For twenty seven years, I lived only in fear of my body. It hurt, it didn’t fall asleep when I wanted, it raged, it was anxious, it couldn’t eat gluten, the muscles would not repair, the thyroid was all over the place – it all felt so scary. It was actually terrifying.
And then, my body couldn’t take my not knowing it anymore and it shut down, nearly completely.
I was no longer able to care for my young daughter, I had been sleeping less than 2 hours per night, my weight was dropping rapidly and I could barely hold myself together, so I went to stay with a woman who had a retreat centre in her home. She was a midwife and herbalist and cared for people when they were ill. While I was there, she told me of a woman, Heather, from the town where I had grown up, who had been completely recovered from MS for about 7 years at that time. I had seen this woman around my town growing up and even though I did not know her, I had seen her intense struggle. Heather was, at the time I first heard of her recovery, running a restaurant, on her feet all day long, and enjoying hiking and camping on the weekends.
Hope in Healing
Heather’s story gave me hope.
I wouldn’t even say I had lost hope, because to lose something you have to have had it at one time. I had no idea that the things I had learned about my body were not true for all people, that my body was not just a terrifying experience to endure and that it had an amazing capacity for healing. This woman’s story opened up a world where hope existed whereas the one I had lived in, had no space for it. Her story gave me a mantra – if she can recover from that, I can recover from this – which I repeated many times a day for the next several years.
My health did not get instantly better, but that hope carried me on for many years and to a new relationship with my body. The therapies I found were wonderful but without hope, none of them would have made any difference.
Now my body serves as a guide and a friend. I have fully recovered from multiple diagnoses that are considered chronic and from some things that were never diagnosed. My body continues to lead me along in areas where continued healing is needed. Now I don’t always have to look outside of myself to find hope. Hope exists inside of me, I just didn’t know it.
You can see the trailer for The Healing of Heather Garden here.