“The fatigue I feel is indescribable,” lamented my client, Julia. “I don’t know if you can understand it, if you’ve never experienced it.” I nodded, sympathetically. After all, I do understand crippling exhaustion and remember it well.
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At the age of 25, I suddenly lost all my energy, with no warning. I went from being a vibrant young woman, enjoying travel, fashion and entertainment, while living in vibrant New York City, to not wanting to get out of bed at all.
I spent one year dragging myself from doctor to doctor, in desperate search of a cure, but there was no relief to be found.
Finally, after realizing that there were just no answers, I decided to go back to living a “normal” life. Within a few months, as the fatigue grew, I ended up walking into the emergency room at Brooklyn’s Methodist Hospital, expecting to be dismissed.
Instead, I was whisked into the E.R. where I was told that I needed to be admitted because my heart was beating at a low rate of 30 beats per minute. When I protested, a lovely Swedish doctor leaned in close to me and told me that the only thing keeping me alive was my age. I was facing death.
I was admitted and placed in the Cardiac Care Unit, where I stayed for 3 weeks. During that time, the Chief of Cardiology did a test on my heart, after which he declared, “You have the heart of an 80-year old!” I burst into tears upon hearing those chilling words. I was 26 years old at the time.
I thank God that I didn’t take those words to “heart” literally. After a permanent pacemaker was implanted into my physical heart, I was discharged from the hospital.
I felt anything but healthy, but what I did feel was deep gratitude to be alive and to be given a second chance.
I was determined to find health. The pacemaker was ticking away, keeping my heart rate up and giving me life, but I knew that true health was another matter. I started a journey of discovery.
I studied everything I could about wellness and health.
I learned a lot about nutrition and herbs and healthy eating. I learned that everybody is different and we have to learn to listen to our own body to discover what is best for ourselves.
For me, I realized that to keep my blood sugar steady and prevent diabetes, I needed to make sure to have enough protein. I got my Sugar Divorce and stopped eating all foods that were triggers for me. That meant anything that made me hungrier or caused my blood sugar to spike and drop.
It took awhile to clear out my body, but step by step, I got rid of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed foods and all sugar substitutes.
But the biggest life change happened for me when I stumbled on teachings about the power of the mind. That was not anything I had been exposed to before.
It started with an innocent visit to a biofeedback therapist, who turned out to be a prominent NYC leader in the field. Fortunately for me, the training didn’t focus on the biofeedback instruments, but rather on the technique. Though the word “hypnosis” was never spoken, I came to see that what I was learning was a powerful form of self-hypnosis.
The result: I was learning to control blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, brain wave rhythms, and muscle tension. The practical aspect was what appealed to me the most: I felt calmer, happier, more energized, balanced and more in control of my life.
Suddenly I became a hypnosis/mind training junkie. I went to every class I could to learn about how to tap into the power of the subconscious mind for healing.
I realized that our thoughts and emotions (and subsequent actions) are to a large degree even more important than the substances/foods that we are putting into our bodies.
Our level of consciousness determines our happiness. I wanted to shout the news from the rooftops!
Instead, I went back to college and got my degree in Bio-Psychology, along with a bunch of certifications in hypnosis, biofeedback and NLP. I started doing hypnosis seminars to help people stop smoking and lose weight. I felt amazing!
My whole life turned around and I realized the reason why was a combination of eliminating all toxins, eating only healthy nutritious food (that tasted great!), and keeping my mind straight (with self-hypnosis, which I see as a form of prayer) and doing work that I was passionate about.
I moved to Florida with my then boyfriend who I later married and had two daughters with.
I wanted to share my story with you because losing all your energy and finding yourself in the world of the sick, can be daunting and scary. But if that is the case for you or someone you love, please have faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Being sick taught me humility and compassion as well as the value of hope, faith and making intelligent choices and changes. I learned to use my illness as a doorway and motivator to connect to my Inner Voice of truth, love and dignity.
These two clichés sum it up for me the best: “The Past Doesn’t Equal the Future” and “Never Give Up!” Where you are now is not necessarily an indicator of where you are going . . . Stay strong!