Life has a lot of twists and turns. It can seem like a lot to navigate at times. What I have found, through trial and error, is that breathwork and somatic experiencing are integral in a healing journey and a game changer in living a fulfilling life.
There is something to be said about letting go of the chaotic thoughts consuming the brain in order to tap into the inner wisdom waiting to be heard.
Many times we are our biggest challenge and obstacle to work through. It can be so easy to blame others or circumstances when in reality we have more to offer than we are willing to give ourselves credit for.
What would it be like for you to invest in yourself and become your best version, one you can't even imagine at this point?
My Lyme Story
To raise awareness of Lyme Disease and what its progression can look like, here is my story. Lyme is incredibly hard to diagnose due to its ability to mimic other illnesses. Many people write off their symptoms until the disease has progressed to an incredibly uncomfortable place.
To all the Lyme Warriors out there, I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU. I FEEL YOU.
Reflecting back on when my Lyme symptoms began, my best guess would be in 2012. My dream of becoming a mom came to fruition and I was so incredibly happy. All the boxes were checking off – my career was taking off and my family was starting.
When my son was about 1 year old, I was feeling nauseous and sick all the time. Shopping the baby aisle while sweating, nauseous and looking for the nearest garbage in case I was going to vomit became the norm. It was the last thing I expected motherhood to look like. After months of this I reached a breaking point and went to the doctor - I left with a diagnosis of stress and a treatment of self-care.
Here comes baby #2! I returned to work after an 8-week maternity leave and was ready to hit the ground running, even though I still wasn’t feeling the best; but I was so excited to have been chosen to be a division trainer for leadership modules and loved being a trusted leader in the organization. Everything was perfect . . . on the outside.
The nausea was still there, but I became very good at faking feeling good and being upbeat. This next symptom though was debilitating. I was presenting information in front of location and division leadership when everything went black and sparkly. I was still standing, and no one noticed anything off. After the meeting I phoned my doctor. At my appointment I explained the weird pressure at the base of my neck, the light-headedness that would come and go, and my starry black-out experience. After a normal CAT scan, I left with a diagnosis of anxiety and a treatment of anti-anxiety meds.
Ask me if the prescription worked. . . NOPE! In fact, these weird anxiety symptoms – primarily vertigo feeling and dizziness, progressed! Out of desperation I tried this prescription for 2 years until I found I was better without it.
Meditation and journaling were far better at helping me manage my anxiety than the prescription.
Anxiety became my biggest battle. I would power through ALL the things and make things happen, because at the time, it felt like it was the only option. Also, I had this unhealthy drive to not allow anything to get in the way of my career. I was parenting, leading, participating, AND trust me, it was taking a toll!!! It became very difficult to regulate my moods, to feel safe in my body, and be the kind of parent I was proud of. I was in an anxious state ALL. OF. THE. TIME. It was exhausting, absolutely exhausting.
Jumping forward to 2019, new symptoms started. I started to experience numbness and tingling in my face and hands, mainly on the right side at first and eventually moving through-out my body. After about 6 months of this I went to the doctor, concerned that the symptoms were because of Multiple Sclerosis. I went in for an MRI with contrast. My results were once again perfect – no lesions or signs of anything that would be causing this numbness or tingling. These symptoms were diagnosed as a pinched nerve.
In June 2021 I began having heart palpitations – skipping beats and at times pounding so hard it shook my body. As I would fall asleep, I would be jolted awake with a racing heart that vibrated my whole body. At this time, I also experienced night sweats. Back to the doctor I went. A Holter monitor confirmed my irregular beats, but I wasn’t willing to take a prescription. I was once again diagnosed with stress, and prescribed self-care.
Honestly, at this point, I was scared out of my mind and wondered what my life would look like if I continued down this path. It became clear that my career was no longer aligned with my purpose. I submitted my notice and started fresh in 2022.
2022 brought more symptoms and finally an answer!
Things escalated quickly here, I now had air hunger, the numbness and tingling throughout my body intensified, and had the sharpest stabbing pains in my shoulder and through-out my body. There were episodes where I would struggle cognitively – processing conversations, finding the right words. My short-term memory would also cut out at times. Additionally, I would get body zaps, mostly on my legs and stomach.
In April, the whole right side of my face went numb and a little droopy. My entire leg and arm went numb and tingly. I said a prayer and went to the doctor. This time she felt something may have been missed on my MRI and felt certain I had Multiple Sclerosis. At the last minute she asked if I would be open to a Lyme test and x-ray of my neck. Of course, I say, YES!
My x-ray showed a muscle spasm, and my blood work came back with a very positive Lyme result. Finally, an answer! A confirmation that I am not a hypochondriac. There was a freedom, a liberation, that came with this result. I was diagnosed with Lyme and prescribed doxycycline.
Doxy was not the answer, but I do feel it helped. I am still in the Lyme battle but feel things are slowly improving. That’s the thing with Lyme, the journey looks different for everyone and the relief from it does too.
The most impactful practice I do is breathwork. When I stumbled upon breathwork it was absolutely life changing. The ability for the body to alkalize the blood, regulate blood pressure, process suppressed emotions, and heal from the inside out just through the breath is incredible. My purpose became so clear after just one breathwork meditation. For the first time, I was 100% clear that I wanted to learn everything about this modality so that I can support others in their journey.
The combinations of breathwork, treating with a Lyme literate doctor, herbal supplements, and eating nourishing foods has supported my healing process.
Things do not happen to us, but for us. Lyme has been a great teacher. Sure, parts have been truly ugly. It has brought me to my knees more than once. When I quiet my mind and listen to my body the outcome is always better. Gone are the days that I fight and push through ignoring the discomfort and allowing it to grow and worsen. There is such a thing as a healthy push and a healthy stress level - understanding those boundaries is important.
Listen to those nudges. When you feel discomfort in your body, what is it trying to tell you? The discomfort will continue to grow when we don’t listen.
For the first time in a long time, I love who I am and who I am becoming. I am able to see situations and experiences through the lens of love and compassion so much easier than before. Because of Lyme I am now clear on my purpose and cannot wait to help others through breathwork.