Hi, I am Anya,
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in April 2015 after not having felt well for years. When I was diagnosed I had just spent a month pretty much bed-ridden dealing with immense inflammation throughout my body and had pretty much reached the end of my rope.
For years before that, I downplayed not feeling well, I thought that being a new Mom, living in a malfunctioning marriage and other stressors were the reason I felt the way I did. I thought, well, maybe this is how I am supposed to feel. Well, let me tell you right now that NO, this is not how anybody is supposed to feel.
My symptoms ranged from debilitating exhaustion even after sleeping for 10 hours plus, constant headaches, brain fog, pain all over my body and particularly bad in my back and my hips, blurred and impaired vision, difficulty focusing, memory loss, weight gain, hair loss, digestive problems, muscle loss, heart palpitations, cold and heat intolerance, etc.
The pain in my back was so bad every morning that I didn’t even want to get up because I knew that every step for the first 15 minutes of the day would be excruciatingly painful. I felt like I had aged by decades trying to stand up straight in the mornings and it just wasn’t possible. I felt defeated, hopeless and had no idea how to change anything or how to keep going.
After I was diagnosed, doctors told me they could give me meds and to monitor my TSH on a regular basis.
I didn’t want to take meds, I wanted to try out other things first, see if I couldn’t get to the bottom of things. If it didn’t work, I could always go back to trying meds. I knew intuitively that there was a deeper message here and that I needed to look at things aka my life more closely and more importantly, more honestly, something I had refused to do for many many years.
I went back to my naturopath and we ran the usual tests, looked at diet, looked at deficiencies, EBV, heavy metal poisoning etc. Nothing came up, absolutely nothing. He finally admitted that there was really nothing he could do for me.
However, he did recommend a book which has become my bible and the one book that got everything started for me.
This book is called “When the body says No” The Cost of Hidden Stress by Dr. Gabor Mate.
To me it confirmed what I knew intuitively, that the root cause of my autoimmune was deep-rooted chronic emotional stress, PTSD and trauma that had never been properly addressed.
From there I started training as a Certified Stress Management Coach. During the training, I addressed a plethora of issues applying simple techniques such as time management and relaxation techniques to more complex ones diving deeper into the power of my mind and ultimately retraining it. By retaining my mind I affected the emotional plane and I started changing how I felt and beginning to listen more closely to my heart instead of letting my subconscious mind control my feelings, thoughts and actions.
I took several other courses along those lines, became a Thyroid Yoga Practitioner all along working on reversing all the pain my body, mind and soul had endured over years.
There was a lot of doubt, both coming from myself, but mostly from the outside. So many people claimed, it cannot be done, especially not if you don’t follow a special diet (mainly being gluten-free), you will fail, you will get very sick, this is crazy etc. It was difficult to stay the course especially on days I had a flare or wasn’t feeling my best.
I questioned, I doubted, I broke down, I cried, I almost gave up…but in the end, I got back up and saw it through. I got a little bit better and that gave me the courage to keep going to know that I must be onto something.
Then I kept getting better, my symptoms got less, some disappeared completely.
It took me 4 years but I am happy to say: I did it! Despite what everybody was saying, I am symptom-free, no meds, not gluten-free and I feel better, more energetic and most importantly, happier than I have in a really long time, if not ever.
I am confident now that I have the tools to tackle whatever comes my way and trust me, things always come up. Some days are perfect, others are less perfect. Sometimes, I don’t feel well or catch something the kids bring home.
So do I still sometimes have bad days? Absolutely, yes. But they are a far cry from when I really felt bad and they don’t last. And more importantly, they are a reminder for me that there is something I have ignored, that needs to be addressed. Contrary to the past, I now listen to my body all the time. Our bodies are immensely wise with a huge capacity to heal and to keep the natural balance, however, we need to cooperate with our bodies and actually facilitate the balance on the mental, emotional and spiritual plane for our bodies to be able to do their job.
It’s been a humbling, amazing journey so far and I still get to go further every day. Now, every time my body doesn’t feel 100%, I see opportunities to do better, to learn something new, to delve even deeper and find whole new layers, to heal something, to put a new boundary in place, to say no, to do what I really want to do and who I want to spend time with, to be grateful for the journey, for my life, for my body and so many other things, to surrender…
My wish is for everybody who struggles with physical or mental ailments to have the tools to tap into the innate healing powers of our bodies, minds, and hearts!!
PS When somebody (or lots of somebodies) tell you something you want to do can’t be done – listen to your heart, you already have the answers there and go after what you want even harder ❤️