When did your journey with Lyme begin?
I’m not entirely sure, but I think I first encountered the challenges of Lyme at 13 or 14 years old. What I do know is that by 15 I was living with chronic dis-ease. I became “medically retired” at age 22. It was only last year (at age 30) that I was finally correctly diagnosed as having Lyme Disease. So it’s been a long journey, and I’ve had the opportunity to explore a lot of ways to heal.
Was there a turning point in your journey?
There were two big ones for me. The first is when I decided I was going to love myself. So I learned to be gentle with myself, forgive myself, and to nourish myself with affirmations. This created a huge shift in how I went about healing. I went from trying to force health, to choosing health from a place of sincere self-love. The second turning point was when I adopted an Autoimmune Paleo diet, which I modified based on my food intolerance testing results. Thanks to this personalized healing diet, I no longer live with chronic inflammation, I have much more energy, and I sleep well at night. My food is medicine and one way I show myself love by preparing nourishing foods.
What are some of your favorite tools for healing?
Detox baths, meditation, Earthing, and spending time in nature, long hugs, raw juicing, gratitude lists.
What’s one thing you wish others knew about living with Lyme Disease?
Acts of kindness help me heal. Overcoming Lyme is difficult, it’s work, and at times I’m challenged to keep an open heart. When I receive a letter from a friend, a “just cuz” gift from my hubby, or an appreciative comment, I am revitalized. I believe that there is no other. Tell me a joke, make me laugh, and trust that my healing helps the whole world heal. Even small thoughtful acts are powerful. If you have the thought to do something kind, don’t hesitate.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell individuals who have just been diagnosed?
Do not give up. Healing from this is possible: you can do it. You are worth it, you are loved, and you are not alone.
What’s been your biggest obstacle in your healing journey?
The out of pocket costs of treatment. My financial reality dictates what healing modalities I use and how often, so that can be a challenge. However I believe in Abundance, so I’m trusting that slow and steady is a good path for me right now.
Do you have a spiritual practice? How does that help?
I am a very spiritual person and I have many practices including meditation (2-3 times a day) and frequent prayer. I experience the greatest peace, joy, and stability when I remain spiritually connected, so I make what I call “spiritual fitness” a priority.
What has been your biggest victory in your healing journey, and how did you overcome that obstacle?
I have had so many victories, and they are all worth celebrating. Ultimately my biggest victory is the health I have regained thus far. I nearly died. There was about a year in my mid-20s where I was on the brink and it was absolutely terrifying for me and my loved ones…Although it was a very dark time, it was also at this point that I received some of my most powerful spiritual insights; I learned that it was possible to move through fear to experience an all encompassing Love, and I saw my potential for radical selflessness. I learned to let go in extraordinary ways, and it’s thanks to having had that intimacy with the nature of suffering that I’m the person I am today.
Now I’m up and functioning, exercising, creating, and getting out into the world. After years of being bed ridden and critically ill, this to me is absolutely miraculous. I am living proof that you can heal from seemingly hopeless states. My whole life at this point is a victory, and if I can do this so can others. It’s taken a lot of work. But I made a commitment to not give up, for myself, my dreams, and for those who love me. It has been my truth that Love unlocks the potential for great victories.
What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
I dream of having vibrant health in my body, boundless gratitude in my heart, and a peaceful mind free from fear and aggression. I know it’s possible. I also dream of living a simple life in a Tiny House with my husband, writing cookbooks filled with healing foods, teaching yoga to foster kids, going hiking in the mountains, learning to fish, traveling to Japan and on and on. Dreams are so vital, so I have lots!
What are some of the things you have learned as part of this experience?
I can do anything. I can heal in profound ways. I’m am so strong. I have the power to help others by sharing my truths. I matter and my story matters. I am not my thoughts or my illness. I can honor whatever I’m feeling. Everything is connected. Love is limitless. Love heals.
Kat – HopeHealCook