Potholes on the healing path
I am still growing, learning, and changing. Even though my journey is no longer heavy as it was when I first awoke, the pain that I experience with new realizations sometimes is.
In August 2019 during a visit to my dentist to check that my teeth were now making contact in the right places, my dentist asked me to clamp my teeth on a bite strip. The purpose was to check the amount of contact of my teeth. The dentist deemed contact satisfactory, and the dentist, the assistant, and I were just chatting about the next phase of my treatment plan. All of a sudden the place on either side of my nose was quite warm, and there was a type of pressure there that quickly spread up to my forehead. I told Dr. T that I needed an icepack as it felt like my face was on fire, which Dr. T confirmed, “Your face is really red.”
Offered Benadryl I took that, too. Within five minutes my throat, chest, arms, torso, and legs were covered in hives. My hands locked up, and I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out. The world was hazy and indistinct as if I were under water. Oddly, then my arms began jerking spasmodically, and I lost the ability to talk clearly, like I was drunk. Luckily, Dr. T had the receptionist call an ambulance, and the dental assistant put me on oxygen. Dr. T told me to stop jerking my arms. I couldn’t seem to get him to understand that I wasn’t doing it on purpose.
I drifted into an in-between state, rousing when two teams of men (fire department and ambulance service) began asking me questions. Then, a fireman gave me an epinephrine shot in my shoulder.
Let’s just say things became more interesting for a bit as the jerking got worse, my whole body shaking periodically, and the fuzziness increasing. My blood pressure had shot through the roof. Loaded into the ambulance, they called my husband, and off we went. The senior EMT, who was riding in back with me said, “I have never seen anything like this.”
Well, me either.
About ten minutes into the ambulance ride, I was just as suddenly asymptomatic.
“I don’t want to go to the hospital. I’m fine,” I said. The senior EMT replied, “You need to get checked out.” I, of course, was adamant that I was fine. So, they made me answer a series of questions.
By this time the driver had pulled into a parking lot, and I began unbuckling myself.
Mark, the senior EMT, was like, “We aren’t going to kidnap you. You don’t have to jump out the back of the ambulance.’
Mark was a droll guy. “You have two choices,” he said. “We can’t take you home. So, either the hospital or back to the dentist’s office.”
I, of course, chose the dentist office. I did not want a $5000 hospital bill when I knew I was fine. Mark also made it clear that I would need to talk to an on call physician, who would advise me in regards to the risks of refusing medical aid, and I would need to sign some release forms.
The physician was very clear that what had happened could be biphasic, and I could lapse into a coma and die. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So, I signed the papers.
My husband met me at the dentist office, took me home, and picked me up some lunch, which I devoured. After which I went to bed and slept for hours. Then, I slept through the night.
After making an appointment with a new physician, my previous one had semi-retired, I went in to the medical doctor, which revealed two things. I had been going into anaphylactic shock, and my weight to height ration, or BMI, had slipped below the healthy range. I was quite surprised on both counts.
I now carry an epipen and am more careful with certain things.
Plus, I had to face my body dysmorphia head on. Whenever I have looked into the mirror, I have always seen myself as a bit overweight. I thought I was eating healthily, but in reality I was starving myself to fit this very repulsive idea that to be acceptable, to be pretty, I needed to be super skinny.
From nine to eleven years old my grandmother would say to me very admiringly, “You are so sleek .” At eleven my body developed and the message changed, “Your a woman now. You have hips,” which my grandmother clearly found less appealing.
At thirteen my mouth was wired shut for a month, and I lost 5 lbs. I was 5’ 8” and weighed 108 pounds. You could clearly see each rib bone all the way up, and my thighs and arms were twigs. My mother said, “This is the best you have ever looked. You should try to maintain that weight.”
Throughout my childhood and early adulthood, people would say,
“You are so skinny.”
I never felt that way growing up – I was just me – a kid. It wasn’t something I focused on or was even aware of, but at some point the opinions of others became my own. I secretly judged myself as fat, the healthy layer of fat that most women have was to me gross on my body. Trying on clothes and seeing curves albeit modest ones made me feel icked out, as in less than. I hated in my body what I thought beautiful in other women.
It was a rather odd and nonsensical dual belief: finding beautiful in others what I couldn’t see in myself.
I had to work through this programming, consciously choosing to eat more, and beginning to deal with the illusions about myself. I don’t feel very good about this type of thinking. I want to be healthy and happy. I have always resented the societal definitions of what beauty is, the multibillion dollar campaign ads that manipulate, that make us feel ugly or less than so we will buy products to make us “beautiful.”
My opinions are the important ones and mine changed.
I am not perfect. I am perfectly imperfect, a WIP, the quintessential work in progress, a human being. Loving myself, the dimples on my thighs, the softness of my belly, and the roundness that are all part of me is what I am currently working on. It isn’t always easy to love myself, those moments when my clothes don’t fit the way they used to, the harsh lighting in dressing rooms that reveal every divot and wrinkle, and when others look at you and say things that are unkind and uncomplimentary.
I remember the story of the ugly duckling, who grew into a beautiful swan. It’s a great story from which I can draw many parallels. I can’t change my past, but I can change the stories that I tell myself about what beauty and perfection are. I can rewrite them, and I can live them now.
Recently, when I looked in the mirror into my own eyes, I was able to say with perfect sincerity, “I love you.”
It was a massive gift.
I could not do this before. The first time my counselor told me to try it in the first year of my healing journey, I cried. I couldn’t look myself in the eyes. I looked down in intense shame and grief. Now, I can look at myself with love, stare deeply into my own eyes, and feel pride in myself and joy while doing it.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn how to connect to yourself more deeply, to heal, to grow, and to learn to embrace yourself more fully, I offer classes, spiritual mentoring, and healing sessions on line. Downloadable content is currently in production. Chakra Connections: Beginner level is available now with new classes being added weekly. For more information https://sacredjourneyswithash.com/