Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HEALTH MATTERS: Hope Found


I've been wanting to write about my health journey for quite some time, but I have been REALLY SCARED. Scared, that people would look at me differently if they knew what I was struggling with. I try SO hard to appear to be the kind of person I want to be that I didn't want people to think badly of me. There are so many misunderstandings about the health problems I deal with that even I had a bad stigma of them until I did the research. So with a fear, but hope, I am going to tell you my story.

I've been on a long journey to find good health.
My goal was simple: feel good so I could be the kind of mother, wife and person I want to be for life.
 But, that proved much harder than it seemed. It took doctors 9 years to finally diagnose me with Severe Depression and Anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). All my blood work “looked great” but I was feeling awful! I wasn't sleeping at night, I was having chronic headaches and migraines, and panic attacks. I was not functioning because my depression was soooo bad. I was living with constant pain. Some days my depression was so bad that I just couldn't face life. 
Over the course of 9 years I went to doctor after doctor, trying to find relief. Their advice was to try "this medication" or "that medication"...which I tried and nothing seemed to help.
I was gaining weight, slowly over time and after having 3 kids, I couldn’t get down to my previous weight. Plus I was addicted to food AND an emotional eater. I hated the way I looked, and hated the way I felt. I wasn’t being the mom, and wife and person I wanted SO BADLY to be. I was desperate. 

Last summer, I saw this picture of me from a family get together:



I just about fell out of my chair. I knew I had gained weight but I hadn’t realized that other people could see it. Then I began to think about how food might be affecting me. Maybe it wasn’t just affecting my weight but also my mind and my health. So, I did my research.
 I learned that the food I was eating could be greatly contributing to all/many of MY health problems (I know it’s probably common sense to everyone else, but to me it was an “Ah-ha” moment). I took a food sensitivity test and was shocked at the results! I was extremely sensitive to many of the foods I was eating. I quickly changed what I was eating and dropped 12 lbs. But I still wasn't doing better.
Then, one day I got up, feeling all the despair, darkness, anguish and pain and I remember thinking “This might be it, I'm just going to have to deal with this. This is just how my life is going to be."
I didn't want to live anymore and I knew I needed more help than the medical doctors were giving me. I was losing my hope.
But, I was determined not to live my life in the darkness of my depression. Aching for contentment, joy and a happy, healthy life I had found a program that was based on correct, sound, research. So in April I began the program. I’m so excited to tell you that it’s Changing. My. Life. and my health.



In a few months I’ve lost 20 more lbs. I'm as thin as I was in High School and probably even more fit. I have energy (goodbye naps) that I haven’t had in 10 years (since before I was married). I feel empowered and in control of my life and I’ve changed the way I feel/think about food.
 My depression is still there but I can’t express to you in words how truly happy and grateful I am. I finally have hope for a happier, healthier future and my dreams are coming true!

12 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for you Emily! And thank you for sharing. It is difficult to share our struggles when we want to be positive and upbeat and project the person we'd like to be. But, it is so nice to know we are not alone. You are not alone.

    Now, please tell! What is this miracle program?

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    1. ha, ha, ha. Oh Stacey you're so sweet! I know the program sounded too good to be true to me too! But it's real and it works! Let's talk soon.

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  2. You do look great! Congrats! I'll also happily hear about your program!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! You're such a dear friend! We should let the kiddos play and we can chat about it. When do you want to hang out?

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  3. You have left me hanging! I want to run down to your door and give you a great big hug! Life is so hard, so many challenges we need each other for love and support! You've definitely got my shoulder!

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    1. Oh, Thank you! That helps. I've learned that everybody is going through hard things. But, it helps me so much to know I've got your wonderful, amazing, shoulder to lean on. Love you

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  4. Hi Emily, Thank you for sharing your story. There are several other millions of women who have gone through or are going through similar struggles because no one seems to really listen (doctors, family, friends). "There's nothing wrong with you, your lab tests are normal, you should be fine, why shouldn't you be fine? You have a beautiful family, you have so much going for you" are common responses. However, we forget that health is not merely the absence of disease and that some of our ailments are not visible on the outside. We also forget that the brain gets sick too, just like the organs in our body. And when the brain is sick we can fully expect that several body systems can become sick too. Moreover, when the brain gets sick no one wants to talk about it because of stigma (both self and societal stigma). I believe that some things have to change (in the healthcare community and society) so that women may experience the quality of life they so richly deserve and enjoy it with their loved ones.

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    1. I couldn't have said it better myself.
      I have learned not to let my fear of what others think hold me back from helping others. One doctor even told me not to tell people what I had because he said people wouldn't trust me. So for a long time (until now) I didn't tell anyone and that didn't help me get better, or help me to be able to help anyone else. I have found that when we are open and honest that's where the healing begins.
      Thanks for your comments and your love.

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  5. Emily!! You look amazing!! I had NO idea you were going through all of these health issues for so long. I have always looked up to you and loved your sweet spirit and personality. I looked forward to going to Young Women's because you were always there :) I'm so glad you found this great program that has helped you. Thanks for sharing your story! You continue to be an inspiration to everyone!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! So many people are/have been so shocked when they hear what I'm struggling with. But, that's just life. I'm grateful for your example too...and so grateful for your kind words. Thank you.

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  6. Oops...I realize my sister last used my computer and it may have signed as her account. This is Elizabeth (Burrows) Anderson. Just so you know. Thanks beautiful!!!!

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  7. Hmmm...this is the 3rd time I've tried to post this...you'd think I would save it once. I'm sorry. This is going to be much shorter now, but you are AMAZING!!! I love you! You are such an inspiration to all those around you! Thank you so much for teaching and uplifting everyone you come in contact with! I would LOVE to catch-up with you sometime! I would love it if you messaged me, and we could set up a time! :) <3

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