About that Lupus Thing
I’ve had several questions about how I reversed Lupus. I also was diagnosed with a second autoimmune condition called Sjogren’s Syndrome, but since no one knows what that is, I rarely talked about it. But that’s also no longer present. I was diagnosed with these autoimmune conditions in January 2017 and discovered that I had reversed them in March of 2019.
I don’t have a great answer, so it’s taken me a while to put fingers to keys to even attempt to respond to these questions. (As much as I’ve tried to respond here succinctly, this may take you a while to read!)
Several things played into my healing, and I’m just going to share them now in case you find them helpful; because whether it’s autoimmunity, core function, chronic pain, bunions, eyesight, doubt, or any form of limiting belief, you CAN change.
The hardest part is wanting to change those things more than wanting to have them. And while on the surface, it seems pretty straightforward that no one *wants* any of the aforementioned things, they’re sometimes easier to just deal with than to accept the responsibility of making changes towards an alternative.
I am writing this as my “how to” for those who’ve asked. So there’s an assumption that you’re looking to improve something if you are reading this. You may have more answers than I do and be more enlightened than I am, and as such, these may not be helpful to you.
And the thing is, this is what worked for *me*, so I have no idea if it would work for you. I make no promises. And I also have no interest or expertise in answering questions for or about your personal situation. So while I’d love to hear what changes you’re making in your life, I do not have the capacity to take on responsibility for those changes, and am as such not going to get on the phone or grab coffee with any/everyone looking to make changes. It simply isn’t sustainable for me and I honestly wouldn’t be much help.
This was my SELF work: Self with a capital S.
Okay, here goes. These are things I do or did that I know are part of the process of my healing. Some of these might not make sense, but I don’t want this to turn into a novella, so you’re getting a list. ;-)
- I follow the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. Strictly. And slowly reintroduce foods while tuning in for feedback from my body.
- I practice Kundalini yoga.
- I followed BIRTHFIT Postpartum Programming – three full times after I gave birth to my youngest.
- I meditate (for at least a moment) every single day.
- I take cold showers (or at least finish with a cold rinse) every time I shower.
- I get adjusted regularly.
- I get acupuncture regularly.
- I get massage occasionally.
- I choose my personal care products wisely.
- I get energy work done.
- I say no when I want to.
- I say yes when I want to.
- I abstain from alcohol for prolonged periods of time.
- I say thank you and mean it.
- I cry.
- I set boundaries – for myself, my kids, my friends, my loved ones, and even strangers.
- I enforce the boundaries I’ve set, especially when it’s uncomfortable.
- I drink celery juice most mornings.
- I connect with my husband as often as possible – hugs, sex, talking, playing.
- I detoxed from “shoulds”.
- I did the True Cellular Detox twice.
- I dry brush.
- I look at myself in the mirror.
- I touch my body.
- I read this book.
- I got micronutrient testing done and followed the recommendations provided.
- I never owned my diagnosis; it never owned me.
- I occasionally intermittent fast.
- I follow my cycle when planning activities, workouts, and even food.
- I reach out to people when they cross my mind.
- I play.
- I wear blue light blockers at night.
- I watch the sun rise and set.
- I go outside and put my bare feet on the ground to start each day – even in snow.
- I smudge.
- I walk around naked.
- I get in the infrared sauna multiple times per week.
- I test the energy of things.
- I question assumptions (both mine and others’).
- I use a flip phone.
- I put my phone on airplane mode and turn the WiFi in our house off by automatic timer every night.
- I prioritize sleep.
- I rely on my people.
- I practice honesty, even if it hurts.
- I breathe intentionally.
I’m sure there are other things that I did and do. And the things that I did that didn’t work were definitely also part of the process. But that’s the list that I came up with fairly easily.
Doesn’t seem too challenging, right?
Keeping up with LEGITIMATELY taking care of myself was a hell of a task. But I knew my life depended on it, and I wasn’t willing to compromise. Besides, who would I be compromising with?
But all of those things were actually not what healed me. They set the stage. I actually feel pretty confident that I know what truly healed me, and it was so much more challenging than keeping in regular practice with the above list, which has been a challenge.
I questioned my gratitude. I had been intentionally practicing gratitude for all I had, all I could do, all that I loved, etc. But I realized that if I lost it all – and I mean ALL of it: my family, my house, my intelligence, my body, my EVERYTHING – and just had me; a me I maybe wouldn’t recognize, but the physical house for my soul regardless of appearance or action or ability: could I still be grateful? Could I still wake in the morning, take a breath, and be grateful for my life?
For a very long time, I wouldn’t have been. And not because I was depressed or faulty in some way; just because I didn’t realize how absolutely precious and amazing and incredible my LIFE was; not the things or people in it, not what I could do or accomplish, but just the miracle of LIVING. What a gift that truly is.
And now that I recognize it, I’m here for it all. The tragedy, the majesty, and the mundane. I am PSYCHED about it all. My excitement for this life beyond is anything I’ve previously experienced. I wake up and show up each day – even the really frickin hard days – with an enthusiasm for being here in the same way I show up at the BIRTHFIT Summit with enthusiasm. I wish I could tell you how to get it, but I can’t.
And I don’t even know if I’ll keep it forever. But I can tell you that my gratitude and excitement for life are without a doubt the things that turned my body from one that was fighting against itself to one that supports its own systems.
I know that with some (ha, by “some” I suppose I actually mean copious amounts) of self-awareness and internal navigation, you can find that excitement and enthusiasm if you’d like to.
If you wouldn’t like to, there’s no shame in that. I needed to find it for my own well-being. And I’m so glad I did.
I cried and laughed and felt the weight of every emotion of the two years and two months of a diagnosis of autoimmunity in the moments after I opened the email with my test results that read “negative”. And I wish for more people to experience that rush, that surge of human experience in its fullest; one that isn’t at the edge of a cliff or the end of an accomplishment: simply in realizing that LIFE is happening and anything is possible.
We’re reaching novella status, so I’ll cut it off here. I am grateful that you read this. Thank you, friend.
In love and gratitude and pure joie de vivre,
Photo by Amanda Ditzel, Raleigh Birth Photography