It’s a rainy Sunday evening of the first afternoon alone in a month. I spent four hours on the couch sleeping beside the woodstove and am beginning to feel human again. I had become exhausted from some extra family responsibilities, with less and less reserve to manage my stress levels. Scary place.
My healing is progressing slowly, still stuck in the “hanging” phase. As suspected, my thyroid is sluggish, with thyroid antibodies at 166 (normal around 30). In the mainstream medical/naturopathic world-view I would be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis. In the German New Medicine framework, this is my thyroid recovering from a lifetime of control issues. What is required is to let go, rest and recharge. A little Armour thyroid through my medical doctor will help nudge the thyroid back into activity as well, but without the rest, it will stay in hanging healing and not be able to finish. Tired adrenals, the energy glands, also keep the thyroid from recovering, and mine are chronically on the verge of burnout. The key thing is regular, early sleep and I’m still not getting enough.
This is a little humbling given that I’m co-facilitating a workshop on sleep soon! I’ve always known that healthy sleep is not easy in our culture, but this is my first experience struggling with it. My newest strategy is using yellow light in the evening to avoid the over-stimulation of normal lighting. I’m wearing amber goggles as I write this to counter the extra light from the computer. (link to article on sleep and light here) This should help me overcome the pattern of staying up too late doing online work after putting 5 year old grandson Felix to bed. My goal is to go to sleep early and get up early enough to answer emails before he wakes up. I’ll keep you posted on how this works—so far it hasn’t!
The other areas of my health are equally stuck. My eyesight is now in the legally blind range, past my optometrist’s machine’s ability to measure. She’s amazed that I can still read and drive safely (ie that my glasses are able to correct my vision to that extent). I’m more determined than ever to avoid the prescribed cataract operation. Here again, rest and relaxation are the key factors. Cataracts are another healing phase, this time for the shock of not being able to see someone we love, maybe finally recovering from the death of my late husband Mickey…
My joints still hurt, a third healing phase, this one related to feeling devalued, and I’m getting much better at reminding myself that I’m not sick and decrepit but need to be patient and allow my body to rebuild. On a positive note, my back is finally getting better with the exercises from our amazing chiropractor Carole, providing the additional benefit of learning a whole new way of moving and regenerating core strength. I can put on my socks standing up again, grin, and recently found myself chasing Felix up the driveway.
It is an extremely valuable experience for me to go through this plodding, tiring process. It allows me to see how difficult it is to truly and deeply heal with family and work responsibilities and how to develop the awareness, thinking patterns, breathing and other lifestyle tricks for invigorated living. The trauma therapy (EMDR) that I continue to undergo is central because my inner tensions led to an off-balance life in the first place, with me creating constant stress because that’s what I expected and to what I was accustomed. I’m amazed at how persistent this is even when I know better. I like to remember that all of this can change for the better very quickly and to leave an opening for that possibility while committing to the everyday work and creating a climate for this change.
In the background of all the physical efforts is the spiritual, the core part of healing. In my case it goes hand in hand with control issues, learning to feel safe enough to relax my ego so that Spirit can manifest. For me it’s moving from intellectual lip-service to remembering to be humble and that ultimately I’m not in charge. Meditation, prayer and tapping are still my practices.
Heartfelt thanks to my patients’ understanding when your emails take so long to get answered!
slowly and cheerfully,