When I think back on my life, the movie Benjamin Button comes to mind. I haven’t actually seen the movie, but I know it’s about a man who starts out his life backwards; he is extremely old and then gets younger and younger, until he’s eventually a baby. Usually, people start out their lives relatively healthy, and as they age they develop diseases and get sicker and older, until they die.
I was never a healthy baby or child. I had asthma attacks as a baby, and as I got older I was plagued with eczema. Itchy, red, inflamed, bleeding eczema that covered my legs, torso and arms that I would scratch till I was raw at night. I had nightmares and a lot of trouble falling asleep. I had my first allergic reaction to food when I was four years old (it was a cookie with pistachios in it). It felt like a thousand tiny red fire ants covering the walls of my throat, poking holes with tiny knives.
When I was taken to the doctor, they identified that I had the classic ‘itchy’ trio: asthma, eczema and hayfever/allergies. So, from then on, around age five, I was prescribed antihistamines, steroid creams, nasal sprays, eye drops and asthma inhalers. I had to take my trusty medicine bag with me where ever I went, and if I missed my medications, I would suffer. I had other health issues too; frequent ear infections, headaches, stomach aches and sore throats, so visiting the doctor was a regular occurrence.
I lived in a large house, in a nice suburban neighbourhood, without a mother or father as a permanent resident. My father lived in Thailand until I was 11, and my mother was always at work or her boyfriends house.
My earliest memory of my parents together was when I was four years old and we were on holiday in Thailand. It was a screaming match between the two of them in the lobby of a hotel. My six year old sister was on one side, standing there helplessly crying, and I was on the other side. I looked at her, the whole situation, and kind of zoomed out of the whole thing. I stayed silent and emotionless, like a little ghost that watched from outside of my body. All of the hotel staff froze, not knowing what to do. It was the first exercise of many to protect myself from the toxic situations that would continue to occur.
Throughout my formative years, I was surrounded by conflict, anger, hate, fear and dishonesty. Underneath was love and care, but that was deep down, underneath the constant conflict. My parents divorced when I was three, so I was always pulled in opposite directions, but really I was neglected. I would melt into the background and stay silent, but internally I would always be processing everyone’s mess. The “family” situation was always complicated, and swept under the rug. All troubles were kept secret from the outside world.
As a child, I loved sweets. I was addicted to sugar and refused almost all fruits and vegetables. My typical meals were meat, rice and a blackcurrant juice box. Almost all of my meals were prepared in advance, and left gladwrapped in the fridge, waiting for me microwave them. Because my mother would be working most of the day and night, we had a nanny that lived in our house, Sue, who would cook, clean, and care for my older sister and I.
I grew up eating dinners by myself, watching spongebob on TV. It would take me about two hours to finish a meal. My mother was too busy to pay attention. For example, I got a flea infestation in my bedroom, and I would try to deal with it, but it wouldn’t go away, so I would have to try and get her attention by leaving notes or sending her emails.
Me and my jellybeans Six years old Ten years old
When I was 11, I had to get a root canal. I already had numerous fillings, done by the school dental nurses (filled with mercury). I had no idea what a root canal was or why I had to get it done, but as usual, no questions were asked and my mother gave permission, so the procedure went ahead. The dentist said that it was unusual because people usually didn’t need to get root canals until they were at least in their 40s. That made it seem more special to me, and I was actually excited about it. I always looked forward to doctor visits, because I felt like I was actually being listened to and taken care of. I trusted the doctors and assumed that they would make me better. Little did I know, that the dentist was filling up the roots of my tooth with mercury.
As I aged further into my teens, my health problems grew more frequent and complex. Now when I went to the doctor, it was not clear what was wrong with me. All tests that were done always came back with normal results, showing that I should be ‘healthy.’
But I was always getting sick. If someone at school had a cold, I would catch it. This meant I was also frequently going to the doctor to get antibiotics. Eventually, they had to stop giving me antibiotics – I had taken so many rounds of amoxicillin that it didn’t work anymore. I was only able to attend school for half of the year. A lot of time was spent arguing with my mother over the fact that I missed school.
I had sore stomachs pretty much every day, and fluctuated between diarrhea and constipation. I got prescribed ibuprofen and paracetamol for my stomach pain and several rounds of really strong laxatives for the ‘irritable bowel syndrome’. Again, I was excited and hopeful that they would work. I was drinking these laxatives and then getting diarrhea, and taking up to 8 ibuprofen or paracetamols a day, two with each meal. One night, I started getting severe headaches and stomach cramps. I had no idea why this was happening and I was frightened, because all I had done was take my medicine. I ended up in the hospital with a drip in my arm. They discovered I was extremely dehydrated, from the over-prescription of laxatives. I had taken the exact amount the doctor suggested.
After that, I was back in the doctors office. She suggested that I try some kiwifruit for my digestion. It seemed innocent enough… a refreshing break from the copious rounds of drugs I was always prescribed. So that night at home, I very hesitantly took a tiny bite of a kiwifruit.
What ensued was one of the most traumatizing and painful experiences of my life. I was severely (anaphylactic) allergic to kiwifruit. What were the odds this was the one thing she asked me to try? My whole throat seized up, I could barely breathe or swallow because of the pain, I was trying to cough up blood. I never thought it was possible to experience so many different kinds of pain at once. I ended up in the hospital again, but there was nothing they could do – I couldn’t drink any water as it was too painful to swallow, so I ended up just sitting and waiting it out.
After these two incidents, I decided to switch doctors, because I felt like the family doctor had (unintentionally) almost killed me twice.
A few weeks later, I was referred to the immunology department of the hospital and had a skin prick allergy test. Both my arms turned into fields of giant red hives. I was ‘allergic’ to several nuts, bananas, avocados, kiwifruit, certain trees and bushes, dust, grass and animal fur. So they gave me an anaphylaxis pen that I carried around but never used, and I was given stronger antihistamines.
My new doctor suggested that I have an endoscopy to check my stomach. I was sure that they would discover a hidden tumour or some menacing creature inside of my bowels. But they found nothing. The only thing that came from that operation was an adverse reaction to the intravenous sedative they gave me. After I woke up, instead of being tired and heavy, I felt incredibly euphoric and high.
I convinced the nurses to let me out of the hospital, even though they said it was necessary that I rest for another hour or two. I ripped those tubes and gown off and skipped all the way out. It felt like I had never felt this good before, I wanted to run and sing and dance around the city! But it wore away a few hours later.
After I did some research and talked to my doctor, I found out they gave me diazepam (Valium). I asked my doctor if they could prescribe that for me. He said that would be ideal, but they couldn’t because it’s highly addictive. I was rather angry, because this medication actually made me feel good, and I was already ‘addicted’ to every other medication they gave me anyway.
This incident sparked my interest in altered states of consciousness. From then on, I became obsessed with researching pharmaceuticals and other substances, especially psychedelics. Reading about the possibility of changing and escaping the painful reality I found myself in brought me hope and joy. ‘The Doors of Perception’ by Aldous Huxley was my favourite book. I wished that I could go back in time and live in the 60s counter-culture.
It was around this time that Sue, the woman who had raised me and the only adult I trusted, suddenly left without any notice. I was devastated beyond belief, as one of my biggest fears had come true. I felt truly alone, afraid, and angry that I had been abandoned again. I didn’t have anyone around me that I could talk to anymore, so I dealt with everything by writing in my journal. Sue was gone, and my mother didn’t like when I would speak to my father on the phone and would complain of phone bills, and my father wouldn’t like it if I ever even spoke or referred to my mother.
No one around me understood what I was going through, and eventually, it was easier for people to believe that I was over exaggerating my ailments and plainly making up that I was sick. The doctors could never find anything abnormal in physical tests either. So, that added another layer of psychological difficulty – not only was I suffering, but I had to try and convince the people around me that it was real because I always ‘looked’ like I was fine.
I began to get frequent migraines that would last for 1 – 2 days. My head felt like it was going to explode and I was hypersensitive to everything – sound, light, touch, even resting my head on a pillow was incredibly painful.
At age 13 I was prescribed amitriptyline; a tricyclic antidepressant that at lower dosages acted as a painkiller, sleeping pill and prevented migraines. I eventually settled at the dosage of 50mg. These five little blue pills would go on to control my life; they decided how much pain I felt and whether or not I would be able to get to sleep at night. If I missed taking them five hours prior to bedtime, I would be up until 4, 5, or 6am.
My doctor also referred me to a chiropractor who specialized in migraines. It was through talking to this man that I realized something was really wrong with me. Looking back now, I can see that it would have been strange for a 13 year old girl to have migraines and constant back and shoulder pain, so I can understand his reasons for asking questions to cheer me up like, “If you had one weekend to do anything in the world, what would you do?”
After a long silence, I had no answer. He suggested a few things, “What about going to a themepark? Or seeing a movie?”
Nothing. I realized that there was not one single thing I could think of that would bring me any excitement or joy…
That conversation haunted me for a long time. I realized how drained of life I had become.
At age 14 I was referred to see a clinical psychologist.
This was done through my doctor, and my mother was told it was only because I had sleeping problems, as she didn’t understand why I needed to see a psychologist. I had sleeping problems ever since I was young because I would be left alone at night, so I would stay up until 2 or 3am and watch TV. And I didn’t actually want to sleep, because I had nightmares. But this was obviously not the main reason. I knew I had needed to see someone practically since I was born.
I felt like I had lived 14 years without really saying a word.
So for the first time, I told someone the full truth about my life. Or at least I tried to, struggling through floods of tears. At the end of it the psychologist looked extremely concerned, almost mad, and said some kind things to me. She said she believed my sicknesses were real because sickness is the same as sadness, and anyone who has lived through what I have would be sad.
She asked me to fill out two questionnaires, one for anxiety and one for depression. I had read about those terms on the internet, but wasn’t completely familiar with what they meant. After looking at them she showed me where I scored on two graphs, one showed ‘low level anxiety’ near the top end, and the other was ‘severely/clinically depressed’ way down at the bottom of the graph.
My heart sank and I felt panic and fear creep in with this official ‘diagnosis’. When we left, I didn’t tell my mother anything.
A month-long school camp was coming up, that I was extremely reluctant to go on, because of the state of my mental and physical health. I ended up going, and thank goodness for that. I lived in a small house with seven other girls and spent a lot of time outdoors, tramping and camping. By the end of the month, I felt a spark of joy return inside me. I knew then, that it was the toxic environment at home that had made me so sick. I returned home, determined to keep my newfound happiness and optimism. But the environment and conflict was too much, and things rapidly got worse.
I always had problems with dissociation/depersonalization attacks. I was ‘there’ but didn’t really feel there. Actually, the first time this happened I remember very, very, vividly. I was seven or eight. I was outside, alone in the garden, bouncing up and down on the trampoline. Then suddenly, I thought – what if everything around me were suddenly gone? What if I just died? I tried to comprehend it, by imagining what would happen to me, and my mind, when I died. I just imagined that my life could be taken that very second, and that everything around me – the garden, the ocean, the house, the trampoline, the tiles, the grass, it would all be gone – and eternal blackness would ensue.
It sent me into a state of spiralling panic. I stopped bouncing, froze and sat on the trampoline. I got off, crying, and ran to Sue, my nanny. When in this state, all I needed was to hug someone and feel something solid or alive. It was reassuring, but I had to put those questions and doubts aside in my mind – unanswered – because going down that track of comprehension sent me into absolute terror.
I could just begin this thought trail at any moment, and on occasion, I would. But then I would always regret it. It was like travelling down a black spiral staircase of terror and absolute panic, in the vast emptiness of the unknown. It was like a weird guilty pleasure, I thought to myself ‘no, don’t do it again’, but I was so curious, that I could just bring on these ‘states’.
As I got older, those states started happening randomly, without my control. I started to get panic attacks when I would get home from school. And I would get other types of ‘breakdowns’ and ‘states’ that they don’t have names for, every two or three days. At first it was always at night, but then they would come during the day. These ‘states’ involved mixed feelings of sudden panic, terror, dissociation, numbness… essentially horror. I lived in constant fear of when the next one would happen, and I would have to randomly leave school during the day if one would come on. When they would happen, I would just lie in bed, and try to sleep, to take myself into numbness, out of that living hell that took over my body.
They were markedly different from the baseline depression that I felt. I tried to record them, I tried to figure out times, patterns and associations for their occurrence. It led to strange conclusions like a certain smell, a certain activity or something I was wearing, bringing on a panic attack, and that just didn’t make any sense.
Nothing made sense.
Whenever I tried to explain them to my psychologist, she had no idea what I was talking about, which frustrated me, because they were meant to be the doctors, and it felt like all that was happening was me telling them things.
Because of the unbearable conflict at my mothers house, I ran away one night when I was 14. Ever since then I lived out of a suitcase, sleeping on my dads couch, with my dog, Pep (who, without, I probably would not be alive). I barely managed to go to school most days, and the rest of the time would be spent in a comatose state. I was deeply depressed. My father would have to encourage me to eat, I wouldn’t bathe for days, and I would spend my time either lying in bed, sleeping, or on depression forums on the internet. I had no desire to do anything, my life was living as a robot – I had to force myself to do things in the hopes I would one day work up to feeling something. This was truly the worst period of my life. I would spend hours, frozen in a ball, unable to move, on the carpet. At times, even my father got impatient with me – thinking that I was being silly. But I wasn’t. Sometimes, I just didn’t have enough energy to move or talk.
All of my belongings Me and Pep He never left my side
The cost of continually seeing a clinical psychologist eventually ran too high, so I got referred to a free public mental health centre for children and adolescents. I read online about treatments for severe depression, like electro-schock therapy and antidepressants. I wanted both. The psychiatrist I saw ended up, very hesitantly, prescribing me fluoxetine (prozac), because they usually only gave them to over 18 year olds, and I was already on so much other medication. But I thought I needed it. I thought it would help.
The antidepressants changed me. They numbed me and took away what little I had left of myself. I felt nothing most of the time, and when I didn’t feel nothing, I felt only negative things. I was sick and fed up with school. I was incredibly impatient with teachers who took themselves too seriously, and I had no interest in being involved with anything. I didn’t understand why we had to sit in a class all day and learn seemingly pointless information. I could not understand how people could seriously get stressed or worried about handing in a piece of paper. I hated the system.
I was there, like a shell, like a ghost. I started using codeine heavily, to bring me some other sensation. I became addicted to it – taking up from 7 to 10 pills at once (the prescribed dosage is 2). I spent half of the days in the counselors office or sleeping in the nursing bay. I was drugged up to my eyeballs but nevertheless maintained some sort of facade of being a happy and good student. I still laughed, and had friends and played some sports, but inside I felt nothing, and that it was all pointless.
The pills also messed me up physically, my appetite was completely gone and my body temperature was always out of control – doing the tiniest things I would sweat excessively. I felt as heavy as as 50 tonnes of sinking sand. Little tasks like washing dishes were impossible. For one day my single task would be to hang the washing out, and even thinking about doing it, brought me to tears.
The only thing that got me through was the thought “this will pass”. I listened to, and read a lot of Buddhist philosophy.
And it did. After about a year and a half, slowly and gradually, the states of panic and terror began to occur not every two or three days, but every four or five days, then every week, and so on, until the last one ever occurred. Just being away from the house I used to live in, and receiving support from my father and an amazing guidance counselor at school, I started to get a bit better. We moved into a new flat when I was 16, so now I could have my own bed.
I can vividly remember how quickly my life switched, once the severe depression, the extremely heavy iron blanket over my body, mind and soul started to lift… slowly, I dissolved into an ‘ordinary’ life. This meant I could get up in the morning, (instead of lying in bed for hours, in fear and dread), I could pour my cereal, (instead of feeling no hunger and forcing myself to eat) and have a shower and get dressed (instead of staying in pajamas and not bathing for days!).
So this is how normal people feel?!? It’s like walking on air! I actually became disturbed at how easy things were now, because I had been keeping up with everyone else for all those years, but everything was 10 thousand times harder.
I was still highly emotional, anxious, insecure and yes depressed, but I had started to heal from the comatose state I was in before. I thought to myself, that I’d better never ever forget how I felt, so I would never take anything for granted, and catch ‘normal’ problems! For example when my dog would pee on the floor, I would happily wipe it up, smiling, thinking – wow, how wonderful it is that I have a dog and I can use my arms! Whereas my father, would become angry and huff and puff around complaining about cleaning the pee.
At the end of 2014, I was beginning to feel a bit more okay about life. My physical health improved dramatically, as I used to catch at least six or seven (or more) colds a year, and now I would only get about four or five. This was an amazing achievement for me. My mother began to creep back into my life, and I managed to express my pain and true feelings about the decisions she had made in life and how they hurt me. Instead of our relationship consisting of arguing in the car on the way to appointments, she began to put more effort into being nice to me. For the first time my parents could be in each others presence and communicate. Finally they were forced to, because of me.
In December, my grandpa, who I felt very close to and would regularly visit at the rest home, passed away. His death brought up a lot of issues with my family. I felt, again, as if everything was being swept under the rug and everyone was acting fake, so I snapped.
I always carried around my pill box with me, which contained four days worth of my medication: the antidepressants, sleeping pills, pain killers, antihistamines etc.
So, sitting next to my grandma at my grandpas funeral, I took all of the pills. I tried to cut myself open. I wanted more than anything, to submerge myself into the ocean and never return.
But I didn’t make it.
Instead, I ended up in my bed with my sister sleeping next to me, inside a body on fire.
Caring for my grandpa Releasing him When I was little
I was quite damaged after that, but I managed to go almost completely back to what was my new ‘normal’ a few days after and celebrate the new year of 2015. This was when my previous boyfriend of three years came into my life. Although it was a young, messy, juvenile relationship, it was my first love and gave me a new, refreshing way of life. He was practically my opposite – super relaxed, carefree, outgoing, confident and upbeat. I started to fall in love with being alive again, as I felt like I had something to be excited about.
I decided I didn’t want to finish school and instead go straight to university. So I applied to study a conjoint degree of law and psychology. I got accepted, without finishing my last year of school. So I begun my first year of university in 2015.
I was still a regular at my doctor, and I was complaining about the antidepressants – so he suggested that I switch to paroxetine. That was a horrible experience, so I got referred to see a private psychiatrist. It was hundreds of dollars for this appointment. Again, I had to try and explain my life to some stranger, and I thought this time it would be worthwhile. I was really desperate for some genuine help, insight and care.
He barely moved a muscle on his face the entire time.
“Why don’t you try Sertraline” he said, cold as a fish.
I left with a new prescription for sertraline, (another SSRI), along with zopiclone and clonazepam to ‘help’ with the withdrawal.
This was the beginning of the end.
The combination of weaning off of paroxetine, onto sertraline, with zopiclone, amitriptyline and clonezepam was the last straw. My body was sent into panic, numbness, my veins felt like they were running backwards and my mind was electrocuting itself. Psychologically I was frozen and I would have to float above my body to detach from all of it whilst moving every few hours and trying to mutter a few words, cry, or try and move my hand to write something to communicate. I saw dark things, twisting, distorted visions of bathroom tiles and wooden doors turning in on themselves… all the while I didn’t tell my father so he was oblivious to what I was going through.
I used art to channel my emotions
I got very lost. I went to places so far away from sanity that I was not sure I would ever come back. But it pushed me far enough, to my absolute limit of experiencing this earth, this human body, to send me right back. The final drug cocktail sent me back forever. I knew, after experiencing what I did, that these pills were NEVER going to be the answer.
I was so overwhelmed, so toxic, so artificially altered – that now, nothing except absolute rawness and purity would suffice.
Finally… finally, I had reached the point where I couldn’t get any lower.
I wanted reality.
Part Two – Healing
The real, final, withdrawal after four years of antidepressants, was extremely hard.
The biggest realization of my life hit me like a tonne of bricks – never once in my life had I been free of drugs, never had I existed in a normal, healthy body.
I lost my mind a few times throughout the withdrawal again. But it always came back, despite my confusion and pain, and then I began to self medicate with more ‘normal’ substances that young people used, like alcohol.
It was a welcome, yet still unhealthy, relief. Slowly, I began to taper off of my meds, one by one. At the start, I only thought it would be the antidepressants and sleeping pills, I never planned to or expected to be able to do them all.. But as more time went by, taking anything felt WRONG.
I wanted to feel something for real for once in my life, instead of being artificially modulated and regulated by synthetic chemicals. I had the strongest, innermost desire to be free of all dependencies.
So from then on, after this process as done, I knew I would NEVER take another pill, ever again in my life.
Coming off of the antidepressants cold turkey, and being off of them for the first few weeks was incredible. I didn’t bother tapering them down at all… I was so sick to the core of my soul of taking these things that I could never do it again, so I just stopped. That’s not advisable, because you can actually die from suddenly stopping these drugs because of ‘serotonin syndrome’. But actually I felt it was more dangerous for me to keep taking them.
It felt like pieces of my brain were slowly being handed back to me. I didn’t feel that I was living in bubblewrap anymore. I could feel the sharpness of the air, my vision felt HD. My creativity also returned, my long lost friend. I began to write a lot of poetry and draw once again. I would sit on the bus, writing poetry in my journal, looking at this raw, new world with such different eyes, everything was an endless fascination. My passions from childhood were returning, after all of those years of numbness!
I returned to see the first clinical psychologist I saw all those years ago and began to work on my mind. We began to identify negative automatic thoughts and negative ‘schemas’ that I had developed from my childhood. I learned that we, as humans, are shaped in our relationships to ourselves and to others by our early childhood. So I knew I had a lot of reversing and resetting to do. I used my skills of detachment in a positive way, to objectively analyze each thought that came into my head. All of my life my thoughts were overwhelmingly negative and pessimistic, now I could see that this probably wasn’t the most accurate vision of reality, and it certainly was not helpful.
It was a lot of hard work.
You can’t just get out of depression and buy happiness and self-esteem from nowhere. I consciously had to ‘un-do’ all of the thinking I was used to, questioning all of my gut reactions and instincts… For a while I was confused and resistant because that felt rather artificial to me. I wanted to know the nature of reality and truth, not brainwash myself into thinking I’ve had a happy life. I eventually came to understand why it is important to do as it’s just common sense to have healthy, positive, optimistic thoughts if you want a have a good life.
I was told by my psychologist that I had ‘somatization syndrome’ which meant that my psychological and emotional feelings would turn into physical illnesses. I think all humans have this, to varying degrees. But my emotions seemed to manifest in body, powerfully and instantly. I would get stressed, then eczema would appear all over my body. I would feel angry and have an extremely sore stomach or headache, I would feel depressed and get colds and fevers. They said that was the reason why I had all of these physical illnesses, with no identifiable physical cause. In a way, I’m lucky, because I’m so sensitive, I eventually had to force myself to stop indulging in all negative thinking and emotion, because I knew it would physically make me sick.
The perfect, and painful testing ground for this was my new relationship. Let’s just say, that there were many opportunities provided for me to force myself to think positively. I went through a LOT of anxiety with attachment and trust. My thoughts were totally obsessive and out of control. My mind felt like it was a broken tape recorder – repeating the same anxious, negative thoughts to myself.
After an argument I would be debilitated for hours, and I would just sit on my own curled in a ball. I would get a red, puffy face and I would get really itchy everywhere, or get a stomach problem or have issues breathing again. Whereas he seemed to be fine, moving on with his day and interacting with people. I just didn’t understand it.
Although I didn’t believe her at first, my psychologist was right. It does become easier. The more you think something, the more automatic it becomes. Eventually, I would come into her office feeling like I didn’t actually have any problems. So after about a year I stopped going.
My next task was the amitriptyline withdrawal – and here ensues many many sleepless nights, after six years of relying on 5 blue pills to get me to sleep, they were gone. I researched all about insomnia and natural cures. Eventually I found something that actually worked. It was this self-hypnosis audio for falling asleep that I found on YouTube. That became my new sleeping pill.
I was still incredibly unhealthy though. I indulged in alcohol, cigarettes, codeine, sugar, etc… I would go to the supermarket and buy a chocolate muffin, a bag of sour lollies, some ice cream, bread, licorice and chocolate, keep them in my bedside drawer and eat them to my hearts content.
I was getting into researching more about natural health though. I found this recipe online for a bone broth to ‘nourish cells and accelerate healing’. Those words made me incredibly excited. I also learned about mindfulness. I began to regularly use the meditation techniques that I was taught by Buddhist monks when I was younger. I used walking meditation whenever I felt feelings of pain or anxiety arising. I would pace up and down my room, concentrating only on putting on foot in front of the other. It worked for me.
At the end of 2015, my skin began to change. I started getting more pimples, and little white bumps appeared all over my stomach and back. It was summertime, and the more time I spent in the sun, the clearer the white dots would become. Prior to this, my skin was completely smooth and clear (apart from the eczema I would get). I tried to research about this, but nothing much came up apart from that it could be fungal. So I went to the doctor, and got referred to a skin specialist. This costed several hundred dollars, to have a consultation and get a biopsy.
They told me that they didn’t know the cause of the dots or how to get rid of them. They did tell me that I had eczema… (yep.. already knew that..) and offered me a fungal cream that I could have bought from the pharmacy for $15. It was very frustrating. I tried many fungal soap washes and creams from the doctors, but nothing made a difference. I asked them if it could be something to do with diet, but the doctors and specialists said no.
I had a feeling it did. So I did more research and discovered ‘candida’; the fungal overgrowth that feeds on sugars and causes all sorts of health problems. Now I began to take notice of what I ate.
I remember the very first ‘healthy’ meal I ever made; it was salmon, with brown rice and a green salad. I was so proud! It was so foreign to me, to eat a salad. It scared me, as I had gone my whole life avoiding these. I actually felt dizzy and euphoric after I ate that meal. This was mind-blowing to me, as I never knew food had the ability to make you feel so good. After eating more healthily, I got the biggest shock – because I began to fall asleep like a baby. I didn’t even need the audio hypnosis anymore!
The first ‘healthy’ meal! My counting beads As I got better, so did Pep
I began researching all natural methods for healing anxiety and depression, like different natural supplements, herbs, essential oils and foods. My computer and bookshelf began to fill up with this exciting new information. During this time I also stopped taking my daily antihistamines. I also stopped taking the birth control pills I was on, and because of this – I thought about my period, which had been completely absent for two years. Stopping everything else was very quick after this. I no longer wanted to use ANY anti-histamine or steroid type creams or pills or sprays.
Throwing all of the old medications away… Bottles of codeine
Going through all of this chemical detox, my body began to express 18 years of suppressed disease. I was settling in comfortably to my newfound mental health and started to have fun in life, so now after a few months, my body said alright, you’ve got your mind back, now it’s time to take you back, one by one, to address all of these physical problems.
I spent all of my time researching. I knew I couldn’t go back to the doctor, and at first, that scared me. I really didn’t have any medical help to rely on now – because all they would do is give me more pills, and tell me that they didn’t know what was wrong.
My immune system was freaking out. All of my eczema came back, all over my body. I could barely wear clothes – I would break out in hives from putting on any material except for cotton. I had to cover it up wearing long pants or jeans at uni, even in summer. I walked around trying not to touch anything, showering was incredibly painful and I slept with bandages over my legs and gloves on my hands at night so I wouldn’t scratch. I was getting constant urinary tract infections and I was generally exhausted.
For the first time in my life, my face was covered in red pimples, my skin was dry and my hair was frizzy. I had an unquenchable thirst – my throat was constantly dry no matter how much water I drank, it seemed to just go in, make me bloated, and then I would pee it out and still feel thirsty. My tongue was also heavily coated by a thick, white, furry substance. Everything was going haywire… because now I was raw, unmuted, unmodulated by chemicals…
It was June 2016. I would get so desperate to heal my skin that I swam in the ocean in the middle of winter, to get the salt to heal my wounds. It stung like crazy.
Now that I had cut painkillers out of my life, I was experiencing constant aches and pains. Through my online research about candida, I discovered that such a thing called a ‘naturopath’ existed. I never knew this alternative existed before, and when I discovered it, I got incredibly excited. So I booked an appointment to see a naturopath who specialized in candida.
I felt like it was my wedding day, after going through all of my life seeing doctors and specialists who offered no real solutions, only fancy diagnoses and pills, I felt like finally I would meet someone who would understand. I desperately needed to see someone at this point, it couldn’t WAIT a day longer, my whole body was in so much pain and I had rashes covering every part of me. I was crying, putting on my pants that morning.
When we arrived at the address, nothing was there. Then I realized… that I had read the address wrong, and this naturopath didn’t even live in the same city as me.
I felt absolutely stranded.
Pain and desperation exploded throughout my body. My lower back was in so much pain that I was afraid. So, in tears, I ended up back in the hospital, fearing that there could be something wrong with my kidneys.
It was a highly unpleasant day. I was sick, and cold, and hungry, but all they had to offer was painkillers and general cafe food (sandwiches, muffins), or McDonalds. I went through several departments for testing. Everything came back normal. It was eight hours of being carted around, probed, scanned and asked to take painkillers. In the end, the final doctor that saw me said that I was very knowledgeable, perfectly healthy, and that I should probably just go back to my psychologist.
I should have expected as much. That experience confirmed it all for me. I was DONE with these hospitals and doctors, forever!
Then my mother made an interesting suggestion. She asked if I wanted to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. I was quite hesitant at first… I asked what they would do. She said the doctor would feel my pulse for a minute then prescribe me a herbal drink.
That sounded extremely strange to me. And it didn’t make any sense – how could someone know anything by feeling your pulse? She said my grandma used to go all the time, instead of the regular doctor. So the next day we went.
This was the first time I saw a real doctor. The old Chinese man couldn’t speak English, but my mother spoke basic Cantonese. So without any questions he felt my pulse. The first thing he asked was when my last period was. I said I was taking a contraceptive pill, so it had been about two years, but I just stopped taking the pill about a week ago.
He smiled as if everything made sense.
He said that the reason I was in so much pain, especially around my lower back, was because my uterus had shrunken up because it wasn’t being used anymore, and now that I had stopped taking the pill, it had started expanding again and it was pushing all of my other organs out.
My jaw nearly hit the floor. I was shocked and horrified… I never knew that this would happen if I started taking that birth control pill! My doctor had told me almost nothing about it… just like everything else they had me on… it was just given as a solution to my problems. And I was never warned of any adverse, or damaging effects.
The doctor also explained that my organs were filled with dampness and heat. My blood was thick and slow and this lack of circulation was making me exhausted. So he said I need to try and exercise more and gave me the herbal drink to drink for three days that would help take the toxins out of my body.
That drink was incredibly powerful. It was almost black, and the most bitter and pungent thing I had ever tasted. On the first day I felt an intense headache and tiredness, the second day everything got worse. But on the third day… I started to feel better. It was actually working. I was having bowel movements again and my skin wasn’t as itchy… I knew something good was happening.
Chinese herbs… The herb dispensary
Over the course of my healing, I would go back every few weeks or months to visit the Chinese doctor again. I knew that if I felt things really going wrong – I could always go back and those herbal drinks, and that brought me huge relief.
I was really upset and worried about the painful acne on my face, so I spent a lot of misguided time and money on facial products. My boyfriend suggested that I cut out sugar. I had never seriously considered this before, or thought it solve my acne issues, because I was so addicted… sugar was basically my ultimate salvation. I loved sweets. I once saw a book entitled “I quit sugar!” and thought it was crazy, and that if there were one thing I would never do in my life – it would be that.
But my skin was so bad I had to try it. And it worked. I struggled though. I would slip, and feast on sugary baked goods, cereals etc. and then the next day, all of my pimples would come back in full force. So I learned the lesson and made the connection. I knew for sure that sugar was bad news.
Going through the sugar cravings and withdrawals was really hard though, especially as everyone else around me could indulge in as much sugar as they liked, and seemed to suffer no ill effects. I had to have ultimate willpower; resisting, saying no, explaining why I couldn’t eat this or that, in every situation I found myself in. But when I gave in, I would scratch the night away and my slowly healing eczema would crack open and begin to bleed again.
It was a huge achievement, to go two or three nights without scratching, but it only took one tiny slip up, for the inflammation to come back again. This dangerous dance of avoiding all temptation, doing well, then giving up and slipping in went on for about two years. My symptoms would all improve, but as soon as I tried something new – something as innocent as a sweet potato, I would be back to square one.
I also cut off my religious practice of moisturizing, which I realized was actually unnecessary and unnatural (but actually becomes necessary because of the drying chemicals in tap water!). Moist skin should naturally result from moist, healthy insides. This revelation blew my mind, as I began to realize that my outer shell was just a visual representation of the functioning of my organs.
My eczema, dry skin, frizzy brittle hair, and pimples on my face all made sense to me now. I used to spend so much money on external products like face creams and cleansers, and now I realized that none of this was ever going to fix my problems. It was all internal. True beauty does really come from the inside, in every way.
Now, I started to become conscious of everything that I put into my body. When we ate out, I ordered things like steamed vegetables and fish, with no seasonings, oil or sugar. I noticed that I would get less thirsty and the white covering on my tongue would change and lessen, to reveal a more normal looking pink tongue. I totally cut out alcohol too. Every time I drank it was a nightmare – I would feel the ‘candida’ go crazy and all of my physical problems would worsen.
I was on a ‘MEVY’ diet: meat, eggs, vegetables, yoghurt. It was recommended by a candida naturopath I found online. So I began to make everything I ate at home, because it was too difficult to try or order this kind of food anywhere. I was really excited making my new food, believing that the probiotics in lactobacillus yoghurt would drown out my candida. I still had intense cravings for bread and sugar though. For breakfast I would make eggs and vegetables, then a salad for lunch, then some fish or meat and vegetables for dinner. But I would always be left craving sweets and bread, so I would end up eating large amounts of fruit toast and random things like goats cheese in my room at night.
For a long time, I had an insatiable appetite. It wasn’t like real hunger, but I ate anyway, and when I ate, I could never feel satisfied or full, which was extremely frustrating. I would eat two full sized adult meals, mountains of noodles, and feel nothing. I felt even hungrier than when I started. And the eczema was still getting worse.
So I went to visit a naturopath, in person, for the first time. We talked about diet, and got a test done for food and environmental intolerances. She also prescribed me some herbal anti-fungal drops, magnesium and vitamin B12. The results came back, and the highest intolerance I had was dairy. At that point, I didn’t even know exactly what ‘dairy’ was. The second thing was mold. Other things that came up were certain foods belonging to the nightshade group (capsicums, eggplants, potatoes), things high in salicylates, sheeps wool, certain bushes and trees… It was quite a lot.
So my diet became even more restricted, and I was experiencing massive candida die-off reactions like fatigue, headaches, more rashes, bloating etc. from the new supplements. I was experiencing really strong sugar cravings, so I became addicted to eating packets of dates. I also completely stopped using all chemicals; I changed my deodorant, shampoo, dish washing liquid, cleaners, my clothing, everything, to as natural as possible.
The last thing I stopped using was my asthma inhalers. It was crystal clear to me now, that all of these ‘medications’ were really just holding me back from real healing by constantly suppressing my body’s natural responses.
This was the hardest and potentially most dangerous physical withdrawal of all, as it was Winter, and I struggled to breathe at night. Many nights I would stay up, trying to breathe through wheeziness and short breath. I only ever came near to an asthma attack once, but that experience made me realize how tied the asthma was to emotions. If I freaked out, then my breath would shorten. If I relaxed, it would get better.
I also learned some acupuncture points (from researching) about natural cures for asthma. So whenever I would feel it getting bad, I would press points underneath my armpits, and it was amazing, how effective it was. At times I almost gave in, going back to those steroid inhalers – but I knew it would only provide me temporary relief and set me back again from regaining my natural ability to breathe.
I was so stubborn – I would rather take nothing or die trying. And even though this seemed crazy to others, in my mind, I felt that those medications were the more dangerous alternative.
I also noticed a huge link between diet and asthma. Whenever I would eat sugar, I would get incredibly bad asthma at night, the same went for dairy products.
At this time I also learned about the tap water, through my research of natural healing. The fact that fluoride is added to our water, along with chlorine and a host of other chemicals – outraged and disturbed me. I became obsessed with the issue, telling all of my family members, sending emails, but the more I talked it about it – the more disturbed I became, because no one seemed to care.
I had been drinking this tap water all of my life, and I now understood why I had all of those little white marks all around my teeth. This goes into our teeth, and into our bones, and into our pineal glands – affecting melatonin production which impairs sleep, and so much more.
I began following and research more natural health and consciousness blogs and instagram accounts. Suddenly, a whole host of truths were revealed to me, that began to explain everything. So I bought a water filter jug, along with a filtered water bottle, and tried to ‘de-toxify’ my environment as much as possible.
I had already stopped using make up, perfumes, deodorants, fancy shampoos, any sort of chemical – as I would get allergic reactions and wouldn’t be able to breathe around them anyway. Now I knew why. It wasn’t just me being sensitive and crazy, these things contain real chemicals that are bad for us, but most people, because of their immune systems, don’t feel the effects. But because mine was so battered from the 18 years of constant suppressant drug use, I felt everything.
I learned about organic food, and I thought it was just insane that most food was covered in chemicals and called ‘normal’ and sold to everyone. I felt incredibly guilty each time we would go grocery shopping, as my dad would have to pay almost double the price for vegetables. Before, I didn’t even know that ‘organic’ food existed. I didn’t know that ‘normal’ food was grown with chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. I didn’t know about the BPA or PFOA in plastics and teflon non-stick cooking wear. I didn’t know about the thousands of chemical ingredients and numbers put into supermarket shelved food and hygiene products. I didn’t even know that the medications I was taking were all made from synthetic chemicals. I knew nothing about the toxic reality of this world – and now I could feel it, every, single, part of it.
It was overwhelming. People that I tried to tell actually seemed to want to ignore this, or think it was ok for some reason. I guess because like me before, they couldn’t feel it.
From then on, I went all-organic, falling in love and spending hours in the local organic health food shop. I started eating all organic, and for the first time in my life I truly enjoyed eating fruits and vegetables. They were so different to everything I ever ate before. I always used to be super picky and complain when I was younger of other ‘tastes’ on food, only to be told I was crazy and making it up. Now I knew why! I used to react to certain fruits and vegetables unpleasantly, and it was probably because they were laden with chemical residue that gave me an itchy throat and sore stomach.
Finally, I felt safe eating food. Slowly my eyes opened wider and wider to the horror that I was ingesting for all of my life, and it began to make a lot more sense as to why I was always so sick, it was not purely psychological like everyone tried to tell me.
Meat began to seem less tolerable to me as well. I never consciously decided to become a vegan or vegetarian (although I always liked the idea when I was younger), and a lot of health blogs said that you needed animal protein to get better, but one night, as I was preparing to cook this piece of fish, I just stopped and stared at it, for a long time…
I thought about this slab of flesh once being a swimming, breathing, animal in the ocean. Looking at it’s cut up flesh in front of me, repulsed me. But I tried to ignore this, and cooked it anyway, even though it felt incredibly wrong. I couldn’t even finish eating it all, it was horrible. Since that night, I never bought or cooked any animal ever again.
I struggled sometimes though, because there are many staunch advocates of health that say you need animal meat or byproducts to survive. But I don’t believe that is true. Every time I considered eating meat again, I would feel incredibly sick, like my body just didn’t want me to. I was also happy, because I liked the idea of being a vegan/vegetarian since I was a child since I loved animals so much.
At this point, my family thought I was nuts. I didn’t make a big deal of it – I didn’t actually tell anyone I never wanted to eat animals again, but when I only ordered vegetarian things, many questions were asked. It amazed me – how people could be so bothered by you if you decided to not eat animals, as if it were somehow offensive…
I discovered a man called Dr. Sebi. After learning about his story and his philosophy, I was incredibly excited. What this man said about the human body, diet, and healing, resonated as truth to me. So I adapted his ‘electric-alkaline’ diet, eating only alkaline fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbal teas. I felt so happy eating these foods and getting no allergic-type reaction or discomfort from them. But again, anyone I told thought I too ‘extreme’ when I told them about my diet and what I wouldn’t eat.
I took so much pleasure in making different vegetable soups, roasting vegetables, making salads, juices and desserts out of them. I became pleasantly addicted to green vegetables juices, because I felt so good after drinking them. It was like feeding myself the best medicine and being able to feel the positive effects straightaway. And if I went a day without juice, I would start feeling worse, which kind of made me worry, but it was only because my body was normally so deprived of the powerful nutrients in them.
For a long time though, I avoided fruit, because everyone who talked about candida said that the fruit sugar feeds it. If only I had known this wasn’t true. Before I arrived at the Dr. Sebi diet, I had also tried a low-histamine diet, low-salicylate, low-FODMAP, paleo, MEVY, and various anti-candida diets, like body ecology and candida-crusher. So I really have been there done that when it comes to avoidance diets.
My beautiful plant-based, organic food
On the 30th of May 2016, the depression left me forever. How could I be so specific? It was my first time taking magic mushrooms.
I couldn’t have had any idea how this would change my life. On them, my brain relaxed. I saw the incredible colour and beauty of this world, like I once had as a child. My thinking stopped, and I cried, because I could finally see how tortured my ‘normal’ mind was – always worrying about what to eat, how I’m feeling, being sick and afraid.
It was incredible. I experienced what felt like a ‘universal moment’ where time was transcended and I felt the true reality of eternity upon looking at the night sky. Later on, I began to go back through my childhood, and tried to explain to my boyfriend that all I ever needed was love and care and the absence of that was why I had suffered so much. For the first time I began to show myself sympathy and kindness.
The next day, I felt like I had been reborn with endless energy, excitement and optimism. I had a bounce in my step for the first time in my life. The initial high faded, but it wasn’t artificial like those other drugs. It opened me up profoundly and changed the way I saw the world. So even though I didn’t stay like this forever, it was enough to show me the way. And I didn’t need to take them again.
These small miracles of nature began to enthrall me
Near the end of this year was my first exposure to energy healing. It was a free, community event for ‘pure bio-energy healing’. I had never heard of it before, but apparently it could address many health issues, so I went along. This began another huge shift for me. The practitioners didn’t tell you what they were doing, basically you just stood there while they waved their arms around and placed their hands on certain areas of you. When they put their hands on my head, I felt like I was going to burst out crying.
I felt this loving, kind of heavenly energy, that came into me. It was too overwhelming. It was basically like this new healing energy was coming in to a body that was very sick and dark, highlighting all of the hurt and pain. I left that night, not feeling like I had been miraculously cured, but feeling very different, and curious about the world of energy. My mood was much brighter as well.
Before this, I would have never though about ‘energy’ and the potential that ‘healing energy’ could exist. Some may say it’s just a placebo, but once you experience it, you know that it’s real. That night when I went back home, I felt really hesitant to enter. I opened the door, and it felt like spikes were attacking my whole body. From feeling good, I went to feeling anxious and scared… and I realized it was because of my fathers energy, (or at least – how I perceived it).
Ever since then, I had become incredibly aware of the ‘energy’ that is everywhere, in everything, and that radiates from each person. Suddenly I could feel it. I was going through a huge awakening on all levels.
I had always known there was something crazy about this planet and the systems on it – when I was young I would watch people and just wonder why people did the things they did. Life seemed like it was just like the board game monopoly, but for some reason people couldn’t see this and took it seriously. And I didn’t understand why there had to be so many homeless people on the street. Why couldn’t the people who have a lot of money, or the people who make the money, print some more and give them homes? I knew there was some kind of twisted thing in people’s minds that kept them from helping others and made them spend their time doing pointless things.
Instead of spending my time studying for university, I researched deeply about why things are the way they are. I was always interested in researching history, different cultures and ancient civilizations. I got deep into what some people would call “conspiracies”, but what to me, seemed like obvious truths, covered up, to keep people from questioning things and finding out why things are the way they are.
Why did so many great people in history, who were changing this world positively, like Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, even artists like John Lennon and Michael Jackson who promoted world peace, mysteriously get killed? Why was it always the same story, of some lone crazy white guy who shot them and then was never heard from again? Why is there dangerous chemicals on our food and in our water? Why do we have to spend our lives locked in these “systems” school, university, work? Why do we have to pay to live on this planet when we’re just born here?! Why would the news only talk about irrelevant people or bad events??? And finally, WHY is the entire medical industry set up around giving people chemicals when they can heal naturally?!?!?!
I realized that many mainstream beliefs are LIES to keep people in the dark, and afraid, so that they would waste their lives doing things they didn’t really want to do!
That night, I wanted to run away and become a monk/nun. I saw no point in continuing this lie. Playing along with these “systems” and this “money” that I knew to be ultimately fake, and detrimental to people. I wanted to drop out of university, because I thought I had moved passed intellectual belief. But I didn’t.
I walked through the city one day, feeling completely free, again like a ghost, walking around with a big smile on my face, observing the anxious, worried souls around me – dressed in suits, wearing high heels, perfume, make up. It all seemed so absurd! I thought, why would these people all take themselves so seriously?! Can’t you see that we’re all just infinite but temporary fractals of the universe dancing through time?!
I started seeing the number 11:11, the minute of my birth, everyday. I also saw 12:34 a lot as well. Synchronicities and ‘coincidences’ were happening to me like crazy. I had several dreams of encounters with certain people and events in my life that would then play out in ‘real life’ in the next few days. The de ja vu that I had gotten consistently throughout my life intensified. It felt like the universe was sending me these strange occurrences to say that it was watching. I know it may sound crazy, but all of this stuff just happened.
I experienced many moments where I thought I would be free and euphoric forever. But of course, as consciousness does in this world, I changed. I had to play along with some level of lie in this society to keep existing in it. But unfortunately, the more lies you play along with, the harder it is to remember the truth…
Looking at a health page on instagram, I read about mercury amalgam fillings. I looked into it, and it blew my mind. I opened my mouth… I had seven mercury fillings. When I read about the symptoms for mercury poisoning, I had every, single, one. It was even connected to candida overgrowth, and abnormal psychological states like dissociation and depersonalization. I had never once thought of anything inside of my mouth causing any health issues. Then I began to discover the connections between different teeth and organs. A large part of my mysterious suffering and symptoms now made sense. I had no idea, that all these years, my immune system was slowly being degraded by the mercury leaking out of my fillings.
Coincidentally, one of my upper right teeth was really sore at this time. I couldn’t eat on that side, and the pain was spreading throughout my mouth. When I saw a holistic dentist, she took an x-ray that revealed the pain was coming from an infection in the root that I had a root canal in all those years ago. She said we could either do another root canal, or pull the tooth out, and recommended that I take antibiotics straightaway to stop the infection from spreading to the rest of my body.
I wouldn’t. I knew how much damage antibiotics would do to me, and I couldn’t take any more of that. So I incorporated several natural antibiotics like garlic and apple cider vinegar into my diet and applied clove bud oil to my tooth. So I had to get the tooth pulled out ASAP because of the danger of the infection.
My dentist spent almost 20 minutes pulling with the whole strength of her body at this tooth. After a huge crack, it finally came out. What came with it was horrifying. She was shocked and appalled at what that dentist had done to my tooth when I was 11. The roots of that tooth were deeply filled with mercury. My tooth came out with two infected abscesses on it. It all made sense.
Spread over two appointments a few days apart, I got all six of my other mercury fillings removed. I know that some sources say this is dangerous, and it probably is better to do it slowly, but I just wanted it all gone. My dentist also confirmed, that all of my mercury fillings had holes in them and were leaking.
When they were out, I felt like I could breathe again. Before, I was getting numbness and tingling all throughout my body, even my thumbs were seizing up when I played piano. Now, those things were normal again. It made such a big difference having the load of that mercury out of me!
Shortly after this I started getting colonics. This made such a big difference, as I suffered with constipation for a long time. So much came out of me, and I felt so relaxed and light afterward. I knew detoxing was the way to go.
From this………….. To this.
At the end of 2016, I spent my new years at a Buddhist temple and lived as a nun for three days. I wore all white, no make up, hair tied back, ate only before 12pm (I brought my organic vegetables with me), woke at 5am to chant and meditate, and spent the days amongst a forest of pine trees, or doing cleaning tasks around the temple. The monks took interest to me, because they thought it was strange that a 19 year old girl, of all places and of all times, by her own free will, would want to be at a temple.
Many people joined on new years eve, as we chanted our way, led by the monks, into 2017. I was still physically ill at this time; I had constant urinary tract infections, headaches, and was generally very tired. But I was also better than I ever had been. I spent a lot of time reading spiritual books, and books about the human energy system of chakras (which correspond to the seven major glands in our body). I began to understand, that past all of the physical and mental healing and change, perhaps my soul was the root of every issue, where all of the wounds were coming from.
At the temple
I returned home, feeling relieved, because I felt sick and tired. I searched the internet for spiritual healers and came across someone who would change my life forever. The website offered a free ‘energy scan’ to see if there were any ‘negative entities’, negative attachments, or blocks inside of you. Before this, I knew about emotional blocks from past trauma, I knew about relationships that could drain your energy, but I never about ‘entities’. You cannot see them, well at least most people can’t, but shamans work in the realm that is outside of space and time. To some this may sound crazy, and it will be, until you experience it yourself. I know when I talk about this some people instinctively will be against the idea or not believe it, but I’m not here to convince anyone. I’m simply sharing my story.
I got an email from the shaman saying that I had nine negative entities in my solar plexus/stomach area. He also said that part of my soul, my inner child, had left when I was three. This struck me, because I had been told the same thing, about something traumatic happening when I was three, by another woman who did energy healing/kinesiology on me a while ago.
We didn’t live in the same city, but he said he could remove the entities, return my inner child and balance my system, remotely. So one day, I went into a quiet bush walk, and meditated, liked he instructed. He said it might take 20 minutes, maybe an hour. So I sat, very expectantly, trying to relax. Nothing happened for about 20 minutes, and doubts began to enter my mind about this whole thing.
Then, all of a sudden, I felt it. I don’t know what came first, the tears or the joy. At the time, my stomach was bloated, I had a urinary tract infection, and my asthma was still making it hard to breathe.
In a moment, I felt it all leave my stomach. Things had been pulled out. I inhaled, and it felt like my first real breath. My pain was just gone. I cried, and cried and cried. At the same time, I cannot explain it any other way, except for that – my inner child came back to me. It was like reuniting with your highschool sweetheart after 80 years or something. It was that kind of feeling.
I cried so much. That part of me that I didn’t even know was missing, was back inside of my heart. The poor little girl that was too scared to stay. I got up, and it felt like I was walking on air. For the first time in years, I wanted to truly smile, dance, sing! It was a euphoria like no other. I wanted to run back home and hug my father and tell him I loved him.
But I didn’t. As I walked back home, fear started creeping back in. I was too scared to tell my father what had just happened. Slowly, my state started to return to how it was before… The healing was real, but from this, and every other sort of energetic healing I tried, I learned that nothing will shift permanently unless you address it yourself.
These people that I had met and experiences I had opened doors for me, showed me incredible ways and that it’s possible to feel truly amazing, but I always got sick again. Now I have realized that it must be me, making good decisions everyday, to eat well instead of sticking to a diet, to love myself unconditionally instead of judging myself, to practice positive thinking and optimism for the future, to surround myself with good things and good people, to go to bed earlier, to practice releasing my emotions and pain, to express my creativity, and most importantly to not be afraid and to speak the truth.
In early 2017, I moved out, to live on my own (with my dog Pep). It was extremely hard to find a place of my own, with a dog, but I did a series of ‘manifestation’ meditations and chants, and it worked. I chanted and wished every day that I would get into this place that had viewed and fell in love with.
One morning, I was asleep – and in a dream, I dreamt that I got a phone call, and I cried tears of joy because they called to tell me I got the place.
I woke up, and ten minutes later my phone rang.
It was the real estate agent.
… I nearly burst out of my own skin! They asked me sign the papers and move in that weekend. It was all based around the number 3. The address of the house was 3, I was born on the 3rd, it was the 3rd day of the week, in the 3rd month of the year when I got the call, and when I met the real estate agent, she told that I was really lucky, because I was actually the 3rd person on the waiting list, but the first two people had both called and changed their minds last minute! The real estate agent’s office also turned out to be right across the street from my old doctor, and my old school. It was like I had come back to these places, after all of those years of suffering, victorious and ready to begin my real life.
I went back into my old school to visit my old guidance counselor to tell her the news and thank her for supporting me all those years ago. I was trying to tell her about all of the ‘3s’ that kept popping up, which she didn’t really get. I suddenly realized how long we had been talking, as I was in a rush, so I looked at my phone – it was 3:33pm.
When I moved out into my own place, another huge realization hit me. I had never lived somewhere, where I truly felt safe or at peace. For the first time, I felt like I could breathe and be myself – without being watched, or judged or criticized. Finally – I could be unaffected by the detrimental emotional energies of those around me! Finally, I was freeing myself from my own tortured past.
But with this move, came a lot more responsibility. Suddenly, I had to think about money for the first time. I had to pay the bills, and buy food, and pay rent, and everything! I had enrolled for psychology and health science at uni, which I was really excited about. I was also working part time at a local organic food store, three times a week. I was on another fast-moving train.
For many years, I felt I needed to really take a break from life so I could try and heal myself, but things just kept going and going. It was so strange, to now just be working this ‘normal’ job, standing in a store… For most of my teen years I thought I never make it to something like that. Firstly I didn’t think I was going to survive, or I would end up as a drug addict, never, I thought, could I blend in so normally to the world. I realized that most adults think that all young people are the same – lucky to be young, healthy, and that they spent their time partying, drinking and/or studying. It was hard for me play along with comments like ‘just wait till you’re an adult! It only gets worse!’ Most people assume you haven’t been through much already.
When I went to uni, to my health science classes, I was horrified. They were teaching that medication is the best and only real solution, that fluoride must be added to water, and had absolutely no grasp of anything beyond the physical. It disturbed me to the core. I knew it was all wrong, but when I asked questions, the tutors would say “You’re an undergraduate, so essentially you know nothing.”
I only ever went to two more classes. My reason for studying health science was to get a degree, and enter the system to get a job in “healthcare”, so I could change it from the inside. That was the same with law. I quickly realized that this was fighting a dying battle, because the point of the degree is to indoctrinate you with a certain way of thinking. I ended up posting real information about health and disclosing all of the myths they taught on the message board for everyone to see. The tutors replied, saying it was inappropriate.
I was feeling incredibly sick and tired, from re-entering back into the ‘matrix’ – going to work, school, paying bills etc. I became incredibly sensitive to wifi and 3g, so I couldn’t be around any electromagnetic frequency without getting a headache or nausea. I was taking comfort in sugary foods again.
I would fluctuate from extremely healthy, to falling victim to my cravings and getting sore stomachs again. But from all of the green juices and other detoxing I did, one year later my eczema was gone. I spent even more time reading and researching everything to do with health and spirituality. But I would get so busy that I also got caught up in the general human feelings of stress and anxiety.
My boyfriend of three years moved overseas at the end of 2017. For these past few months, I’ve truly been able to focus on learning to love myself. I can now say, that after about two years of healthy living and eating (organic, chemical free, vegan) I’m definitely the healthiest I’ve ever been, but I’m still really only at the beginning.
I am building the foundation of my health for life, with no drugs, no pills, only with pure living foods from mother nature herself. And it feels great. Now, I’m finally at a place where I can look back on my life, which, for the past two years, I had forgotten most of just so that I could keep going.
The moment I realized the purpose of all of this, was the moment I was in the most pain. After crying for hours, about the mess my internal organs were in, about the infections and rashes on my bleeding skin, about the agony of my eczema healing, only to scratch it raw again, in the depths of my suffering I surrendered and smiled. I looked at myself from a perspective beyond, and the great philosopher Nietzsche’s quote about suffering came to my mind “the discipline of suffering, great suffering – do you not know that it is this discipline alone that has produced all elevations of humanity so far?”…
I found strength in my suffering. I knew, that it was not all pointless or purposeless. I realized that all suffering given to me, every incident in my life, every person I had come across, was a gift.
A great gift, that I was eternally grateful for. I had learned so much, and even though it seemed like a lot like unnecessarily brutal pain, multiple series’ of unfortunate events, and mistake making, I knew I would find real solutions and I would never stop until I did. Perhaps I had to go through all of these sicknesses, on every level, in order to find out what real health and healing is.
Transcendence, patience, purpose, perspective, peace – true doorways to light come only when you are are so lost in the dark that it can’t possibly get any darker. That’s just the way it is. Expect to continue suffering – when you haven’t really reached the depths of your being. Once you go there, you can smile about almost anything. You don’t take it for granted that you can breathe, that you can sleep, that you can feel, cry, laugh, smile. It is only when you completely lose yourself for so many years, that you still feel immense gratitude and beauty for what people may consider undesirable, such as sadness or death. Those things are beautiful. They are gifts, when they are natural. They are life.
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