When I was a healthy ‘normal’ human being, I viewed my body as a shell that carted me around and did the things I told it to do. I never gave it a second thought, it was like a silent slave that catered to my every whim, even if that whim was reaching for a glass of wine or deciding to stroll up a mountain for the hell of it.
Then when I got sick and was bedridden, completely unable to care for myself, let alone do anything I enjoyed, I started seeing my body as the enemy. It was betraying me, hurting me. It was something to fight against in a You vs Me way. I felt detached from it as a survival instinct. I was not my illness. I was not my body. I resented it for failing me, why did it rebel so spectacularly? I’d never treated it particularly badly. I hated my body. It looked ok on the outside, but inside, it was an evil enemy plotting my demise in a Grand War, a war I was desperate to win against it.
I’ve now been in treatment for about 3 years and I’ve been through many battles with my illness, and by proxy, my body. We’ve had many falling outs, many battle wounds, and many white flag waving moments.
Not once did it occur to me to make friends with the enemy. Not once did it occur to me that maybe to heal, I had to work with my body, not against it. Maybe instead of hating it, I should love it. Maybe instead of feeling betrayed by it, I should praise it for keeping me alive when it could’ve so easily have packed off and sent me to whatever afterlife you believe in.
I’ve been focusing on detoxing, both mentally and physically. About treating my body with love, respect and gratitude. Instead of abusing it like a slave, or throwing bombs at it as the enemy, I’m now friends with it and I try to treat it well.
Detoxing sounds like a yuppy hipster thing to do, but when you break it down, it actually makes sense that to work optimally, you have to make sure you take out the trash once in a while. It’s all very well being at war, dropping bombs and shooting things (I know how you Americans particularly like shooting things), but how is your body going to function with dead bodies, ammo and blown off bits of tank clogging up the drainage?
I thought I was detoxing previously. Lots of water, lots of vitamin C, the occasional sweating session, all good right? Not really. Not when you have a battlefield as scarred as mine. My liver was knackered, and unsurprisingly, so was I. I won’t go into all the details of my various detoxing things now, there’s a lot about it online on Lyme and CFS forums and there’s something for everyone, but I do not advocate any of those ‘starving yourself’ type ones because that’s just mental. It’s not about juices, fasts and hitting yourself with a stick in a sauna. There’s a lot more to it.
Mainstream medical people will at this point be rolling their eyes and tutting loudly. I used to be one of them. “You know that’s what your liver and kidneys are for right? They take care of that. Anything extra is you just being a weirdo.”. Yeah for healthy people, their healthy liver and kidneys will happily take care of it. But when you’re chronically ill, it’s not that simple. You lot, with your fully functional organs, low infectious load and healthy robust genes don’t get to talk out of your arse to those of us who are up shit creek without a paddle OR a map. Until you mainstream types come up with a short course of preferably rainbow flavoured pills for people with ME/CFS/Lyme/Fibro and everything else, that can be taken and will magically make them completely better, then I’ll stick with my own theories and methods, thank you very much. I’ll make my own god-damn rainbows.
Maybe detoxing isn’t just giving your body an extra hand in your drainage systems. Maybe it’s a way of thinking? Maybe it’s a way to shift perspectives and start treating your body with love and respect? Instead of taking pills to kill things, you’re doing things to help things. While you’re giving your body a helping hand with the cleaning, you’re also cleaning out the mind. Detoxing can be physical and mental. Letting go of past trauma is as important as past poop, it’s all toxic and it all needs to go!
I still haven’t managed to get any rainbows out of my body, but physically I feel a bit better, and mentally I’ve found the hope and peace I’ve been frantically searching for the past 6 months.