A woman is shown in three phases, walking from a place engulfed in flames, through a door to a peaceful place in the clouds.

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 😊

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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