Eight years ago my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Unexpectedly, through my lowest and sickest points of dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I found my passion and gained an enormous amount of knowledge and compassion that changed my life for the better. I have been in what I call thriving with RA for the last 5 years. Dis- ease is a very interesting thing. See when we are sick, we are forced to look within and dissect our life and make changes. Pain and discomfort bring us to the present moment. And until we learn what the disease was inspired to teach us, we will remain ill. But once we begin to make the changes that the illness was designed to inspire, we will begin to heal. No medical doctor can do that. It is a journey, you alone must face and when you become uncomfortable enough, you will make the changes. You are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, what should you do to begin your journey? Here are the 5 things you need to know and do.
- Understand that you are a rare piece of china. You cannot compare yourself to others or who you were prior to being diagnosed. Treat yourself with love and compassion and know that it will pass.
- Customize your diet and nourish yourself with only foods that have healing capabilities. This means cutting out any trigger foods (inflammatory foods for you) and most of what people consider to be the “good stuff”. This can be overwhelming so it is important to remember that it is not for forever, just for now. The sicker you are the cleaner you need to be. You need to reset your system.
- Practice selfishness. One of the most common threads I see in people living with chronic disease, is that they are constant givers and truly uncomfortable receiving. Carrying unnecessary guilt if they do anything kind for themselves. This needs to change. You cannot serve from an empty vessel, especially when you are sick. You become top priority.
- Go with the ebb and flow of your body. If you are tired, find stillness and listen. If you are feeling better, go for a walk in nature. Each day you feel different or more capable than the next. Listen to what your body needs each given day. learn to not push too hard but to seek stillness and wisdom from within. Movement does not mean productivity. It will pass
- Release toxic environments, people and situations that no longer serve you. Let go of stagnant, unhealthy areas of your life that cause constant stress. Practice boundaries and negotiating for your own needs. Know that you are worthy and deserve the best. Practice this affirmation daily.