Years ago, while working in tech, I picked up the phone and heard the strangest request of my career, if not my life.
“Elizabeth, I need you to call the Coast Guard!”
I was used to customers who were panicked because their system or network wasn’t performing the way they needed, or a sales rep asking me to do some last minute task. I even talked to a guy while he drove his wife to the hospital to have a baby. Talk about panic. The Coast Guard? The office wasn’t anywhere near the lake he was on.
More puzzled than anything, I had to ask. “If you can call me, why don’t you -?”
“I don’t have the number and I don’t have time to call information and then get it because the boat’s taking on water and we’re sinking! Now, take down these coordinates!”
I dutifully wrote everything down then asked if anyone was hurt. No. Were they wearing life jackets? Yes. What were they going to do until the Coast Guard arrived?
“Bail as fast as we can and try to make it closer to shore!”
Sailing in a boat taking on water.
Reversing an autoimmune condition is a lot like that. The body doesn’t stop functioning just because the immune system has been compromised, though God knows, like a boat taking on water, it doesn’t function as well as it could, or should.
Everything worked out for my friend. They got closer to shore and were rescued. The boat was repaired. And the friend? He’s a wiser captain for his experience.
The same can be said about someone who has lived through an autoimmune disease. If they successfully reveres the condition they will be wiser for their experience. They will also be changed.
Change, both inside and out, is inevitable, because major life changes are mandatory for anyone wishing to reverse an autoimmune condition.
Most people don’t like that truth but there it is. It won’t be easy. It can come with sleepless nights, lots of doubt, perhaps some guilt, and a decent amount of sadness, but when you come out the other side? You’ll be healthier and much wiser for your experience.
The sadness isn’t just due to any loss associated with the changes, it’s in looking at who you were before your health deteriorated through the eyes of someone completely different. It’s almost like looking at a stranger. You want to relate, to feel something familiar, but you can’t because you aren’t that person anymore. Think Gandalf The White instead of Gandalf The Grey.
The first step to reversing an autoimmune condition is accepting that there is always a mental and/or emotional component involved. Always.
The body has turned on itself. The body is attacking its own cells as if they were enemies. Why?
Here are a few holistic considerations to get you thinking.
The thyroid gland is close to the throat. Thyroid issues may be related to a person feeling they aren’t being heard.
Imagine reporting abuse and not being believed. Or worse, nothing is done about it.
The joints represent mobility. Arthritic conditions may be related to a person feeling stuck and unable to move.
Think about the young person frustrated at work. They see limited opportunity for advancement but in a down economy, don’t feel confident enough to move. Especially since that move meant living in another state and they know their mother would be heart broken if they did that.
Skin issues may represent how we feel about ourselves and our appearance.
This is how we appear to the outside world.
Skin also has the all-important function as our first line of defense. It protects our insides from all sorts of harm.
Skin issues could also reflect the inability to feel safe.
These are just a few possibilities. The course of an autoimmune condition varies from person to person and can be short and intense or long and drawn out with lots of small warning conditions all saying the same thing:
Most people ignore the small signs (like head colds) and push their bodies to keep going without giving it what it desperately needs (rest and nutritious food).
People who stay in dead-end or abusive jobs and relationships are also ignoring warning signs.
So, at least part of the issue is you. Once you’ve accepted this truth, your chances for reversing the autoimmune condition increase dramatically.
That’s because you have put responsibility for your health where it belongs. With you.
In the next article I will outline steps you can take simultaneously that will get you on your road to reversing the autoimmune condition.