Pace of Grace ~ Journeying with Lyme Disease
Updated: May 16, 2022
In the midst of these extraordinary times so much is unfolding for all of us. The challenges and initiations are rolling in thick and fast and the value in sharing the vulnerable places we are travelling through feels so precious, supportive and necessary, to know we are in this together and holding deep space for collective change even in the midst of great tests. So it's high time for a proper and personal update from me, it’s well overdue! (This one might require you to have a cup/pot of tea!) A few months ago I landed back on English soil after an insanely challenging couple of months packing and wrapping up life in Denmark, all whilst dealing with mysterious and debilitating health issues. Honestly, it was the biggest relief to touch down on home soil. My whole body expressed a deep joyful smile when the plane landed. (Huge thank you to all my dear friends who helped me out, in the last month especially, whilst in Denmark, I literally couldn't have made it without you!) Even though I loved my sweet island home and what the future holds is unclear, I know deep in my bones that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. A chapter is concluding. But here comes the twist, a few days before I left Denmark, after a random instinct to have another blood test, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Honestly, at first, I was in total shock, completely in the dark as to where to begin with treatment, my main focus was on getting back to the UK in one piece and finalising all logistics. Somehow I made it; with most loose ends tied up. And have since been digesting the turn of events, taking my time to navigate treatment, rest and recovery. Honestly not what I expected to face in starting this new chapter, but I'm mighty grateful to be back home with friends and family close by, along with an array of amazing health specialists and healers. I wouldn't have had this luxury living on Møn. The timing was strangely perfect. Once I got home, started on medication and my nervous system finally began to untangle from the heightened moving stress, it became quite clear I have Chronic Lyme, it’s definitely been in my system for the past year if not longer. So much began to make sense, the 3 week long migraines, debilitating body pain and fatigue, random occurrences of sciatica and arthritis, flu-like symptoms, bizarre fluctuations in my menstrual cycle - for a long time I thought I was dealing with peri-menopause. But the toughest symptoms for me are neurological. There have been long periods where my brain feels completely hijacked, unable to function like my nerves are trip wiring. This not only causes pain and heightened anxiety, but an inability to function, let alone think, communicate or make simple basic decisions. I've become ridiculously sensitive to light, sound and screens (why it's taken me so long to write this message). And there are still new things popping up from time to time. This disease is incredibly mysterious, difficult to treat and honestly a heck of a ride! But I’m taking it day by day and finding my way. In the beginning, I took every moment that my brain allowed me to research and figure out possible treatment options. (Goddess bless teacher and inspiration Jeff Foster for bravely and so openly paving the way for so many others to heal from Lyme through his own shared journey). I quickly came to discover most NHS doctors are absolutely clueless when it comes to autoimmune disease, and most Lyme patients literally go crazy from being told: 'there is nothing wrong, you're fine'. (Your mental health becomes incredibly fragile as I've discovered, so being dismissed, ignored and/or invalidating your experience exacerbates systems tremendously). I had my rounds of appalling treatment, trips to A&E, being dismissed and even kicked out of a doctor’s office (no idea where the strength came from but I refused to back down from defending and protecting my authority around my health). Alternative routes were always my preference but being so clueless around this illness I didn't want to rule anything out. I was lucky enough to find a wonderful functional medicine practitioner who specialises in Lyme and autoimmune disease, a private Lyme literate doctor who has made a career of rebelling against traditional medical ignorance, as well as a local acupuncturist/Ayurvedic practitioner who it seems I was destined to meet and work with. So I've been slowly figuring out different treatment options that work for me (taking into consideration limited finances - Lyme is a full-time job and pricey!), and there is still so much more to understand and implement. Right before Christmas after 1 month of the new (and intense) treatment protocol, I spiked pretty badly. Honestly, things got quite scary (an experience that I'm still digesting). But strangely this experience has helped me to refine my treatment one step further. And I guess this is how things will continue. One day at a time, figuring things out. Sometimes one step forward, two steps back. Adapting, learning and detoxing like crazy. It’s wild to look back at all the breakdowns I had last year and now understand the stress and strain my system was under. It’s funny as I could sense toxicity in my environment in so many ways. This feeling kept nudging me to leave Denmark and now I truly see, with a great deal of gratitude, what my body was signalling and mirroring. I literally couldn't have coped with this diagnosis in the place I was living; I didn't have the support, therapists or even food options around me to heal through this. Despite being ill for so long, life waited until I was set up with support to deliver the news. I have always believed that illness and physical phenomena are natural and sometimes necessary in our embodiment journey - right now my physical experiences are dialled up to the max so it’s going to take me a while to understand, digest and integrate what life is teaching, but here's what I have so far: MY TEACHINGS:
• The body is a giant sponge, permeable, malleable. So if there is toxicity in the environment, it's easily absorbed and reflected in the body. Over the past 3 years, I have worked hard to untangle myself from toxic habits, patterns, relationships, communities and environments that were no longer nourishing me. Once upon a time, they were, but often (especially in these times of accelerated growth) change happens quicker than you realise. As I'm experiencing, the release and letting go occurs on all planes; energetic, psychic, emotional, physical, auric, astral, and I'm so grateful to have the tools and awareness (and support of other wonderful healers, friends and family) to tend to this next full spectrum cleanse.
• 7 years ago I left the UK and (unknowingly) began the journey of ancestral healing, unpacking deep-seated relational, inherited and collective trauma. It’s been a ride, and now this illness is not only bringing me closer to my family but also showing me the results of so much change in familial dynamics. It’s challenging and there is still much more healing to come, but I'm seeing the deep long-lasting unspoken bonds of love that lie beneath the pain, reactivity and protection. Could this be the final round in a mighty 7-year cycle? I'm curious and hopeful...
• The word mutation is a close companion right now... Genetic mutation, soul transmutation...Little whispers from the ancestral field coming through from time to time.
• The deep physical experiences are revealing mysterious pathways through which we are all interconnected and communicating always. Still yet to make sense of this.
• Many of us in these times are experiencing close encounters with death. Whether it be through illness, loss of loved ones, dealing with heartbreak whilst witnessing the world on fire, endings of life cycles or big chapters. I feel these encounters bring us deeper messages and a greater understanding of eternity. My scary episode right before Christmas, allowed me to stare death in the face more closely than ever before. I literally thought that was the end for me. Amongst many things, it brought me closer in understanding human fragility, the reality that life can literally slip through our fingers at any moment; no one escapes death - a profound collective theme right now. The fear, panic, anxiety, sheer terror that's held in our cellular memory - all valid and in need of tending. And yet alongside this, the paradox of Being as Eternal, Immortal, came forth, like witnessing two realms, both shining brightly, interweaving, none more real or true than the other. This is taking some time to digest but the intimacy with death in these times is so alive for many of us. It seems incredibly necessary and humbling to continually be invited into deeper reverence to the gift and impermanence of Life. Take nothing for granted. Utmost gratitude.
SPEAKING OF GRATITUDE:
• Around autumn Equinox I called in the blessings of the mycelium world. These past few months I've found myself receiving that deep underworld nourishment and needing to soak that in. I’m grateful for food as medicine. Sainsbury's, which is literally blowing my mind with the wonderful options of anti-inflammatory foods I can eat on my doorstep. (Although surely it's time Milton Keynes got a Whole Foods or Planet Organic right?!) And especially grateful to be back on home soil with soul family and kin. God, I've missed everyone back home. An invaluable gift and so deeply nourishing to be closer.
• I am grateful for a deeper rest in self than I've ever felt before. A sense of truer self-worth. I'm not afraid to fall off the radar for a while, stop creating, drop all the marketing balls, (I literally ran out of hustle back in 2019 and honestly thank God!) tend to the simpler things for a while (maybe a long while, who knows), knowing that in that empty quiet space I am still of service in quiet mysterious ways. A wise elder recently reminded of the power of simply resting with what is (even if that means laying in bed for months) knowing on a soul level that there is Grace in this experience of this moment no matter how it looks and how little is happening externally, we are always in service to the whole. True surrender and trust in life moment by moment. She called it the Pace of Grace.
• I’m grateful for this close encounter with chronic illness, as so many are tenderly navigating this terrain, and some are in the dark or alone with it. This simply is not the world I see us growing into. Understanding the mechanics of chronic disease, the possible pathways to healing, the roadblocks, setbacks, emotional turmoil, the breaking down of old structures, and inherent healing of the past that is involved, is a blessing if it can support another on their healing journey.
• I am grateful (and honestly totally surprised!) for my sudden capacity to enjoy life without sugar and carbs! - I've been resisting this one for a looong while and (despite a few days of intense cravings) I'm doing pretty good - it literally feels like giving up a significant and tightly held crux around survival structures. Actually so liberating to slowly shed these protection mechanisms one by one.