Hello, sweet one.
It’s not a secret that I have an auto-immune disease. I talked about it in both of the sessions of the Self-love Warriors course, in letters to my newsletter folk, and shared something of it on the blog.
It’s not a secret, but it’s also not something I’ve felt comfortable in being really open about, the whole bit of issues of Enoughness and body acceptance and love.
It’s not a secret, but it’s also not something I’ve felt comfortable in being really honest about, the whole bit of being tough, having a stiff upper lip and sucking it up.
So I normally keep things simple and if someone asks or the topic somehow comes up I just explain Hashimoto’s by saying that it means I’m always cold and tired.
Both are true, albeit really watered down pieces of how it feels. But people can relate to those two things easily because we’ve all experienced being cold and we’ve all been tired.
If I started talking about brain fog (or, what I affectionately refer to as “thyroid brain”) or energy crashes, most people get a vague look in their eyes because they can’t relate to it, it just doesn’t make sense.
I’ve been having a really rough time with the auto-immune disease the past few months, things are currently uncontrolled and the last time I saw my endocrinologist he increased my meds. Again. I go back in a couple of weeks for more bloodwork and then the results, but this is all frustrating.
And it feels like I’ve been hiding a huge piece of my life and I’m tired of hiding and minimizing and marginalizing things.
I’m tired of pretending that everything is ok and hunky-dory.
And I need to share this because it sucks and because I choose to kick ass despite it.
So, I’m going to take a deep breath and share with you what it’s like.
And I also want to preface this by saying that every body is different. This is me, my body, my experiences, another piece of my story.
Having Hashimoto’s disease means I’m always tired. It means that I’ll go to sleep at 8:30 or 9 in the hopes that when I wake up the fatigue is gone. It means if I go to sleep later than that for too many days in a row, I will feel exhausted, lethargic and weak.
It means I’m hyper-sensitive to cold, even in the summer when the air is thick and ripe with humidity. It means I wrap myself up in blankets and will still not be warm.
It means I’m constantly dizzy. I’ve gotten used to being dizzy and auto-correct myself when I walk so that I walk a straight line instead of veering off to the side. It means that I’ll stumble or trip for no other reason than the world started spinning and shifting faster and it caught me off guard. It makes things like driving, exercising, crossing the street, walking and yoga challenging. It makes me more determined to do each of them.
It means I’ll slur my words even if I’m stone cold sober. It means I have learned to speak slowly and with care and thought and intention.
It means I have heart palpitations, my heart will stutter in my chest and beat off rhythm, or perhaps to a different rhythm, and then it will settle back down. It means I notice each beat of my heart and say thank you, thank you, thank you.
It means that there will be times when what I say doesn’t make any sense, the words I’m thinking don’t translate over to what I’m saying or writing. It means that I always re-read what I write instead of sending emails out quickly and aimlessly.
It means my energy level will bottom out unexpectedly. I’ll be fine one minute and then desperately needing to lie down the next. It means I nap when I can because I know I will feel better and more clear when I wake up.
It means that I’ll drop off the face of the earth, be silent online, be late with responding to emails, texts and calling people back. It means that I so genuinely value and appreciate the people who give me space to regroup and recharge with being passive-aggressive about it or taking it personally. It’s just me trying desperately to regain my equilibrium.
It means that I’ll cry for no reason and for any reason. It means that I’m more prone to depression and anxiety. This right here? This is how I normally clue in to the fact that something’s up – so it’s grateful I am for the tears and sadness and the rampant anxiety that is gently telling me to slow it down and go check in with my doctor.
It means that I’ve been called lazy, snobby, stuck up, a faker, full of shit, a liar, weak, and a slew of other really pretty words. It means that I’ve gotten really good at letting go of the people who toss those words at me and for keeping close the ones that support me and hold space for me.
It means that I’ve become a master at self-care and in catching myself when I push too hard, too much, too fast, too often. It means that I know when I need to realign my actions with intention and care. It means I’ve got a gorgeous laundry list of self-care items that I can turn to when I need to introduce some immediate self-care and healing into my life.
It means that I watch, listen, daydream, pray, breathe, sky-gaze, laugh, sing, enjoy and revel in every moment of this messy life because it’s mine and I will squeeze everything from each moment, whether those moments are quiet, chaotic or vibrant.
It means that I have chosen to thrive.
With a fierce heart,