Reflecting on 2018… Sickness, Healing, & A Whole Lot of Love
HI GUYS!!!! I have missed you all so much! I am so happy to be back on the bloggy today reflecting back on this wild year with all of you.
I’ve gotta be honest with you guys. I usually just sit down to write and a blog post pours out of me. I don’t usually have to think twice about it because the post always just forms itself. But this post wasn’t like that at all. It was hard from start to finish!!! It was hard because… to say this year was a doozy, different than a year in my life has ever been in every sense of the word, would be the understatement of the century.
How do I even begin to put into words what this year looked like for me? It was a bit like having the earth ripped out from under my feet and being kicked into oblivion in an alternate reality on another planet that I’ve never seen before. It’s nothing like the life I knew before this year began. But I wouldn’t go back or trade it for anything, and in the midst of all the chaos, amazing things have happened and somehow I am very, very happy despite it all.
Happier than I have ever been in many ways, yet too sick to live the life I love. But I know that when I heal, the life that is waiting for me is so sweet, so good, so full of love and energy and good things… I can’t not be happy. It would be impossible not to be happy. I believe wholeheartedly that I will be better sometime next year and I will get to return to a beautiful life. And I am living a beautiful life right now too, it just looks a hell of a lot different than what I’m used to.
So maybe I should back up a bit. Today is all about reflecting back on 2018! Parts of it I shudder to think about and other parts I want to re-live forever. I write a year in reflection post every year, but this year was wildly different than any other. So I am struggling with where to begin.
Usually when I reflect back on the year, a lot of what I am looking back on is related to TBB and our amazing TBB community. But this year was very much a personal year. This year was all about my health… so this reflection year is also going to be mostly about my health.
Oddly enough, it was also the most successful year of my blog and podcast to date. Somehow putting the least amount of energy and time into it all yielded more amazing results than ever before, but I guess if I am really being honest with myself I was still working myself to the bone even with trying to cut back.
I didn’t REALLY cut back on work until this month, when I took a leave of absence from everything. Blogging, podcasting, emails, partnerships, and social media for the most part. I did use social media for fun this month here and there, because I realized that not being in communication and connection with you guys is way too hard for me and not worth it. You guys feel like my best friends from all over the world — you’ve been a part of my life for nearly 6 years!
And now that I’m cutting back on work I can see even more clearly that this year… this year will go down in the record books of my mind as the hardest, craziest, best, worst, most intense, difficult, scary, spiritually evolving, physically challenging, emotionally draining, yet also deeply inspiring year of my life.
So I guess we should just get into it, because I could go on forever about all of the things this year was to me. Let’s do it.
The Short Version //
In case the whole post is too much for you, because I surprised myself and got into the nitty gritty details in a lot of places (I mean I always do) and it’s all very health related… here is the SHORT version for my speed readers. 🙂
Woke up with full body hives on January 1st, tried everything under the sun to figure out what was wrong with my health, continued to work my butt off not thinking I could possibly be as sick as I was, did a 10 day Panchakarma, spent some time in NYC, went on a solo trip to Bali for the month of April, had crazy healing and psychic experiences there, wrote thousands of poems and learned that poetry is part of my calling, went vegan again at the beginning of the year, came back from Bali and went on a month-long water fast in Nor Cal, lowered my inflammation greatly while water fasting, started on the SOS-free vegan life, spent some time in Sacramento, came back to LA after two months of being gone (!!!) and was so happy to be home, got diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and mold poisoning and MCAS, started Lyme treatments, went to Sedona with my love, moved into our new home, got ENGAGED on August 1st (!!!!!!), celebrated in Kauai, felt totally healthy in Kauai from being on total cloud 9, came back and had fibroid surgery (you can watch the video here), spent the month of September recovering from the surgery, went to NYC for my birthday and to the wonderful GLA Lyme Gala, picked our wedding location for next year (Ojai Valley Inn!!!), went to a few amazing weddings for our dear friends, started Medical Medium protocols, spent Thanksgiving in Carmel with my family, took the month of December off to heal, and continued writing poetry and relaxing into HEALING. 🙂
So basically the year was a combo of being sick, starting to heal, moving in with my love and getting engaged, and letting love me one of my biggest healers. Being vegan again has been huge too. Ok now for the more extended version below…!
The Beginning //
So let’s go back to this time last year. We were nearing the end of 2017, and my health was starting to flare up terribly. I had severe eczema all over my body, my hormonal acne was out of control, my gut issues and bloat were beyond terrible, I wasn’t sleeping at all because of horrible insomnia, and I felt so tired and lethargic all the time I knew something was wrong. But I didn’t know what.
Then I woke up on the first of the year, and my eczema had turned into full body hives. There wasn’t an inch of my body except for my forehead and my hands that were not covered in huge, itchy, angry hives. I thought maybe I’d had an allergic reaction, and I was adamant about believing it was food or environment related. I had never had anything like it before, and I was sure it would go away in just a matter of days.
Weeks went by, and it wasn’t going away. My family was getting worried. No one had any clue what it could be. I saw a few dermatologists, and they prescribed me topical eczema cream but basically did nothing. I went to urgent care to get a cortisone shot, and it didn’t help at all. Next thing I knew, I was cancelling podcast interviews and plans right and left because the hives were so distracting and making me so miserable I couldn’t function. To top it all off, the exhaustion was getting so bad I began working from bed and then by the end of January… living in bed.
But I still tried to live life because in my rational mind I didn’t believe I was chronically ill. I was used to being full of energy, running my business and packing more things into a day than I could now imagine. I went to New York at the end of January and couldn’t even go outside because my hives were so bad. I asked every professional on my podcast for help, and I got tons of varying opinions. I started taking supplements of all kinds. The greatest consensus I got was that it was related to my gut issues.
I got home from NY & shared my struggles on social media and you guys gave me tons of suggestions. In fact, I was getting thousands of suggestions and ideas for what it could be. Many of you said mold illness, a few said Lyme. I didn’t even know what Lyme was. Somehow I was still convinced it was an allergy. I had been to SO MANY doctors in my life, I couldn’t fathom going to another to get more tests and be told yet again, at age 27, that NOTHING was wrong.
Solo Journey //
The months went on, the hives didn’t go away, and I was growing more depressed. I spent more time in bed, mostly because my exhaustion was so severe that spending even a few hours out of bed was excruciating. I tried to live my life in between, still telling myself I couldn’t possibly be sick. I told myself I was just tired because I wasn’t sleeping because my skin was so itchy. But deep down I knew these chronic, debilitating hives were pointing to something deeply wrong.
In April I went on a solo journey to Bali, leaving my love and my Huddy and everything I knew behind to try to heal and write and get some semblance of my inspiration and motivation back.
To be honest with you guys, it was freaking me out that I wasn’t feeling inspired anymore. I love what I do, I love this blog and my podcast and connecting with you guys, and I couldn’t believe that my exhaustion and fatigue were taking over so completely that I was no longer even excited to do what I love.
And to touch on a few things that are not health related, good things were happening too! Jonathan and I were planning to move in together over the summer and I knew (hoped!!) we’d be engaged by the end of the year, and I desperately wanted to get my health in check to be the best I could be in our relationship and give him everything he deserved. I stopped teaching yoga before I left for Bali because I didn’t have the energy for it, but I couldn’t wait to get my energy back and get back into the studio. And spiritually, things were brewing like cray.
In Bali I had incredible spiritual experiences all over the board. I had never been more in tune with my psychic abilities, something I have been working on since mid 2017 and plan to dive deep into next year. The problem with being so sick and opening up psychically is that I have been in a very low vibration, so my psychic abilities haven’t been as much in my control as I would like them to be. In Bali I was SO OPEN the info was just flooding in, it was incredible.
I wrote thousands of poems in Bali… literally thousands. I thought when I got back home I would be just as open to the flow as I was there, but It hasn’t quite been the same. Bali is such an energy vortex and I cannot wait to go back. Traveling alone was incredible, and also a huge challenge. I missed Jonathan and Huddy and my friends sooo much while I was gone, way more than I anticipated. For someone who loves being alone, this trip was a good eye opener for me to see that traveling that far alone is probably something I wouldn’t do again. But at this stage in my life it was an amazing thing to do and I am glad I did it.
To get into all that I learned in Bali I would have to write a book, lol, but hopefully one day soon I will. For now let’s just say while I was there is when I realized that my health was much worse than I thought it was. I had so many plans for myself in Bali, and in many ways I could not even get out of bed. It was terrifying and I knew I had to come home and get some answers. It was also a great lesson in learning to go with the flow… so many times what we plan for ourselves is not what ends up panning up. I was completely fine with how my Bali trip went, and I fell even more in love with Ubud and cannot wait to go back.
Water Fast & SOS-Free Life //
After Bali, I embarked on a month-long water fast at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. You can read all about that experience here, but the short version is that it was probably the single most healing thing that I have done all year. To put our bodies into a state of complete rest and healing is one of the greatest things we can do. I also learned about the SOS-free way of life at True North, which you can read all about here.
The water fast changed my life in so many ways. It was a deeply transformative experience, where Bali was FUN and exciting the water fast was totally slow paced and isolating. Every day I spent there felt like a month. So by the end of the month, it felt like I had been there for a couple of years. I am going back in February, so there will be a lot more to share on this in 2019. Learning about the art of water fasting was fascinating!!! It was wild to spend yet another month away from home, and as you can imagine I got deeply in touch with myself on a soul level while being away.
The SOS-free vegan life has been the second most healing thing I have brought into my life this year. Eating salt, oil, sugar-free and vegan has made it so that my inflammation has gone way down and it is not an environment for Lyme and my other co-infections to thrive. Being vegan again in itself has been so special and something I am so passionate about for my health, for the animals, and for the environment. You can read all about my experience going vegan again here.
Lyme Diagnosis //
After my water fast is when I was finally diagnosed with Lyme. You can read all about that here, with all the details of who diagnosed me, how it felt to finally learn what was wrong, and more. Finding out that I have MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome) was a huge turning point for me too, because after years of feeling like I was allergic to everything, I was right. I am hoping to reverse the MCAS and get the Lyme in mold illness into remission. 2019 is going to be my YEAR to do all of that. 2018 was all about figuring it out, which was the most important step in many ways.
If you had told me at the end of last year what would have unfolded with my health this year, I wouldn’t have believed you. But if you had told me that I would finally have answers for something that has been plaguing me my entire life with NOOO answers and to no avail, I would have been thrilled. So learning all of this has been a double edged sword.
For years now I have been telling myself that “THIS” will be the year that I figure out my health problems. I think it was probably my fourth year of making that declaration, and this year I finally got answers. It’s kind of crazy to think that it took my health reaching the absolute bottom of the barrel in order to get those answers, unable to get out of bed and all, but sometimes we’ve gotta hit rock bottom before we can rise back up. That goes for everything, not just health issues.
After getting diagnosed I started on a major Lyme treatment plan with supplements, ozone therapy, hyperbaric chamber, antibiotic IVs, vitamin IVs, diet changes, and more. Having these treatments take up my entire week every week has been wild, especially because I have been such a workaholic for so long now. Now that there is actually hardly any time at all to work anymore… life has been put into perspective. We have nothing without our health. These treatments have become my new normal, but I know it’s only my new normal for NOW and I look forward to leaving this in the past once I start to feel better and better. 🙂
Moving & Getting Engaged !!! //
ON TO THE GOOD STUFF !!!! In July we moved into our new place, the first home where J, Huddy & I are living together!!! Getting out of my old place, especially learning about the mold growing there and how sick I got while living there, was the most incredible feeling. It felt like shedding an old skin, a layer I have grown out of. I talked about getting back from the water fast, going to my old apartment (that I was still living in) and sobbing because I felt so much like I had outgrown it. So to move the following month was the best feeling in the world.
We have made our new home so special and cozy. I have a feeling we will be here for a long time. And my mom and dad moved in upstairs, sooo that has been a huge bonus! It was my Lyme diagnosis that prompted them to finally make the move after years of talking about it, so there is some silver lining there absolutely. 🙂
Then… on August 1st, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE PROPOSED TO ME !!!! You can read all about that here. And you can watch the YouTube video on it here!!! In that moment on the beach with J realizing that we are spending the rest of our lives together and that we get to start planning a wedding and he is also committing to me for a lifetime during the hardest, most challenging time of my life… that was a huge defining moment. That moment made my year. When I reflect back on this year, that moment is what I will remember.
And now I get to plan a wedding with the love of my life, and even if I am spending a lot of 2019 getting well just as I did this year, the year will be about love and celebration above all else which thrills me.
The End of 2018 & BEYOND!
After the engagement it was all a beautiful whirlwind. I did have a massive fibroid surgery which you can read all about here & watch the YouTube video here! The recovery was long and grueling and set me back in my Lyme recovery a bit but also set me forward because getting that massive grapefruit out of my body was a necessity. I have felt so, so, so much better without it.
After that, we spent some time in NYC which was amazing, one of my best friends got married here in LA, and we went to Carmel for Thanksgiving. Most of all I have just been healing, and I have pretty much been in a healing bubble and healing vortex and all of the healing things. By the end of the year I have finally figured out a healing protocol that works for me and seems to be making a difference in my overall health, so I will be sharing that here soon.
And thus concludes the best, worst, & most wild year of my life!
I am sure that sounds crazy to hear but it’s true.
Writing this post felt different than any other year in reflection post. Professional accomplishments, events, retreats, speaking engagements… they happened, I loved them, but they’re not what I remember looking back on this year. Looking back, what I remember is: being sick, and being in love.
WOW. If I ever write a book about this time in my life, that’s probably while I will title it: “Being Sick, And Being in Love.”
Being in love is what is keeping me sane and afloat during this wild ride. Love is what I wish for everyone in this world, love is what we are here for.
Moral of the year: Beyond being in love, I am finally learning how to heal myself and I am very, very grateful for that. At the end of the day we all have the power over our own health even when it doesn’t feel that way. I trust my doctors and my healers, I love them, but I know that I am the one that can put their protocols together with my own to heal. And that’s what I will do.
My hope for 2019: HEALING !!! Celebrations and love. To be fully healed by my wedding. To look back on all of this and see the greater purpose of it all. To write, feel inspired, and be in the flow. I cannot wait for it all.
I love you guys so much !!! Thank you for being here and for reading this. I know it has been a very different year with all things TBB, and your patience means the world to me. I cannot wait to get back to my regular blogging schedule and get back to the podcast in February if all continues to go okay with my health. Would love to hear about YOUR year !!! Please do share with me below. <3