My healing journey began 14 years ago when my mom gave me my first self help book, Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer. My grandpa read it, he gave it to her, and she handed it down to me. I was 18. Wayne Dyer was the first person who really spoke to me and inspired me. I’ve been a self help book junkie ever since.
In my early life I always felt that something was missing. I abhorred school from the beginning. I felt like a prisoner when I was there. The school owned my body and my time. I couldn’t go to the bathroom when I wanted. I couldn’t talk to my friend if I had something to say. I couldn’t eat when I was hungry. I envied animals. They didn’t have “responsibilities” like humans did. They just lived. Free. I wondered why Saturdays had to be better than Tuesdays. Couldn’t all days be enjoyable? But from a young age I also knew that the honorable thing to do was to suck it up and sacrifice yourself. People didn’t complain about their “responsibilities.” There were just things you had to do in life. In my family, the more you sacrifice, the more honorable you are. Working 60 hours a week at a job you hate is just about as honorable as you can get. Your worth is based on what you own. I was a bored child, and I drowned myself in television.
As a teenager my parents moved me to Florida and admitted me to the high school the Realtor recommended. The school was especially prison-like. The walls were painted gray cement blocks. They purposely kept the school cold so the students “wouldn’t fall asleep.” There was even a “Golf Cart Guy” who rode around the school grounds making sure there weren’t any escapees. The people around me didn’t even seem real. They didn’t have real emotions and talk about real things. I became angry and numb. There were never any examples around me of anyone living a fun, rewarding, interesting, free life. So I didn’t plan for my future. I had no idea what I wanted. I had no idea how to make my way in the world. It never even occurred to me to plan. This is how I met my life partner. We were 17 and we bonded over our disillusionment with our school, the city we were living in, and our society. With him I could suddenly see hope. “Let’s leave!”, I said on a whim one day walking in our school hallway. “Let’s get out of here and go to Belize.” “Ok”, he replied without any thought.
After much resistance and plotting from both of our parents, that escape to Belize never happened, and our twenties were a roller coaster ride of struggle, confusion, betrayal and toxicity. We had no idea what we were doing in the world. How do you make money without going to a job you hate? We chose freedom over financial security and were poor. We tried running our own graphic design business, at times we sacrificed and worked jobs we didn’t like. We tried moving here and there, living in a city, living on an island, nothing worked for us. We were clueless. And everything was falling apart. Our families were dying, betraying us. We were alone to figure it all out for ourselves.
Our twenties ended climactically. My partner’s mother died after years of betraying us. My body finally couldn’t take all the stress anymore and suddenly I had eczema all over; my eyes were swollen, and my hands were weeping a yellow liquid. This eczema was a catalyst for real healing. I changed my diet drastically, cutting out any foods that were known to cause eczema. I healed the eczema myself, and physically I felt indestructible. Meanwhile, the universe was intent on putting me to the test and pushing me to my limits. My partner was lost in the world having experienced the excruciating and painful death of his mother, our beloved dog of 13 years died a dramatic death, I was working a part time job and running a business with a bike as my transportation in the city, and I was in the midst of moving because we decided it was time to move again. This time the destination was Asheville, NC.
We had no idea how we were going to get to Asheville. No idea how we were going to come up with the money. Fortunately, I was hit by a car while riding my bike. (Bet that sentence has never been spoken before.) The insurance money bought us a truck that we could drive to Asheville. And that accident got me chiropractic care, which has been the backbone of my healing process. (More on that in another post.)
The grueling trip to Asheville included enduring cruelty from my family, a panic attack on the side of the highway in Chicago, and praying that our $800 pickup truck with everything we owned in the back would make it there.
When we reached our destination it was pure relief. We knew it was over. We felt like we had just got off a really scary roller coaster. This was a new beginning. We were 30 now. We had a business that could provide for us financially. We were away from heavy traffic and cold weather, and toxic people who were weighing us down. We could breathe. We were at the top of a mountain with just peace and quiet. We were free! Something clicked in me. I just couldn’t live that way anymore. And that’s when my healing really began!