Bright Radiance Is Your Birth Right

Part 3: When Love Is Large Enough To Hold The Space

“And as my beloved Jenny Lewis says, “When you’re getting better… It’s a jagged line…”

In early 2012 David and I went on our first date. David had just returned from a 3 month backpacking trip ALONE in Europe. He had a degree in Landscape Architecture, he was cultured, gorgeous, kind, generous, and rare. I don’t think that I realized how much he was going to change my life until things really began to shift and he held the boat steady for me. Our love was steady and safe from the beginning and that was all-new for me, a true gift.

In 2012, David and I started a succulent and cacti business with my sister, selling online décor. I quit my restaurant job happily and dove into creating this new endeavor. I lived meagerly and supplemented my income with student loans. At this point, my life became much less hectic and I declared Philosophy as my major. 22 was feeling pretty good!

With all of the changes happening, I made the decision to come off of Effexor. I took 3 months to wean myself off of the substance. I suffered greatly during this time and truly believe my body was in tremendous pain due to the unsupported strain. About two months after my decision, the year 2010 flooded back into my life and filled me with unbearable grief. I decided to seek alternative healing and this was when I believe I set my intention to truly step forward. Setting your intention and actually putting forth the motion are similar, but not exactly the same. Or maybe, they are. For me, the match just did not ignite immediately.

For women who are healing, pay special attention to just how irregular this path through holistic healing was. This is real. And, as my beloved Jenny Lewis says, “When you’re getting better… It’s a jagged line…”

“When You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Goin”

I found an Ayurvedic doctor in Orange County. The doctor is very well known and he has helped many many people and I had hoped I would be next. I began herbal treatments for several months to prepare for PanchaKarma, which is the traditional 15-day Ayurvedic cleanse. In August I went through with the PanchaKarma. I became very ill on the 7th day and did not want to finish the treatment. I did anyway. Each day I reported to the wellness center for Swedena (sauna) treatments, Shirodara (a stream of oil on the forehead), Abyanga Massage (detox massage), Nasya (Oil in the nasal passage), etc. The diet was very strict for me, as the Ayurvedic system removed many foods from my diet that were my staples as a vegetarian. By the last day of my treatment at the center (day 10), I was a wreck. My anxiety was through the roof and I felt like a complete failure. I had convinced everyone around me that this treatment was going to heal me, that holistic medicine was my only hope. I felt like a complete joke.

On the last day of the treatment I drove back to my mom’s house to feel safer. I had lost 13 pounds, could barely eat, and was having waves of panic attacks. My mother was very worried, she stayed with my as I vomited, cried, had horrible insomnia, and couldn’t eat. The weeks following the treatment, she began suggesting we go on evening walks. These soon became my 1-hour of true peace, everyday.

“…much of my message about my suffering as a human on this sparkling planet is about what I felt needed to be silenced about my journey”

Because I did the treatment two weeks before my fall semester started, my senior year of college was an all too familiar brand of hell. I remember sitting in my classes erupting with flashes of heat, terror, and nausea. Literally coaching myself through every second of every day. My life had become flat out miserable. So, for months I stayed home and went to school, virtually isolated. I only saw David briefly after my classes or when he came to visit.

Around this time, my best friend Kortni and her daughter moved into my apartment complex and her presence and support brought great healing. We had been best friends since we were about 14 and had gotten pregnant at the same time, in different states, completely unknowingly. She gave birth to a daughter while I was still pregnant. She is a soul I believe I have known for many lifetimes and has brought great comfort to me in this one. She consoled me on the darkest nights and coached me through the days I couldn’t bear during that season.

My sister’s wedding was also that fall and I will never reconcile in my own heart the way I felt I let her down. Much of this might have to do with her expectations of me as a sister, or my expectations of myself. Regardless, her wedding was extremely stressful for me to participate as her Maid of Honor. I vomited the entire night before, barely made it to hair and makeup, made it through the wedding, forwent my Maid of Honor Speech, and slept for about two days straight afterward.

Anxiety is debilitating. It is horribly DEBILTATING. I guess, much of my message about my suffering as a human on this sparkling planet is about what I felt needed to be silenced about my journey. Although there is much more literature on anxiety than abortion, my struggles with anxiety were always met with disbelief and judgment. I went from a highly functioning, high achieving individual to being virtually crippled with this condition.

After the wedding I got serious about caring for myself. My mom and I moved into a small house (out of our apartment with 4 people) and began living just the two of us with my treasured cat, Machi. We had a simple life there. My mom called it our yoga den. She kept her schedule light and minimal. She worked during the day, I went to school, and in the evening we went for a walk together, did yoga, and had a quick dinner when we got home. We grew very close from late 2013 to early 2014.

“He was holding the space for me, no matter how long I needed”

Through this time, I did start to do some beneficial things. I removed gluten 100% from my diet and began noticing improvements. I was now in my final semester of college and under a lot of pressure but managing the balance of work and school with some level of sanity. My time away from David was hard, but with the grace and love he provided, I continued to feel safe in my relationship with him. He was holding the space for me, no matter how long I needed. I have eternal gratitude for him and what he brings to our partnership.

Stay tuned….

Part 3 of a 4 Part Series sharing honesty, vulnerability, healing and the birth of Bright Radiance.

Be Brave. Be Authentic. Be You

Instagram: @primitive.sister

Columnist at: the-commonwoman.com