Updated: Feb 16
Recently I’ve been quite unwell. The kind of unwell that puts you to bed without question. Blood tests revealed an extreme Anaemia diagnosis. Anaemia is when your body is not producing enough red blood cells. And it’s the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
I took the B12 injections and the high dose iron and returned to what I know; talking to my body. What I saw was quite frightening at the time. I saw exhaustion like I hadn’t known before. My body told me this was a 3 month situation and that I needed deep rest. I found this shocking. The last time I had been this ill was at 14 years old.
It’s not “rocket science” to consider that blood disorders are related to the heart. Louise Hay suggests that anaemia is lack of joy, fear of life, not feeling good enough. That about sums up this past year. In a difficult relationship where the power was “withholding”, I felt unseen and unwanted. In response to this, I had ploughed myself into work and into where I felt my energy was valued, and thus I had over worked to add to the emotional picture.
Over Work and Stress
To my much loved client work I added 3 days with the NHS. It was a front desk job at the hospital, organising several clinics, one of which was emergency. It was a great job, I loved it, and with the staffing levels continuously low; a very full job and therefore stressful.
I knew I was tired, yet unsurprised with all I was holding both at home and at work. Somewhere in the middle of it all I fell into “victim” feeling that no matter what I did, I couldn’t change anything. I felt I tried… but it was just trying… no energy to create change. My emotional state went downhill, and I fell into a high functioning depression. Eventually the relationship ended.
The Trauma Response: fight, flight, freeze
Looking back, at this point one would think I would fall over! But no… as I was at my lowest ebb, a trauma pattern kicked off during the separation and I felt elated and full of energy (adrenalin and cortisol). I ploughed myself into securing my home, finding a lovely woman to live with me, spring cleaning, energy clearing… the list could go on… I just kept going….
Then I had some holiday to take from the hospital. I went to London to see a show and to be with some old friends. I had a lovely time, feeling nourished by their love and humour. But I noticed quite a lot of pain in my chest and my back and knew then, in the space of no work that I needed to get some help.
When I got home, I went to my therapist, a kinesiologist and a very wise woman. I’ve known her for 25 years and trust her implicitly. Sometimes at a point like this it’s that trust in a person that can bring you back…. I asked her to relax my nervous system… I knew I was high on adrenaline, but I didn’t know, having not before experienced this over any length of time before, just how powerful that was.
Carrie helped me to switch off the sympathetic (stress) response and put me into a state of deep relaxation. It was a huge relief. I sat there in floods of tears realising that all my efforts had been slowly killing me. I had just enough energy to drive home. I laid on my bed and woke up 12 hours later. Had some fluid and went back to bed. I slept and slept. I slept more than I can ever remember sleeping. There was nothing left. My chest was hollow, it ached, and I felt weaker than I would like to remember now. It felt like the end!
Dark Night of the Soul
Some might call this a dark night of the soul. It takes a lot to come back from this place. It requires a lot of getting real with yourself. And so I "waded" through the last year, taking a close look at my part in things.
I saw them all: the victim, the perpetrator, the lover, the Cinderella, the critic.
They were all there. They had all played their part in my demise. I also saw that tender younger part of myself, that was rallying against the truth of a failed relationship whilst watching her hopes and dreams turn to dust. I had to love it all. Not easy… but rewarding.
I drew upon all my knowledge and felt blessed for these many years of learning and practicing. I knocked the sugar addiction on the head. Yes, all those “condensed” hours in the hospital were fuelled by the cake in the rest room!
I got all the right foods; antioxidants, blood tonifiers, iron producers, sugar stabilisers. I drank lots more water and upped my greens…. I started to feel the detox kicking in. I weathered the headaches, the sluggishness, the aching… knowing that once through I might get that uplift in energy I was seeking and if I did have cellular degeneration, it would support the detox of that too.
I walked and I cried, I walked and I sang, I walked and I loved. I re-found the nature connection that has saved me in times of trouble, my how lifelong. I got on my yoga mat and put myself into inversions to help the low blood pressure and the scary bulging veins…I’ve always had a lot of pride in creating a fit and healthy body and I was driven partly by that need to preserve her.
Keeping the Faith
For the first 3 weeks there was little change, I was still exhausted, it was disheartening; I began to wonder if I had really damaged my system beyond return or if I was seriously ill and yet to have it discovered.
Perhaps I need to say at this point, that all of my adult life I have rested back in a well and vital body and it meant everything to me. I dance, walk, travel, move…. this is my way of life and having that takenaway would be, for me, no way to live.
I battled with the defeat in my mind and I reminded myself that this was a new kind of exhaustion and that I needed more time. I wrote positive affirmations and put them on the wall in the bedroom. I said them regularly. “I am returning to wellness”. “I rest back in the hands of God” “My body is regenerating” etc. etc. I changed them regularly to freshen things up.
And oh, how grateful I am for the Yoga tradition… I chanted; so many chants, such soothing light. The gayatri mantra; One of the earliest written mantras, from the Vedas; said to dissolve karma. It’s a salute to the sun god with the recognition of the spiritual illumination and the sun within. I chanted white Tara, I chanted medicine buddha from the Tibetans. I sang the heart sutra as a gift to my heart.
I moved slowly and gently on my mat. I breathed and moved, gently, slowly… sometimes I would simply lie in resting poses or lay in bed doing pranayama.
Today I am 6 weeks in, about half -way through this healing process. I feel like a new person. I can now walk up hills and breathe!! I sometimes discover a smile; a natural uplifting of the soul and I’m once again compelled to dance. I am well and I am grateful… grateful for it all.
There is more to do, but I have “turned the corner”. The difference in my body is easy to feel. I am now self- generating that wellness. My innate healing mechanisms have the capacity to keep the healing going. I am repairing, regenerating and in love with life. I feel lucky. Very lucky and I can now say I’m grateful for it all.
Thankyou for reading my story. And I would love to hear yours….