A More Vulnerable Side of Me
I would feel like a liar if I didn’t share a huge part of my story with you. Many of you who have followed Lunar Nourishment over the past year have read bits and pieces of my story of un-identifying with being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety “Disorder”. You’ve heard me speak about my face-numbing panic attacks, my history with anti-anxiety medicine, and my journey of healing with holistic and ritualistic practices. And I have shared this all with an open heart; hoping that my story would help someone else. In the past 11 months I have seen how my story has affected you first-hand. It has been amazing to see my story touch so many new hearts and be heard by so many new ears. I am so appreciative of all of this; but I feel like I am doing a dis-service to you by not sharing my ENTIRE story.
You see, I have left out some of the parts that I still feel shame about. I have left out some details that make me seem even weaker than I’ve said I was, so far. You all see me as Lydia, a woman who used to identify with anxiety but has moved through it- but I am also someone who let my mind take control over my body, from a really young age. I have been sharing more shallow details with you about my anxiety and what I experienced. Panic attacks are really intense and unfortunate, but won’t necessarily cause dis-ease in the body. The things I was experiencing before I began having panic attacks was way worse; it was my body failing me.
Overwhelm can come easily in blog posts such as this, so I’ll be choosy with what I share today.
I want to tell you a story:
Before I ever knew what a panic attack was; before I had heard the word anxiety and before I knew it wasn’t normal to feel nervous 24/7, I became aware of my body failing me. I was 19 and a junior at Lyon College. I had just moved in with my second roommate in my whole life, to a cute little house on a corner. I didn’t know the roommate very well but began to get to know her very quickly upon our start of the semester. To make a long story short, she was VERY intense and I wasn’t able to handle her energy ( I didn’t know that at the time). I began to have trouble swallowing my food. I’m pretty small and I eat a lot throughout the day, but I wasn’t able to push my food down my throat. It didn’t matter how hungry I was, I would sit in front of a nice plate of food, chew the food but couldn’t make myself swallow. This started happening and after a few days, I called my parents and let them know what was going on. They thought it might have been heart burn (my chest did hurt) so I started to take an anti-acid pill twice a day. It did help for a couple of weeks. But eventually, I ended up at the hospital getting an endoscopy (they put you to sleep and stick a tube down your throat to look at your esophagus and your stomach). They found nothing wrong with me. Next, I’m taken to an X-ray room where I swallow a cup of barium as they X-rayed my chest. Barium is toxic; it’s also used in oil drilling, paint, paper brightener, plastics filler, and a radiocontrast agent (used for xrays like in my case). I swallowed a cup full….. it tasted so terrible. As I was swallowing (remember that I was there because of my lack of ability in swallowing…) they noticed that my esophagus was spasming, barely allowing the liquid to go down.
Great. We determined the “cause” of my problem. I wasn’t able to swallow because my esophagus muscle was spasming. So now the “solution” to the simple “problem”…something to relax that muscle. Muscle Relaxers! Yes, a junior in college was given muscle relaxers for not being to eat her food. I got the prescription filled, went back to school, and took my first pill the next day. I was able to swallow but I had the most insane migraine ever. I put the pills away and never took one again. Shortly after, I began experiencing panic attacks and found out that I had anxiety, got on medicine and… you know the story.
I look back now and wish so bad that someone had recognized the inability to swallow was because of the nervousness, which was linked to feeling anxious. No one asked me WHY I think I wasn’t swallowing. No one reminded me that when I broke up with my high school sweetheart, I wasn’t able to eat food for days. No one asked ME anything; they didn’t look at the whole picture. They saw a “problem” and wanted to pinpoint. But living in this human body just ain’t that easy. We are a spiritual and ENERGETIC being, occupying a very PHYSICAL form of mass. There is no one size fits all solution to everyone; there is no problem that doesn’t lead to dis-ease in the body. The mind-body-spirit connection is the most true thing we know.
My journey to learn about this mind-body-spirit connection has been 7 years in the making. Women go through 7 year cycles throughout their entire lives and now is my year to SHARE WHAT I HAVE LEARNED! And I have, this year. I have shared my ritual tools that relieve stress; I have shared nutrition and yoga. But for me, as a woman who has lived through (and still is) anxiety a mental “illness”, nothing changed my life more than learning about a WOMAN’S body and spirit. This connection that we are all born with; until I met that connection, I had more confidence in doctors than I did in my body’s own ability to heal. In sharing this story with you, about how my body felt like it was failing me, I feel like a weight has been lifted. There are still other parts that I will continue to let you in on, but for now, just know that YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO HEAL YOURSELF.
No one but YOU can heal you. A doctor can put a band-aid on your pain, or give you a shot of relief, but your body will continue to give you dis-ease as long as you ignore the healing that needs to take place. As women, the most intricate healing happens in our menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle isn’t only your period, you have FOUR phases of your monthly cycle. And many of us are disconnected from that cycle and so are not familiar with the ways in which we can heal common ailments like painful periods, irregular periods, infertility, feeling disconnected with our body and sexuality, endometriosis, PCOS, acne, PMS and so much more. But there is a way out. There is an entire world of knowledge and feminine secrets that your body holds. Also, not every woman bleeds and not everyone who bleeds is a woman. Just had to get that outta the way. ...
My entire life changed when I began to reclaim my feminine wisdom. My passion is sharing this wisdom with you. This is why Lunar Nourishment began and why I do this work!
Take a look around, say hello, and I'm so glad you're here. Really.