How I Deal With Autoimmune Disease

I’m supposed to go to a cookie exchange in a few hours. Which means that, right now, I should be in the kitchen making cookies, or in the shower, washing my hair.

But instead, I’m sitting here, on my yoga mat, in a wide legged fold in front of my laptop, listening to Butch Walker, and wondering if I can pull myself together enough to get dressed and drive myself to her house, with or without cookies.

My autoimmune thyroid disease has reared it’s ugly head again today, and it’s taking everything I’ve got, just to get through the day. My eyes are puffy, my head hurts, I had to take a nap this afternoon, and I really want to crawl back under the covers again right now.

I don’t talk about my autoimmune thyroid disease with most people because my mama always told me that, if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.

It’s hard to think of something good to say about this struggle, but I think it’s about time I told you a little about it.

I have fought this battle for at least five years, maybe longer. I’ve learned a lot, but I still wonder: how do we make sense of the fact that our bodies attack themselves?

For me, it’s an internal battle steals my energy, and makes it hard to get the simplest things done.

Especially on days like today, when I am expected at this party, that is being hosted by someone who is really important to me. Missy is a good friend, and someone I care about a lot. I know she has gone to a lot of trouble to open her home to her friends, and in my heart I want to show up tonight.

It’s just that the divide between what my heart wants, and what my body is willing to do, is seeming too big to cross right now. I know, however, that this is an illusion, so I am going to get past it.

First, I am going to stop telling myself that I can’t, and believe that I can.

Next, I am going to spend 45 minutes on my yoga mat, working as vigorously as I can manage, to burn off the brain fog and joint pain. I’ll wrap it all up with a 5 minute meditation at the end.

Afterwards, a cup of green tea, and a green juice will help ease some of the inflammation and boost my energy.

A whole body coconut oil massage (abhyangha, as the yogis call it), followed by a hot and cold shower (5 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold, three times) will give me energy and help my liver detox more efficiently.

And then I will put on my sassiest holiday outfit, pull my hair into a ponytail, apply a little bit of makeup, and walk out the door, whether I feel like it, or not. I’ll buy cookies on the way to the party, because I decided to get healthy instead of bake, and I’m sure Missy will understand.

Because the truth is that I can make it to this party. And it’s what I really want, even though it might not feel like it right now.

In the end, I refuse to succumb to autoimmune disease. I am stronger than this disease will ever be. I have beaten it before, and I can do it again. All it takes is a little bit of intention, and a whole lotta crazy healthy.

Wish me luck.

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Photo: http://www.yoga-online.ca

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