In my late twenties, I was diagnosed with four chronic illnesses – cyclothymia, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia and joint hypermobility.
I hadn’t even heard of most of these conditions. I had no idea how to manage my symptoms. And I felt incredibly afraid and alone.
As with many chronic illnesses, the main message from my doctors and therapists was that I needed to make lifestyle changes if I wanted to feel better.
The amount of sleep that I got, the food that I put in my body, the goals I set for myself, my physical environment and even my relationships – indeed, the very way that I lived my life – were contributing to how shitty I felt.
Feeling better was not going to be as easy as popping a pill (though, I did find a pill that really helped, too).
I needed to overhaul my entire lifestyle. And, over the past few years, I have.
Not because I am some type of superhero or genius. Not because discipline and willpower come naturally to me (believe me, they don’t).
I have overhauled my lifestyle because I had to. My body was falling apart. My mind was breaking down. I was barely 30 years old and I had big plans for my family and my future.
From my diet to my bedtime, from my friendships to my marriage, from my career ambitions to my morning routine – I am learning what my mind and body actually need.
I am learning how to take care of myself.
Because when I stop resisting my needs and I start to honor them, I feel better.
Not like, “OMG I’m Cured!” better. Just like, “Damn, I can leave the house!” better. Like, “Wow, I can think clearly again!” better.
Like, “I could actually live a full and complete life with this condition” better.
I’ve created Low Stress Living to share how I’m creating a lifestyle to heal from chronic illness and to connect with other women who are working through the same challenges.
No woman should have to go through this process alone. Let’s become our healthiest selves together!