My road to healing has been multi-faceted. It has been a combination of prayer, lifestyle change, medication, chiropractic care, massage therapy and supplements. I honestly believe that if I had just thrown medication at my anxiety I would not be this far along in my journey. In fact, I think I would have been quite hopeless and maybe heading back down my deep dark pit to an even deeper and darker place.
Before my anxiety attack I had been in contact with a metabolic doctor. I was so convinced that food allergies were my problem that a friend reached out to me and encouraged me to get the ALCAT (food allergy test) done. When I went searching online there was only one office in Spokane who offered it and they specialized in metabolic issues. This resonated within me because if you don’t get to the root of a problem you will never truly get better. That goes for the physical and the emotional. What was going on inside of me that had made me such a mess?
I went in and had a consult and got set up for testing. We actually didn’t do the food allergy test but rather a baseline intensive blood workup to see where I was at on the inside. The place you cannot see. All of this took time. If there was one thing I was learning it was patience and endurance and that any progress at all was still progress. I was simply learning to wait. When my testing came back I found out I had a problem with gluten and dairy. I also discovered I was extremely low on Vitamin D and deficient, and when I say deficient I mean it was bottom of the barrel low on Vitamin E and B. To top it off I had an off the charts yeast overgrowth throughout my whole body. No wonder I felt so sick.
For the first time in almost a year I felt a tiny beam of hope shoot out of me and slice through my confusion and darkness. It was pointing me in a direction. After months of quiet desperation I physically felt a departing of some of the wondering. I had been quietly clawing up the wrong trees and the shift in direction released my constant companion of worry and heaviness that I had gotten used to carrying. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to have a quiet mind so used to the frantic whirlwind of thoughts I had become. The winds of desperation had finally calmed down and a piece of peace took its place. I was then reminded about something that God had spoken to my heart a few months earlier as I asked Him a question about a certain family situation. What if this situation steals my peace? To which my ever so wise God said, “I am the source of your peace. Not your circumstances but me.” So even though I was in the midst of adjusting, waiting, testing and figuring things out my circumstances were not going to dictate my peace. My source of peace was Christ. I needed to be reminded.
After we reviewed all my testing I felt grateful; so grateful that I had been encouraged to take it to another level. I don’t know when I would have discovered the inside of me problems I was having if I had not seen this new doctor. I was out of balance, had an unusual yeast overgrowth and had some alarming numbers that required some genetic testing…and I thought it was just allergies and asthma.
Heading for home I was armed with a very large pill box (and a staggering supplement bill) to accommodate my needs. I was taking more than twenty pills a day to get my body back in balance and had radically changed my diet. It was restrictive but it was okay. I had to get better. If the doctor had told me to eat dirt I would have. Sometimes you have to get to a place where you really are ready to make a change and for me I was ready to do whatever it took to get my life back.
I continued on my supplements, medications and my restrictive diet for two months fully believing that by the end of my two months I would be 100% on my way to making a full recovery if not already there. After all, I had been suffering a year already right? Wasn’t that long enough? I was doing exactly what the doctor said and never missed a dose of anything. I began to notice good changes in my body. The tiredness was mostly gone, I was sleeping well and I was dropping weight. I still couldn’t run. I tried one time and my body screamed “NO” and I almost passed out. I began to accept the fact that I probably would not run again for maybe up to a year. I may not even run again ever. I was finding my new normal and finding ways to accept it.
After my two months I got another round of blood tests done and excitedly waited for my results. I was eager to meet with my doctor to see what my next step was. I was excited to see how I was better and how I would walk out of there with just maybe one or two supplements a day. When it was time for me to receive my results I plopped down in the chair expectant for a stellar report. The good news was my vitamin deficiencies had come back into balance and the genetic test proved to be a simple fix of taking a supplement to keep my body in balance. But then came the news I was not expecting. My yeast levels had not changed at all. They were still off the charts. I had eliminated most of the sugar in my life (sugar feeds yeast) and I had faithfully taken my prescription twice a day. Why hadn’t that worked? Apparently, I had a resistant strain. I left my doctor’s office and found myself back on another two months of a prescription medication, a natural anti-fungal that tasted like diluted perfume and an even more strict diet of only meats, nuts and vegetables. I also had to add a few more supplements because my restricted diet had made me deficient in a few things. Why was my body so angry at me? Why wasn’t it obeying me?
I headed home and swung by the pharmacy to pick up my medications. Even though I felt so discouraged the visit forced me to reflect on the “why” of why all this was happening? I wondered if what God was really doing was more of a complete work in me. I had a feeling God was doing far above and beyond what I could imagine because He knows me and loves me. Yes, He was helping me and teaching me to walk through anxiety but on a deeper level could he be setting me free from addiction?
For over twenty years I had battled emotional eating and I had prayed to God that He would do what it took to set me free. Food had been a bondage I could not break. Believe me I had tried only to gain back all the weight I had lost because I had not dealt with the root of the problem. Was now the time for me to break free? I had just done a strict two month diet and was going to do another three months of an even stricter regimen. Gone were the things I had run to when I was happy, sad, angry, anxious or depressed. I couldn’t turn to them anymore. Was God saying two months wasn’t enough to set me free from my food addiction? I contemplated who I was and I settled in a place of trust. Maybe, just maybe I needed more time defeating this unhealthy relationship with food that had been with me all of my adult life. I recognized that I had gone from an attitude of this is only a change for a little bit to get better (then I can eat again!) to I’ve just made a whole life change and when I am balanced and healthy I will not go back.
As my thoughts continued to ponder I left the pharmacy and made my way back home. I could not have done any of this on my own. He in His grace brought me to a place of brokenness so that I might find healing. I couldn’t see it a few months ago but I could see it clear as day now. He was getting me ready for something. Something I could not do until I was broken and the pieces could be swept out of my life, not left for me to glue back together. Was I going to embrace the change and stand firm in the way He wanted me to go? I desperately wanted to. Realizing the depth of the work He was doing I saw my pinpoint of light shine brighter in my darkness illuminating my path to lead the way. I don’t know how long the path might be but does it really matter? I can see the path and all that I need to do is simply put one foot in front of the other and follow it.