Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you needed to change things in your life, to make it better, otherwise It would just get worse? You knew that but you just couldn’t? Or it wasn’t the right time to do so? You made excuse after excuse, such as: I need to finish this job, I have to focus on my children, I don’t feel like it because I am too tired to take on another project, I can’t do this because I don’t know how, I don’t know where to start, it’s easier to pretend that everything is good, than to surrender to the problem and work towards changing it, I don’t need another change in my life, I want things to stay where they are for everyone sake, but mine? The list goes on whatever excuse yours is, I think I had most of them. We as women like to put ourselves last, we take care of everyone else before will take care of ourselves. I forgot to take care of myself for 19 years during my marriage and raising four amazing kids. I am one of those stubborn hardheaded German women whose favorite saying is “I’m fine”!
When I think back to the time during and before I was diagnosed with a gluten-sensitivity, I must admit that these days were some of my darkest. My private life had been completely upside down for some time, intense stress was constantly present. Not a day went by where I didn’t feel as though I had a heavy load sitting on my back, that tried to push me in the ground. Nausea became my best friend along with stomach cramps, headaches and brain fog and heart palpitations along with 3-4 panic attacks per week. My day to day life was just a never-ending party of suffering.
It amazes me how I decided that living in such denial was acceptable. I did have a good excuse for it though, I thought. At the time my main focus was to get through the day, and focus on the kids being ok, and acting as though life is just the way it had been, just in a different home, with shared custody and no one on my side. I lost my American family and friends. My family was in Germany, and even though I had their emotional support I felt very alone. I was in the middle of a divorce after I filed to leave my husband. Our relationship had been bad for a long time, and the stress made me ill. So, I decided to ignore everything when it came to my health, I pretended that everything was good, so the outside world could not look in. The reality of it all is though that unless I took care of myself, I couldn’t fully take care of anyone else.
I managed to ignore my health issues for another two years until I hit bottom. I was in Germany at the time, for the first time in seven years I had finally gone back to see everyone. During my stay I couldn’t eat, sleep, I felt very drained, I looked sick and my heart would not stop racing, to the point where I got scared of dying from a heart attack. After I returned after the three longest weeks of my life, I decided it was time for me to stop ignoring what my doctor had been telling me for two years. At this time, it was either my health or just stop living. No one knew how bad I truly felt as I wouldn’t share it with anyone, and I had to keep a good face on so I could fool everyone around me like my kids, my clients and new friends into believing that I was fine, but they could see that things weren’t quite so.
When I finally decided to surrender to this illness, I knew I had my work cut out for me, I just didn’t know how much exactly. Never did I think that today I would be sitting here writing about it, but most of all coach others to help them get their food sensitivities under control. If I could have had a coach guiding me through my misery of hard lessons learned I would have paid or done anything for that. On the other hand, I highly believe that the reason for my hard-learned lessons was exactly that, so I can help others today, without my journey I don’t think I would be sitting here today and calling myself a health coach.
During my journey, I have learned so much about myself and my gluten-sensitivity. I have learned much about the microbiome and the importance of gut bacteria, how my diet and lifestyle combined played such a big role in getting my gut back on track. Today everything I have gone through, from how I grew up in Germany as a child, to my life here in the states, the relationships I had, the stressors I have gone through, plus the way my diet controlled and was controlled by much of this, makes total sense to me today, and why I became food-sensitive at the age of 38.
This Journey has not just given me a happy gut, but it has given me insights into myself that I had put far away, trying to erase from my memory. It has given me insights on how everything is connected between my body and my soul. That neither can be fully present without the other. That eventually whatever I tried to burry, I did have to face at some point in my life, because until I could surrender to who I was, I would never get that heavy load off my shoulders, because this would follow me wherever I would go, and possibility drag me back down over and over again. Surrendering and being vulnerable is just the beginning of me being brave enough to change my life in a way I always wanted to live. It took me 17 Years of being married and only thinking of everyone but me, it took me another 4 years after that to actually take steps towards my health. That is a long time of learning to “do me too”.
Today I can happily say that my gut is happy and my gluten-sensitivity is under control. What I have learned from my past experiences is that no matter what “It is not ok to suffer”. No one deserves to suffer just because it’s not convenient at the time to take the necessary steps to get better. Why I had to hit rock bottom, and become scared for my life before I decided that I needed to fight for myself, so I can be the mother my children deserved and the woman I deserved to be, I truly don’t know. I feel that I missed out on so much back then, and we only get one life to live. If I had to go through the same experiences again, I would make myself the number one priority, because if I don’t feel good no one gets to benefit from me being me. If I suffer everyone around me suffers as well, and that is not fair. The one thing I like to remember today is that Life is not in charge of me, but I am in charge of my life.