leaving the light and entering the dark. Maybe I didn’t have all the answers. Maybe my strategy of gripping life in a stance of micromanaging and control was not the solution, but perhaps part of the problem. Maybe the framework of beliefs that I lived my life by weren’t working for me any more. Maybe this disease was an invitation – beckoning me to a bigger life beyond the confining walls I was living within.
As I look back now, this place that seemed furthest from healing – was actually the place closest to it. Where I sat disarmed. Broken open. Face to face with my vulnerability, my fears, my hurts – willing to let go.
It’s the place we as people and medicine will do everything to avoid because it is terrifying. It’s messy. It can’t be quantified or replicated. And it’s deeply personal. For me, the dark side, the other side was a world of surrender - of openness - of curiosity - a loosening of my grip – a softening - an allowing - a receiving. For me, these were the conditions that bred healing - the fertile grounds on which transformation could occur. The journey into the dark was the path out.
How are you doing today? Are you tired of the world of all-out control? There is another side waiting for you to explore. A bigger life to be lived.
I believe in you,
PS: Are you here reading this – wanting to embark on a journey but looking for someone to journey with you? I am still waiting on board exam results to allow me to legally practice medicine. But in the meantime, book a coaching appointment with me to begin the process of internal curiosity and exploration.