Healing Is A Process
Last updated: October 2022
A few articles from my peers has made me reflect on the stage I am at with AxSpa. I have learned to live with it, manage some symptoms, cope with flares, pace myself and review regularly my lifestyle so I can adapt to any changes or progression of the disease.
Overall, I feel in control, I have an effective treatment and a toolbox of strategies to tap into when I need. When I read some stories about the emotional journey of some people, that makes me even more aware that I now work on healing myself. It doesn’t mean I am done with the management of AxSpa, I very much see that as a work in progress! On top of that, I have investigated my mental and emotional state, and the impact of the diagnosis, and years of struggle.
Healing and my environment
I have been working on my healing process and the way things are linked to my living environment. The place I live in can impact my lifestyle and hence the way I live with AxSpa. During the years I lived in London, I suffered. There I got diagnosed with AxSpa. Then I interacted with doctors, therapists, patients, and charities to find treatments, therapies and learn self-management approaches which would work for me to get better.
I have since moved to Edinburgh with the idea to heal myself after the trauma caused physically and mentally to me by AxSpa. Indeed, I tend to think that I am traumatized by my journey with AxSpa, particularly by the beginning of it. I have lived a physical break down, experienced high level of pain without knowing what it is, got a wrong diagnosis and been left in limbo. I had to fight to get answers at times when I struggled the most, and eventually I got a diagnosis. Moreover, the first medication I took made me really ill and I ended up in hospital in a worse state than before taking any drug...
So yes, after dealing with all this, and finally getting a proper diagnosis, and the right medication for me, I was affected mentally and emotionally. I have wondered what remains from those experiences within myself, my body, my mind, which can make me react, potentially overacting to changes, environment, new symptoms and create unnecessary and over-the-top stress and worries…
Healing physically, then mentally
After getting things under control medically speaking, I had to heal myself mentally and emotionally from what happened to me, and this can in my opinion be addressed differently from the medical approach used by most doctors. I knew I had to look closely at my mental health and process things, through counseling, through lifestyle changes, through spiritual practices. I needed to look at my environment and decide to move to a place where I could work on this healing, with new perspectives, giving me a new start somewhere else, which I chose carefully to fit that purpose.
Only then, being able to do these things, I could reach a level of rehabilitation in my life with AxSpa and set the scene for new plans, be ready for a new life and be stronger, feeling better equipped to face what might happen next, in the future, health wise.
Finding connection, art, and more
I am doing well, I am healing with nature, pets, fresh air, reconnecting with parts of myself which I thought were dead, gone, unreachable because of my diagnosis. I am also exploring spiritual practices like shamanic journeys, and I find it's working on my healing. I had healing sessions as well with a practitioner. I am connecting with new people, with the land, with artistic practices like dancing, singing, moving, crafting.
I find it quite a powerful process, it’s still ongoing. I am also reading for my self-healing. All this feels good, it opens for me new possibilities for the future. I am not saying that AxSpa is gone, I still have symptoms, I still need medication, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, stretches, etc. However, I am working towards healing myself, my body, my soul now I have the space and capacity to do it, because I can manage my AxSpa.
Does this process of healing resonate with you? Have you found ways to heal yourself? Please share 😊
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?