As we move toward a new year and I turn to remember this last year, I start here:
In January of this year, I was pregnant. In February I was not. The difficult miscarriage I had with a baby 13 weeks in my belly still reverberates through me.
It was hard. The miscarriage tanked me, energetically. I spent days in bed and weeks afterward, still struggled to catch my breath due to the blood loss I'd experience. I wept, I felt empty, I longed for the life that had begun in me.
In the midst of this unexpected pregnancy I was working to address some elusive digestive discomfort I'd been experiencing. My belly would swell with certain foods and I had been making headway in sorting through that. But then I got pregnant and couldn't really tell what was going on.
Following the miscarriage, things got worse. It seemed that ALL foods left me bloated and uncomfortable and the dietary changes I had previously made were no longer enough.
No longer pregnant and not yet ready to be again, I knew now was the time to get help, do some testing, find practitioners that could support my healing.
I've done months of costly herbal medications; I've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on practitioner fees and co-pays; I've created huge upheaval in my diet, requiring even more time in the kitchen; I've worked on my alignment; I've spent a lot of time at appointments.
I've also just been incredibly frustrated. "What is life without garlic?" I would wonder. "Why won't my body HEAL?" "How is it other people can eat what they want and not look 6 months pregnant?" "What if I never get better?"
This digestive problem, it turns out, is connected with a pelvic floor problem. Hypertonicity, lack of pelvic floor/abdominal coordination, possible small prolapse.
It's not that this came as news, exactly. With a history of childhood sexual abuse and a 54 hour labor resulting in a surgical birth, I've long imagined I may have asymptomatic pelvic floor problems.
The minute someone what diagnosed me, however, I became symptomatic.
This created a crisis for me. It touched on deep, deep wounds. I have felt disillusioned.
I re-entered psychotherapy.
When I began an assertive approach toward digestive healing, it was April. It is now December and I am still not better.
Or maybe I am.
I've spent a lot of time on my own, in loving conversation with my husband, in discouraged phone calls with my naturopath, in profound trauma-focused yoga, in somatic-releasing psychotherapy, in long walks with friends unraveling the threads of what ails me. Importantly, I've addressed the hard part.
I've encountered deep beliefs I hold that tell me:
- I won't be supported if I am well.
- I won't get my needs met if I am healthy.
- I will be too powerful if I am no longer focused on "getting better."
Bringing these beliefs into the light has begun to transform me. I can see what I'm working with, I am now making choices instead of simply operating reflexively. I have begun the process of letting these once-useful beliefs go and choosing ones that serve me better now.
I find that I am still in a delicate space. This last year was hard for me in the sense that it manifested physically the difficulties of the last four years, which were many and included the illness and death of my mother. Which is to say this year wasn't exactly unique among recent years in the fact that it was difficult.
But even in the midst of all this, I could feel myself walking out of a dark time and into a lighter time. I've undergone immense internal change. I smile just to write those words, to feel the recognition of the work I've done, the resting I've allowed myself, the intimacy I've developed with my body, the ways I've again become creative, the fact that I was able to serve others in the midst of my struggles.
I can tell that I am moving into an even brighter place. The shifts in my internal state are coming faster and faster. I have assembled an AMAZING support team and am putting structures in place to ensure I still get support even as my body comes back into balance.
It means that as I reflect on 2015, I do so with humility and compassion. I see that am not stuck, how there is flow deep in my body, that I know how to take good care of myself. I feel ready to turn toward 2016, to embrace this next phase of growing and healing and giving.
Wherever you have traveled this last year, whatever Life holds for you next year, I offer my own blessing to you.