Hello! And welcome to my health and wellbeing blog. I want to tell you a bit about myself and my own journey of healing. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2015, a neurological condition defined by chronic pain, fatigue, bowel issues, migraines and mood disorders. I was diagnosed at the tender age of 19, and I felt like my life had come to a grounding halt. I had to quit my drama school course, move back home and try to come to terms with a diagnosis that doctors seemingly had no idea how to cure. I was told by my doctor that the condition was incurable and that my only hope was to ‘manage’ my symptoms with a cocktail of opioids and rest. I’m not kidding – I was literally handed several boxes of high strength codeine and sent on my way.
So, the next few years were pretty difficult. It took me a few years to discover what exactly was working for me and what wasn’t, and through the trials and tribulations I was still in daily pain, and wandering when on earth I was going to see some progress. As I adjusted my diet, my daily habits and focused on my mental health, I saw dramatic changes in my wellbeing, and came to realise that I shouldn’t listen to anyone who tells me I just have to ‘manage’ my pain.
First of all, I strongly believe that any symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can be completely reversed. Although I still get chronic pain and fatigue on certain days , the difference in the severity of my symptoms from four years ago is pretty dramatic. I believe that once you learn what works for you the healing journey is a never ending upward spiral.
Secondly, I have learnt to take the label ‘fibromyalgia’ with a large pinch of salt. Fibromyalgia is a pretty mysterious illness – in Western medicine there is no ‘cure’ because doctors are only able to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. Over the years, I have also been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Hypothyroidism. And this is what makes the fibromyalgia label so confusing – there are so many crossover symptoms with other conditions that it makes it very difficult to know whether you have one thing or the other. Which leads me nicely onto my third point..
There is strong evidence to suggest that at the heart of all illness is an excessive amount of inflammation – so if you can reduce inflammation in the body then you can reduce the severity of your symptoms. This is the backbone of my philosophy and I think of my symptoms in these terms rather than the ‘incurable’ fibromyalgia label. I believe there are 6 main pillars of health that, if worked on , can induce amazing, long lasting benefits for health. These are: a low inflammation diet, deep restorative sleep, adequate exercise, stress management, healthy circadian rhythms, and reducing toxicity in the body.
One of the hardest parts about having issues with your health is the financial aspect – it can get pretty expensive trying to heal yourself while simultaneously not having a steady income. However, I’ve discovered so many things that have made dramatic impacts on my health that are free or incredibly inexpensive. I’ll be detailing these in many blog posts to come!
Healing is about creating a balance between holistic and conventional medicine. Conventional medicine has been able to provide me with blood test results and MRI scans. Holistic therapies have provided me with the day to day tools that I know are addressing the root causes. So…this blog is my outpouring of all the small to big ways I’ve learnt to help and heal my symptoms, mainly from a holistic approach. I hope it is of some use to you and that you can find something new to add to your toolkit!