This week has been a funny old week, and for some reason I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the past few years of my life. Looking back, I could never make sense of what happened to me. How illness ripped me of my dream job, my life and my world as I knew it. That is until now. The past few years have taught me so very much about myself, who I am as a person, how to look after my body, what balance looks like and how strong I can be when needed. As I now plan to launch Hope Health Coaching services in the future specialising in migraines and headaches, it has dawned on me that my experience over the past few years was meant to lead up to this moment. All the books I read, workshops I partook, treatments I tried, specialists I visited, diets I experimented with, were all leading me to this point. It’s almost as if the last few years of my life have been like a big jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces scattered chaotically everywhere, never fitting together or making sense. And now finally, one by one, the pieces are slotting back in to place and I can now stand back and see the bigger picture.
Upon reflection, I realised that I have learnt so very much along my journey and I wanted to share with you the positive lessons I have gained after suffering with a chronic illness. I believe it actually changes you as a person, your outlook on life and makes your future richer in so many ways and these are the reasons why.
Before my illness I would have said I was a grateful person. I would always make sure I always said thank you and was appreciative of others kindness. However it was only when I got sick that I discovered what gratitude actually is! Gratitude is being grateful for everything you have in your life, no matter how small you think it may be. It’s about being content with what you already have. This change happened for me after reading the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was the cornerstone in my recovery and when my life slowly started to turn around. As hard as it was, I learnt the art of gratitude during my darkest days. I began with something as small as “thank you for the cold water I have to drink” and I worked up from there. As my recovery has continued, these things became bigger things and nowadays I find myself saying thank you in my mind for all kinds of things as I go about my daily routine. A coffee with a friend, the birds chirping in our garden, the beautiful fresh fruit available in the supermarket, a FaceTime chat with my Mum or simply just being able to go for a walk in the beautiful fresh air. This valuable lesson I believe has made me a kinder, more thoughtful, more positive and more content person and for the rest of my life I am going to try my best to incorporate gratitude into my future. It’s a beautiful way to live.
2. Living In The Present
Now raise your hand if you are a worrier? Hands up, come on! I admit it, I used to be an absolute nightmare. I could worry about pretty much anything. “Will I be able to swap my flights around next month?” or even something stupid like “What if my hairdresser doesn’t do my hair how I like it!” Really? I spent so much time worrying about the future I don’t think I ever really enjoyed the now. However through studying mindfulness and meditation I have learnt a whole new meaning to living in the present. Now I try to take each day as it comes and especially in regards to migraines, as the more I worry and stress about getting a migraine in the future the more likely it is that I probably will! I’ve learnt you can do many things to bring yourself back in to the present but my favourite is simply closing my eyes and taking five deep breaths, just listening to the inhale and exhale taking place in my body. Works like a charm.
3. The Power Of Friends and Family
Before this illness I had no idea just how lucky I was to have such incredible family and friends. My support network stuck to me like glue and were there for me every step of the way. My Mum was an absolute saint accompanying me to appointments, driving me to different clinics and simply sitting by my bedside when she knew I was in pain. I honestly don’t know how I would have got through it all without the incredible support of my amazing husband (who really is one in a billion), parents, step parents and friends. It’s true what they say though, hard times really do reveal who your true friends are. Moving into the future, I now have a whole new level of gratitude and appreciation for the people I love in my life. It has also taught me that I don’t need negative energy and negative people around me and now I only give my time to the people who love me and appreciate me for who I am.
4. The Law Of Attraction
So before my illness I had never ever heard of the Law of Attraction. To be fair, why would I? It was only as I delved deeper and discovered a spiritual side of myself that the law became apparent to me. If you don’t know what the LOA is then is basically you get back what you give out. So for me the more I focused on my pain and what I didn’t have, the more of it I got, but as soon as I tried to turn my attention on positive things it was reflected back to me and therefore my health slowly began to improve. Hard I know when you are feeling depressed by constant pain but I suggest doing some research into to it and giving it a try. It hugely helped me change my outlook on the way I thought about my illness and also my outlook on life now in general.
5. Nothing In Life Is A Given
Do you remember when you were a teenager and you felt invincible! Like nothing in life could go wrong. You never thought about your safety or your health, not for one moment. And I can be the first to admit that I thought that you only tend to get seriously sick when you got old. I’m ashamed to admit it but it’s the truth. Boy did I have a reality check! Nowadays my view is totally different. I have learnt that self-care is a must and no one is invincible. Symptoms are only the result of an underlying issue that we need to address. In my case I kept pushing and pushing my body until it couldn’t take anymore and my symptoms just got worse and worse. My attitude nowadays is one of who knows what will happen? Not meaning this in a negative way and expecting the worst, but more in terms of just enjoy today as our health or life as we know it could change in an instant. We never know what’s around the corner and we certainly are not invincible, no matter what age we are. So really, what I’m trying to say is live for today!
So there we have it. Some pretty amazing lessons and ones I would never had learnt if it hadn’t been for my illness. Sure, I went to hell and back and it was not an experience I would EVER like to repeat but it happened and it really has changed me as a person. And do you know what? I think I like this person even better than the old Christie Jane. This new Christie Jane is more caring, more positive, more thoughtful and without a doubt more grateful for all in my life. You can’t change the past but you can learn and change your future…
#Gratitude #ChronicIllness #Healing #MyJourney #Reflection #Health