• Lost & Found

    67 comments / Posted by Veronica Janik

    Lost and found.

    And then lost again... and then found again... has been the never ending cycle of my twenties.

    Three years ago when I became a columnist for TCW, many of you know I was going through a major health crisis. Healing my body of autoimmunity, chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety was the focus of my life.

    I was obsessed with healing the mystical knot that was the meeting of my mind and body's dis-ease.

    Writing out the spiritual perspective of my journey helped me gain clarity over and over again as I waded through those years that felt simply impossible. 

    Things would improve and then it would feel like the foundation fell out from under me again and again. This was actually a huge lesson in faith, right there in a nutshell. I will spare all of the details that I shared in 2015 in my four part memoir that I wrote for my column about how I came to be ill, but to recap, in 2014 I was diagnosed with stage three adrenal fatigue, so extreme that I was only at 18% function. I legitimately thought I was dying or that I might die which ended up just really being the gift of surrender in disguise. I had tried to control everything for so long, holding on so tight so that I wouldn't unravel, and finally I just couldn't anymore. I had no choice but to walk in my truth and do what I knew I needed to do to get better, despite worrying about what anyone thought of my journey because it was either that, or continual decline. I had to crack myself wide open. 

    In the late fall of 2014, I found my Naturopath, Glen Depke in Costa Mesa, CA, and have been working with him ever since.

    After my initial adrenal tests, I tested positive for dangerously high levels of Mercury, parasitic infections, a gang of food allergies, and candida.

    If you're well versed in amateur functional medicine, this is not surprising because anytime the immune system is as compromised as mine was from such low adrenal function and poor gut health we end up with lots of infection bogging down our system. These happen to be "common" infections for people dealing with unexplained fatigue, pain, autoimmunity etc. The idea is to slowly, gently, and systematically cleanse the body with herbs while boosting the immune system, nourishing the adrenals back to health, and addressing the underlying emotional stagnancy.I also radically overhauled my vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and switched to a strict form of Paleo (autoimmune paleo). And, i'm still with it. It is a LIFESTYLE change because it can honestly take years to come back fully. I am so okay with continuing these principles to continue onward and upward. I'm also very okay with indulging and enjoying things outside of my strict protocol. To be honest the first two years of healing I was extremely strict, I didn't even eat fruit for over an entire year I was so faithful to my process. But at this point, 

    A bath and an occasional cigarette will always be a vibe for me.

    I will always preach the foundation of gold is to know how to care for your body naturally. I carry all of my herbal, nutritional, supplemental wisdom with me always.

    The reality that a rocky childhood, or a major trauma (or two) can set the stage for illness to manifest in your body is absolutely one truth that has become obvious to me as I meet woman after woman with unexplained health issues and a story that feels all too familiar. So, from 20-24 I focused hard on the spiritual growth thinking the mental emotional was the root of everything. I did yoga and meditation, I did energy healing, I worked with shamans and crystal workers, I read sacred texts, divulged my deepest darkest secrets, my kundalini rose, I became increasingly psychic and in tune, but was still sick as hell. 24-26 I changed my behavior, I changed my diet, I faced my fears and I prayed every day for direction. And it came. I balanced both ends and the healing happened when I found the links where they intersected. 

    Health, joy, and normalcy, all crept back in very subtly for me. All of a sudden I just found myself able to do more and handle more. I felt happier and more confident in my skin etc. Last year when I took over TCW when Holly decided to step away, I was already running my online plant business, PLANTMOM, full time. What I did not see coming was that as my body healed, and layer after layer surfaced and wellness started filling in the spaces that once carried low energy illness, I realized I didn't want to talk about my health all the time anymore on social media. I no longer wanted to talk constantly about my current emotions, supplements, and functional medicine testing, and diet, reactions to food, and everything else. I was really really over it. I'm not even totally 100% healthy again yet, I just realized it was not a healthy focus for me. The heavy focus on myself was not serving me and it felt fake.

    So, instead of faking what I didn't feel I just stepped away and resumed living my life again almost as if the past 6 years never happened. 

    I got a taste of health and I just hit the ground running. I was that fucking ready. I needed it so badly. I never had a doubt in my mind that things would reconvene for me with TCW, I just needed a minute to BREATHE. And that breath came at a time when I had a lot of responsibility on my plate, but that didn't stop me from honoring how I was feeling which was honestly, overwhelmed and uninspired. So, that's where I've been. 

    So instead of daily blogging about food, supplements, oils, crystals, and my health journey, the past several months day to day has looked like, my daily parasite cleanse, hormone balancing protocol, and paleo diet ++PLUS: the real life work of healing the relationships with my closets girlfriends, the same ones I isolated myself from while I was sick. Going dancing on the weekends with my best friend that held me down through YEARS of unrest (getting my relationship back with her is a treasure I could never put into words). These past months have looked like driving to see my family in my hometown multiple days a week because all I really care about at this juncture is the richness and depth of my relationships. Cups of tea with my mom, seeing my dad regularly and healing our relationship, spending every minute I can with my little nephew because he's the sweetest thing in my life, playing pool with my sister and staying up to sit on her outside patio to talk til late after the baby goes to sleep... I've been re-rembering where I come from and bringing it back home with me each time I leave my hometown. I've been nostalgic, but also feeling like my life is a big wide open question mark at the moment. I'm re-building. I'm healing and also living rather than waiting for the day I re-gain full health to resume life, whatever that means and whatever that might look like.

    My foundation has been illness, and instability, and so physically debilitating for so many years, so forgive me for wilding and dropping a few things when I recovered enough to breathe. I had to lay down all the pieces so that I could stand back and figure out what I really want. Do I want to be in the plant business? Do I even want to own a business? Do I want to do energy work and spiritual coaching, Reiki, Crystal therapy, educate people, and help people heal? Do I want to move back to my hometown with all i've learned and give back and help heal the cycle of poverty and violence in my community? Do I want to go back to school for acupuncture or interior design, or photography (laughing as I type this because this is exactly where my head is)?

    That being said, my life is soaked in the intention to live in joy and that is mostly because I've been to ACTUAL hell with the healing process. Which, not so coincidentally, was also a rebirth of sorts; a rebirth into the space of service.

    The only thing I'm currently sure of, is that I want to be of service, and that is at the root of what I know to be my truth.

    So for now, I'm going to uphold the framework that earns me a living and link myself through to the next chapter. Because in all of this, the greatest lesson has been to never stay fixed in any one vision or version of myself. Stay malleable and ready for the possibility of your transformation constantly and trust that your gifts will unfold as they should.





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