On Crooked Lines: Healing is Not Linear


Sometimes the path to healing gives you whiplash.

As I’ve posted before I’ve been living with chronic illness (EBV) for about 7 years, maybe more.
Over the years I’ve done a whole lot of experimenting with food and supplements and lifestyle
in an effort to feel better.
It’s been like walking up a sand dune. One step forward, slide back two.
Get a leg up, make a little progress, feel kinda shitty again.

Then some incredible information came out that changed everything. Real answers.
In January I did a fairly intense 28-day healing cleanse. It was pretty freaking miraculous.
And I’m not just saying that for effect.
But I knew it wasn’t over.
I hadn’t quite killed the virus and I felt it in my bones (well, my organs).
And that was ok. I knew it could take months, maybe a year.

For the next two weeks I stuck with a lot of the protocols, while navigating the waters
of integrating new (old) foods and gauging how my body responded to them.
Then I went on vacation. I brought my herbs, made my smoothies, used caution.
I did yoga, I took a kick boxing class. I was rockin’ this vacay.

The day before leaving I got sick. Really sick. I’m talking 3 weeks of sick, with weird symptoms,
2 trips to Urgent Care, blood tests for everything and negative results across the board.
Meaning, I have no idea what the hell happened.

I stuck with what I knew I needed to get well.
And I knew when the bug finally left my body.
I immediately recognized my body again – unfortunately as my body pre-cleanse.
A whole bunch of things the cleanse had “healed” had somehow re-set and seemed to settle
comfortably into their familiar homes of my liver and my spine and my emotions.

Did you just hear the sound of a needle scratching across a record?

Wait, wasn’t I just healing? Wasn’t I just feeling better than I’d felt in years, if not ever?
Wasn’t I just superwoman?

I knew the only thing that would help me again was the cleanse.
I did most of the protocols. But not all. I wasn’t committing.
I like cooked food. It was a lot of work. I was in pain. I was tired. Blah freaking blah.

Two weeks later, still feeling like crap, I got real and dove in again.
28 days. All raw. All. the. time. In winter. Again.
I upped my supplements. I embraced the process.

By day 7 I felt good again. Day 13 I felt amazing.
For the last few weeks I’ve been exploring food re-integration. Again.
I’ve had drinks. With alcohol.
I even went away again and explored eating foods I normally wouldn’t eat anyway.
And I’m good. I’m really good.

It’s not done yet.  But I’m staying present and listening to my body
and what it needs to keep getting better and stronger.

Right now I’m putting that sand dune in its place.
One step forward. One step forward.

I am a living, dynamic being.
There will always be a back and forth. And a whole bunch of zig zags.
Maybe with EBV, probably with other things. Sickness, heartache, injury. Life.
I observe. I listen. I usually pay attention. And I adjust.
I follow my intuition. I make my own choices. I ask for help.

I know pain sucks. And I know if you’re in it, you want out of it.

There is learning in the back and forth. There are gifts in deviation.
They may be really hard to find when you’re chest-high in frustration and confusion.
But they’re there. These golden nuggets (or needles in a haystack) of wisdom and empowerment
when you connect to your body a little deeper and grab some faith
that the path will shift again and progress will happen.

And maybe there’s a redefining of progress.
Maybe it takes the shape of something else. Unexpected.
Like patience or rest or enjoying the precious details of life from a slower pace.
Or trust in yourself rather than a doctor.
Becoming a sovereign being even if your body feels as if it’s not your own.

Healing is not linear.
As convenient as that might be, that’s just not how it works.
The whole shortest-distance-between-2-points thing doesn’t apply here.
There are cycles and shifts and twists and switchbacks but that does not mean failure
or that your body doesn’t want to heal or that you screwed up somehow.
You are not crazy even if it makes you feel like you are.

Keep going anyway.

You’ll become resilient. You’ll hone your superpowers. You’ll find what you need.
You’ll learn that what you need is fluid and changing.
When you eat nourishing foods and create your support system and rest and get bodywork you’re creating health and strength even if it doesn’t feel that way – because you have no idea how you’d fare without it.

A wise woman recently asked me, “When do you give up?”

When you give up, you give up.

Stay on your path. Stick with the crooked. The backslides.
And keep going anyway.

Let’s rock this thing.