I wanted to write today about my own great unravelling.
When I turned 22 I experienced a debilitating and severe health crisis which turned my whole world upside-down. At the time I was working in a very stressful job which involved supporting individuals facing severe trauma and illness. Suddenly ( or not so suddenly) when I was just about to take a long overdue holiday I began to experience some very strange physical symptoms. I was overcome with the most intense feeling of dizziness and destabilisation. I could barley function or leave the house as I was so disorientated and could not trust myself to navigate the world outside. My life was literally tipping upside down and no one could tell me why. Refusing to accept that there wasn't a clear solution I spent the next year going on a merry- go- round of doctor visits. I was poked and prodded and scanned and examined countless times. I had to quit my job and accept that for the time being I needed to focus fully on getting better. I changed my whole lifestyle, saw healers by the dozen and very very slowly I began to emerge from the fog. It took around three years to begin to function in the world again and enter back into normal life.
I learnt a huge amount from this experience - the first thing I discovered is that health is everything. There is nothing so important as your own health. The second thing that I learnt was - you should never give up and never accept something that does not feel right. I was told by many people to accept my situation. Had I done this I am unsure as to where I would be right now. I thank myself that I dug deep and trusted my intuition. For the record I was eventually given a diagnosis of a rare type of vestibular migraine. Despite initially being desperate to find the reason why I became unwell the diagnosis didn't seem to matter anymore. What mattered was listening to my heart and feeling into what my body needed to recover.
Looking back leading up to getting sick there were clear signs. My heart was telling me I needed to rest and take time for myself. Despite this I just kept pushing and forcing and striving.
This experience has made me wildly passionate about the importance of self care. To be frank - there is nothing more important. We live in a society that requires us to continually meet unrealistic demands and expectations. From the moment we wake up we are faced with an endless list of things we must accomplish to feel ok. This reminds me of the saying "what does not bend must break". There is only so long that we can contort ourselves to fit all of these societal expectations before something comes along to makes us listen. In my case this was a physical health crisis. But long before the crisis point there were little signs. If we make space to listen to our hearts these signs will be noted and honoured and in some situations we may find ourselves avoiding a much more painful outcome. Of course I also want to acknowledge that there are times where bad things just happen. There is no need to self blame and no need to feel guilt. Not everything can be prevented, sometimes we must go through the dark for a reason.