If you’ve been feeling sick and don’t know why, or felt run down and exhausted for years on end, I want to share a little of my story with you today. I hope it will encourage you to keep on digging. To find out what is at the root of your health issues and to keep putting one foot in front of the other as you try to get well.
You’ve got this!
I stumbled upon the pictures above a little while ago. The stark contrast between them was evident to me, but I didn’t know if it was recognizable to others.
I shared it on Instagram and the responses were overwhelming. Like… I seriously cried in my bed.
The thing is, the changes are not only external. In fact, most are not.
The shift mentally and emotionally is just as big. Maybe more.
Before I go any further, I think it’s important to say that I do not consider myself to be 100% well or 100% recovered. I am a work in progress. And my recent move across the country showed me how easily I could slide backward.
Ok, so let’s dive into this…
I find it difficult to look at the first picture. I truly worried that I was dying.
I feel like that sounds incredibly dramatic…but the number of times the question crossed my mind was astounding.
I especially remember sitting in the rocking chair on Christmas morning watching my kids open presents and fighting back tears. I wondered how many more years I had left with them. My body ached, the hollows under my eyes throbbed, and I felt as if all energy had drained out of me.
I downed a cup of coffee hoping it would perk me up, but it didn’t do a thing.
I was newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid.
I felt so exhausted I wanted to cry every single time I had to leave the house. It felt so incredibly difficult. Almost impossible.
Hours were spent devouring books and scouring the internet for answers. Yet much of it was confusing, and if not confusing, then completely overwhelming!
I knew I wasn’t happy to take medication and be done with it. I wanted to dig deeper.
Not to say that medication was not off the table. I resisted for a long time, but eventually started Armour thyroid medication, which helped my energy levels, but definitely didn’t alleviate many of the other symptoms I was experiencing.
Slowly I made changes and have shared a number of them with you in this post: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: My Best Tips , but to give you a quick rundown, this is what helped me the most:
Eating better – this meant getting rid of many inflammatory foods, including gluten and coffee. (I will be honest and tell you that I have not always been 100% committed to that!)
Managing stress – honestly, this was (and still is) harder than changing my eating habits. One of the most important things I’ve done to manage stress is: sleeping more. Also, making time for things I enjoy, sneaking some alone time whenever I can get it, and getting better at breathing deeply (I don’t know why that is so hard, but it is!!!)
FYI – Read my best stress-busting tips here ( and download my mini stress workbook
Sleep – sleep goes a long way to curing what ails you! When you have Hashimoto’s (and other autoimmune diseases) sleep doesn’t always feel restful. Or, I should say that you never really feel like you can get enough of it. But, even so, it’s important to make time for it and be sure your sleeping environment is as good as it can be.
Let go! – I mean, really, don’t you hate it when people tell you to do that? Ugh! Sorry guys, but it’s an important one. I let go of many things. I stopped trying to do it all and please everyone.
We can’t please everyone and be healthy. It’s not possible.
I’ve written a little more on this topic and am gathering the links for you. Read what I’ve got below for more details and a look back at where I’ve been and what worked for me:
- Healing Hashimoto’s: My Best Tips
- Hitting the Bottom and Crawling Out (this was when I first got sick)
- The Guilt and Shame of Chronic Illness
- Stress-busting Tips
- Food Allergy Testing
- How I Discovered My Thyroid Condition
I’m not going to lie, revisiting these times is painful. I feel that I missed out on some very important time with my family. I was not a fully functional human being.
I share this today with the hope that it will encourage someone who is feeling unwell to keep on trying.
I know it gets difficult.
To compound the difficulty, even more, the guilt that accompanies chronic illness can be huge.
Hang in there. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can feel
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can feel
You can feel better.
Sending you much love and health to you today,
P.S. If you are over 40 (like me) you might want to check out the Hormone Balance After 40 Summit that’s going on June 5-11th.
Latest posts by Stacy Karen (see all)
- Green Up Your Laundry with Grove Collaborative - June 6, 2017
- How to Quit Coffee and Replace it with Healthier Alternatives - June 2, 2017
- My Hashimoto’s Story - June 1, 2017