My journey into holistic living

 

 

And every day the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “this is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” and every day it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “no, this is important.”

Living the dream

One morning in November of 2016 I woke up and realised I was living the life I had always dreamed of. I was studying for an MSc on a topic I felt passionate about, I was in a relationship with the most wonderful man and I had just started working part-time alongside my degree. This meant I could save up to visit all my lovely friends, who were scattered around the European continent. Everything had finally fallen into place and I pinched myself sometimes, as I couldn’t believe my own luck. One month later, the worst year of my life began.

Brutal awakening

I had been so busy living my life and grabbing every opportunity that had come my way with both hands, that I hadn’t realised how busy I actually was. My body was keeping count however and just after Christmas of 2016, I collapsed. I fell ill with a fever and a terrible shingles infection (chickenpox for grownups), which was very uncomfortable to say the least. At first, I thought it was just a case of staying in bed for a week and then getting back into the swing of things. I could not have been more wrong.

That period of illness was the start of a steady decline in my health and well-being. Within a matter of months, I had developed severe insomnia, anxiety, tinnitus and inexplicable and often crippling back pain. Most days became a living hell full of physical pain and mental exhaustion, as I kept on pushing through to retain the beautiful life I had created for myself.

Healthy?

On a particularly bad day in early April, I went to my local GP, determined to find out what was wrong with me. After hearing all my symptoms, the doctor agreed it would be good to do some blood tests. When I came back for the results a few days later, the doctor told me all my blood work was perfect. Upon hearing the good news, I broke down in tears. I was so desperate to feel better and now the doctor was telling me there was nothing she could do to help me. Seeing how distressed I was, the doctor asked me if I was busy. ‘Very’, I muttered in a shaky voice. Compassionately she told me I should slow down a bit and make rest more of a priority in my life. Although I thought that was the most useless piece of advice at the time, that doctor’s visit was the beginning of a powerful transformational period.

Energy management

In the following months, I went on a quest to heal myself and regain back my energy. Instead of focusing on just one aspect of health and looking for a quick fix, I took a holistic approach to my well-being. Firstly, I changed my diet from high-carb to a higher fat vegan diet, as simple sugars can act as a stressor on an already worn-out body. I also started supplementing with nutrients that are essential during periods of stress. Next, I created routines and habits that were healing and nurturing. I accepted that, as a highly sensitive person, the crazy busy lifestyle I had been living, was not beneficial nor sustainable for me. So, I rested. First only a little and then more and more, until rest and energy management were vital components of my everyday life.

The future

Slowly (VERY slowly), I got a bit better. I regained some strength and many symptoms faded away. Some of them went away completely (goodbye back pain!), some things temporarily retreated (such as the anxiety and insomnia) and some things I have learned to accept as my new reality (welcome tinnitus). Now it is almost a year and a half later and although my energy levels still go up and down dramatically, I can see light at the end of the tunnel again.

In a kismetic manner, I can now look back on this health crisis and see how much it has taught me about myself and my path in life. With a renewed zest for living, I have become passionate about holistic nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, wholesome wellness practices and self-care7. As I continue this journey of health and wellness, I would like to take you with me, sharing my stories, tips, trials, and tribulations on my little corner of the internet. It will act as a means to keep myself accountable and hopefully will help a few others to find comfort or inspiration in my posts. And because life should above all else be a grand celebration of the good and the bad, I will also share tales of my travels, personal rambles and anything else I might find worth sharing.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. March 8, 2019 / 5:37 pm

    Mooi om te lezen hoe je sindsdien beter voor jezelf bent gaan zorgen. Toch blijft het ook heftig wanneer ik zulke verhalen lees. Elke situatie is weer anders, maar ik weet dat het je leven behoorlijk op de kop zet. Wat natuurlijk uiteindelijk veel brengt, maar toch. Dat er tot nu toch nog blijvende symptomen bestaan laat wel zien hoeveel impact het heeft. Ook ik heb nog altijd wel moeite met mijn energielevel, maar daar is prima mee te leven. Veel liefs!

    • Lizzyfied
      Author
      March 12, 2019 / 7:02 am

      Ah lief, bedankt Silke! Het is eigenlijk inderdaad best heftig als je er bij stilstaat, maar ik ben dat het nu ook veel beter gaat. Alhhoewel ik natuurlijk niemand een burn-out gun, vind ik het wel altijd heel fijn om andere lotgenoten te leren kennen.

  2. March 12, 2019 / 1:24 pm

    Hoi Lizzy,

    Wat een bijzonder verhaal! En het ik vind het ook een beetje herkenbaar. Hoewel ik niet perse vind dat ik erg druk ben (ik spendeer genoeg lazy Sundays met m’n vriend op de bank, haha) heb ik de afgelopen tijd wel veel kleine, maar vervelende, lichamelijke klachten gehad (moeheid, paniekaanvallen, hoofdpijn). Telkens bleek het niks te zijn, maar één volgde telkens het andere op en ik had/heb erg veel last van hypochondrie. Ik denk dat ik onbewust zoveel stress in m’n lichaam had dat ik dus de klachten kreeg, weer meer last van hypochondrie kreeg en zo weer meer stress kreeg. Een soort vicieuze cirkel. Ondanks dat ik nu sinds een paar weken ook tinnitus heb (je verzint het niet, ben juist de afgelopen anderhalf jaar super voorzichtig met hard geluid omgegaan!), ben ik blij om te lezen dat ik niet de enige ben en dat jij hebt kunnen accepteren. Ik hoop dat mijn gevalletje nog weggaat als ik m’n stress kwijt ben en m’n volledige geluk weer terug heb. Hoe dan ook, jouw blog en verhaal inspireren me enorm! Jouw blog lezen heb ik als één van de dingen bestempeld om mezelf weer helemaal happy te maken.

    Beetje onsamenhangend verhaal, maar de bottom line: thanks voor het delen van je verhaal! <3

    • Lizzyfied
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 7:08 pm

      Wow, wat een lieve reactie Romana! En wat naar de je ook last hebt van lichamelijke klachten. Ik kan je aanraden om vooral naar je lichaam te luisteren en goed voor jezelf te zorgen. Zoals je zegt verzin je de klachten niet, ook als er geen passend ziektebeeld voor je klachten zijn. Ik wens je veel sterkte en rust de komende tijd en hoop natuurlijk dat je tinnitus ook weer overgaat (wat inderdaad in veel gevallen kan gebeuren). Liefs <3

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