And I’ve had reminders. Many times over. My father wrote a book on the psychological effects of cancer, and I listened for years as he counseled some of the most powerful people in the world on their journey through their diagnosis. So, I was well versed in the knowledge that our emotions and thoughts shape our physical being. After I was diagnosed at 21 with chronic illness, however, all of that knowing left my brain. Because I didn’t know how, or if I could, do that work. I focused on my diet, toxins, sleep, medications. I even jumped in with both feet for the standard treatment of heavy steroids to try and calm my raging immune system. Until I realized that the treatment was more likely to kill me than cure me. Unable to move much, or eat much, or see myself living to 30, I realized I needed something different. I took off down the road of alternative treatments, Eastern medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, functional medicine. It did help, and I felt less like I was dying, but more diagnoses would come rolling in. I would sit on that crinkly paper draped table, and hear words like cancer, lupus, MS, Leukemia. Each time, I would stare up at that ceiling, those measured aluminum lines holding up the sections of tiles, and pray. Most of those prayers got answered, and I counted my blessings. And I would know, in those moments, that I needed to shift or I would end up back, staring at those tiles, and praying once again.
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