It’s what we’ve been taught. We get sick, we go to someone else.
We haven’t got time to not feel great, or figure out what that weird symptom is. And even if we get told we’ve got an allergy or something, so what?
We get our meds and get back to our life because well, that’s just life.
We don’t have time for our own bodies anymore. …
To wear a bikini?
She. Is. Gorgeous.
Trendy cut-out bikini, tanned body, laughing with friends in the pool. Every man’s gaze is on her. Beautiful face, thick glossy hair, pert breasts and pretty much everything I want right now.
She’s twenty-ish and totally carefree. I’m forty-ish with two kids and things that are not where they once were, including my self-esteem.
Don’t get me wrong. I have rebuilt my body from debilitating illness. I love that I’m lean, healthy and strong and, above all, still here. …
Some years ago, I woke one day to discover my legs no longer worked properly.
They were oddly achy, heavy beyond belief and simply would not support me. I had to pull myself commando style, across the floor just to get to the toilet. Not fun.
I thought it was a one-off day of weirdness but it turned out to be, welcome to your new life. I did what I had been taught and spent years going from doctor to doctor trying to get answers and listening to a LOT of people in white coats telling me what they thought…
And why it starts way before you walk into McDonald’s
When you walk into McDonald’s (or any fast food outlet as far as I’m concerned,) you have already decided you’re not enough.
Years ago, in fact.
And that’s why it’s so easy to walk up to the counter and punish yourself with the sugar, fat and salt that is served up.
If you valued yourself you would have made other choices. The health food store, the farmers market, something fresh from your own kitchen, but no, here you are, ruining your most important relationship.
You might think you’re treating yourself…
Ditch the deprivation and Do This Instead
So you fell off the wagon this festive period.
Yes, you needed to anaesthetise yourself through those family functions, but still, you cruised from canapé to canapé, loosening your waistband as you went.
It’s not your fault.
Christmas is designed to make us fat and happy, so we’ll forget how dark and cold it is and approach the new year with some semblance of hope.
But that was weeks ago and you’re still finishing off the cheese and those last few chocolates, feeling bloated and beleaguered.
You’re sure you need punishing, so…
It may not be what you want this Xmas but it’s got something for you…
But it is a gift nonetheless.
You may try to return it, unopened. You may attempt to throw it away quietly before anyone sees. You may even think I’m crazy for suggesting there could be anything good about being unwell, but the truth is, there’s some xmas magic here for you…if only you’ll unwrap it.
So you’ve got symptoms.
Welcome to the club.
The allergies that come back every year, the depression you battle alone, the fatigue you can barely keep at bay.
I will never forget when my doctor looked me in the eye and said,
I don’t know what to do for you now.
After all the blood tests, brain scans and X-Rays, she finally shrugged and offered anti-depressants to, help me through it, although she couldn’t say exactly what IT was.
I was so sick I could barely get up off the floor most days, and the one person I was relying on to fix me, the one person who I believed had ALL the answers, had just thrown in the towel.
That was my first real rock bottom.
Instead of healthy home-made cake
Parenting can be a pain in the ass.
While your little ones totter happily, you’re scanning for danger 24/7. You spend hours shopping organic, feeding them right, making sure they sleep and trying not to fly off the handle when they drive you nuts.
Which they will.
And you’re so glad — SO GLAD — when they finally go to school and for a few hours you’re blissfully off duty and back in your REAL life, having handed them over to the professionals who will nurture and care for them just like you.
And it’s killing us…
Months before I got my diagnosis, I knew something was amiss.
I felt strange, simultaneously wired and exhausted and the pounds were falling off despite consuming vast quantities of cake and cookies in an effort to keep going.
I was twenty-four. I couldn’t possibly be seriously ill.
As if to prove it, I pushed myself harder. More work, more time at the gym on the treadmill, more socialising.
And then one day I woke up and couldn’t move my legs.
Or as the late bestselling author Debbie Ford put it.
Don’t Even Notice I Am…
It isn’t medication…
A friend of mine gets paid to talk women out of taking medication.
No, that’s not her real job title. It’s not even IN her job description, but she works in social care and discovered it as a serendipitous sidebar to her services.
These women are not at death’s door denying themselves treatment.
They are new mothers.
Ok, older new mothers.
AKA women over thirty-five.
Prime fodder for drugs wouldn’t you say?
If you’re a mom you may recognise their symptoms: