You have to really, really want change for it to happen.
For me, this is the end of my tether. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new pathway. They do say, where one thing ends, another begins. So let me start off by saying that I deem this to be my new beginning. A new journey of sorts. You see, I’ve always wanted to write, but the span of subjects I’ve wanted to cover never held a central theme – they never seemed cohesive. My scattered thoughts weld into sentences of their own and I’d tire of trying to find a certain ‘niche’ and many, many, many pages of my thoughts and words have ended up in the recycling bin on my laptop.
So, I’ve decided to do it all. I’m going to write about me. This blog is going to be an ode to my large, eventful, ‘journey’ of a life.
This is my journey to health and wellbeing.
I often look back 3, 5, maybe 6 years ago to the version of me that had an abundance of energy and radiated health from every pore. She would wake up happy, sleep well, go about day-to-day activities with unmatched vibrancy, and jump at the chance to do every and all activity. She was never ill.
The version of me now has been through the ringer this past year and oh boy, am I starting to feel it. My once strong body is starting to crumble under the weight of too many days filled with stress, an over-exertion of adrenaline, sleep depravity, under-nutrition and sheer unhappiness during my time as a flight attendant in 2017. The pendulum was so far one way, operating at such a high frequency, struggling to maintain the weight of this un-maintainable lifestyle that I feel that I’ve swung in retaliation the complete opposite way to the lowest frequency available. And I want out. I want myself back. She’s in there, and she’s frustrated. And so here is my determination, my documentation. My journey back to health.
My back story:
Many of you that have been following my story know that during the timespan between November 2016-December 2017 was one of the most trialing times of my life and the reason for my dishealth.
Up to December 2016 I was working in an underpaying, stressful, thankless and petty job in an industry entirely based around vanity and I wanted out, and so I left. This environment for me was toxic, in a culture based around bullying and self-hatred and rudeness and please-explains and “work harder” for minimum wage and the way that I dealt with this was to binge-eat. I would be given 30 minute interrupted breaks at work that I would usually work through, and to combat this I went to the only comfort I knew of – food. I piled on the weight during this time because not only did I hate my life but I didn’t know how to get out. One day I just decided to leave, without a contingency plan. I was becoming depressed and anxious and taking this home with me and so I did what I needed to save myself, and I gave my notice for 6 weeks and entered into a life of unemployment. For this, at the time, was the better alternative.
My home environment during this time was difficult as there were people coming and going through the family home and it got to the point where I wasn’t comfortable there. My depression sunk further during this time of unemployment and I would wake in the mornings with dread. I vividly remember that it was a really dreary, wet, almost monsoonal few months and this enabled me to further retreat into my shell to the point where I completely isolated myself. I had no direction in life, no income, I had cut myself off from all my friends. I felt trapped in an uncomfortable home situation and during this time, my two year old kitten developed cancer and had to be put down. For any of you that have ever had pets you can understand that they become your family, and he was only two. I had no family support and I cried for days, and during this time my body suffered greatly. Sleep became difficult, I began to question my existence. I was eating crap food and drinking alcohol in order to try and stifle the fact that I felt the light of my existence had diminished to 1% of what it used to be.
I needed an expressive outlet and so I started to make videos and this is when I made the ‘benefits of rock bottom’ video that, in all honesty, was mainly for myself to try and see the brightest side of being at absolute rock bottom. I was trying to save my life. I was determined to find employment as a part-solution to try and turn my life around and so I applied for every position, within every industry imaginable. During this time I was exploring spirituality and so told myself that whatever opened up for me, was meant to be. And this is how I found myself, in April 2017, in a classroom learning how to be a flight attendant. For six weeks I threw myself into study, drove four hours every day to and from the training centre, pushed my body to the brink of adrenaline and exhaustion to the point where on the last exam day, I found myself in the faux-hangar of the training centre pacing up and down with adrenaline being the only thing holding my nerves and bones together so I didn’t break. I think every single one of my classmates were on the edge of their own personal nervous breakdowns after six weeks of the most stressful, intense experience any of us had ever been through. My body suffered greatly, in the last week of study I lost my appetite completely, with our trainers smirking, scoffing at our complaining at our body breakdowns and telling us to “be prepared to be sicker than you’ve ever been in your life, in the next 6 months”. And yet I was so determined to try to turn my life around from the rock bottom I had been at for the last few months, so scared to return back to the black vortex I had been subsisting in, that I never stopped to look at the signs. Look around me. Wonder if this really was the place for me, to pull me out of the hole. Question whether I was prepared to put my body and health on the line for a job that also, funnily enough, also paid minimum wage. Question whether or not I was actually digging myself deeper.
I was set on a path, a missile set to self-destruct that over the next 6 months, indeed saw that I was “sicker than I had ever been in my life”, just as my trainers had predicted. I now know (after months) that during this time I had picked up glandular fever and therefore, every 2-4 weeks like clockwork, I would wake up head throbbing, throat closed, depressed, sapped of energy and completely out of it. My days were sometimes up to 16 hours long and therefore, on my sporadic days off, I would wake up with hangover-like exhaustion that meant my days off were more like ‘recovery days’. Eyes half closed, I had to convince myself to do the most menial tasks like wash my hair, hang my clothes out, buy food. Every single weekend I was in isolation, in another city across Australia, away from my boyfriend, away from my friends, away from my family. My sleep routine was non-existent as my days would start anywhere from 2.30am and end anywhere up to 1am. I began to have nightmares every night. I began to binge eat again as the job itself called for 5-minute breaks during shifts (anything over was a guilty luxury), and so I got used to shoveling down food, any food I could get my hands on. On most days the fact that I had no access to fresh fruit, salad, complex carbohydrates, seeds, nuts or protein meant that I was consistently subsisting on white bread rolls or a box of plain shredded cabbage that the company had deemed enough to serve us as a lunch ‘salad’. My weight gain was swift, and yet I was consistently starving and severely lacking nutrients.
Funnily enough, in November 2017, almost a year to the date that I had left my first job, I resigned from the attendant job. I was undercutting myself due to having used up all my sick leave within the first two months, and again I could feel myself inching towards rock bottom. I sat on the beach one day with my boyfriend and cried. I told him everything that I had been “hiding” from him (unsuccessfully of course, as he admitted to me that he had noticed a pattern of me calling him crying most nights after a shift). My body was now so used to being unwell, chronically fatigued, that it was my new ‘normal’. The vibrancy I had once had within me had all but diminished. My days off consisted of me accompanying my boyfriend to the beach where I would sleep on a towel on the sand for hours, and yet still wake exhausted. I cant tell you where I started to realize that I wanted a better life for myself, but one day I heard the phrase, “healer, heal thyself”. I realized I wanted to not only learn how to enhance my own life, my own health, regain my joie de vivre that had once been spilling out of every pore on my body. I wanted to re-light my extinguished fire.
Where I am at now – the beginning of my journey:
My friend told me that she was doing a course in Naturopathy and it clicked for me that this is what I needed to be doing. You see, our health is completely our own responsibility to control, maintain, nurture. Your health is your greatest wealth, for without it we are nothing. And as I’ve mentioned at the start of this post, I’m at the end of my tether when it comes to my persisting dishealth. And I believe that we are completely in control of our own journey. I refuse to be a victim of any circumstance and I’m determined to regain my life back.
I currently still have more bad days than good. I wake chronically tired, my skin looks sallow and grey, the whites of my eyes are dull and I have to convince myself to do even the smallest tasks, like laundry.
I experience consistent fatigue that is ridiculously intense and I’m guessing it’s a reaction from the year or so running on fight-or-flight mode.
And yet this post isn’t to gain sympathy. I want to document everything, every bad detail so that no stone will be unturned on this journey to complete and utter health. I want to be honest and transparent so that anyone who is reading this can follow my story alongside me.
And most importantly here are my intentions –
I want life.
I want vitality.
I want to experience the world for what it is and what it has to offer.
No more depression, darkness, sadness, exhaustion, excuses.
I want to change my life for once and for all.
And I hope you’ll join me here on this journey and whatever comes along with it.