“Trust the plan, do the work and you will get better.”
How do I know this? I live it everyday. I feel the need to share with you how I finally reached the point of being able to finally heal from a very complex case of multiple tick borne infections, heavy metal toxicity, parasites, fungi, chronic anemia and a decimated microbiome. To say I was a hot mess, is the understatement of all time. But this isn’t about my illness story, which will be shared with the world when the time is right; this is about how I got better.
Elena Zajac, Co-Producer and star of the award winning documentary "The Monster Inside Me" and our own specialist health coach
First you need to understand that I have always been accused of seeing the the world through the proverbial “rose-colored glasses” and was constantly being put down for being an optimistic kid. This led to the development of competition-worthy sarcasm, which I have been known for for most of my life. Since having lived through the depths of hell and back several times over the last decade, I am now learning how to balance my wit, while proudly wearing my rose-colored glasses once again.
If you really want to heal, you cannot be bitter about any part of the experience.
This will block energy channels in your body and prevent you from being able to fully heal.
My friends, you must first learn to find the good in the bad. There is a nugget of goodness in every single experience, no matter how awful it was. How many people can say they are truly grateful they had treatment resistant C.Difficile? I can! Ironically, shit can really be a good thing. Ok, sorry if this offends anyone, but I have had an actual fecal microbiota transplant, so I can say with certainty that shit actually can save lives.
Not only did it save my life, but it re-booted my immune system with more good bacteria than I could ever swallow in the form of probiotics. So, it really is possible to find the good in the worst situations because its all in how you choose to look at the situation. A positive mindset can do amazing things to support not only your mental health, but also your immune system and again this leads to lasting healing.
Live in gratitude
Everything really does happen for a reason and its usually to teach us some sort of lesson. Until you learn to change your mindset, you are going to stay stuck as a sick person for a very long time. Part of the problem is that for many people who have had any sort of a chronic illness, is that they learn to identify themselves with that label of whatever the longstanding illness is. Myself Included.
If you are going to heal, you have to learn to drop the label and see yourself as a
You have to have an end goal of being healthy in order to get healthy!!!! Its part of having a positive mindset. Don’t say “if’, say “when” and then believe that you are going to get there. You don’t even need a doctor to do this. This is self help 101 right here and it is probably the most important part of medicine that is left out and only those that are driven or have access to amazing mentors who have already figured this out are the ones that move on to ultimate healing. Western medicine doesn’t traditionally care for the mind, body and spirit and that last part is often the part that keeps us sick. You must believe you can heal and you will if you do the work. Rose-colored glasses are not a bad thing, just saying…..
So how do I develop a positive mindset when I feel like I am dying and nobody around me gives a shit? That is where the work comes in. You have to dig deep into your soul and decide that you are worthy of healing. Once you decide and commit to this, it is a lifestyle change, you must then stick to it to make it work. Compliance is key and to be compliant you have to want to be well, trust what your doctor has you taking for your treatment protocol and listen to your body and trust what it is saying.
You don’t have to be a hero to heal
Feeling like death while you heal is because some part of the treatment plan isn’t working and you are not detoxing well or the medication or herbal is not right for your body if it persists for more than a week. Trust me, there is no shame in going low and slow. The job will get done and if you trust your body, you will know what works and in the end be more compliant and willing to stay that way. Compliance is not just for taking the medications or herbals and doing any other adjunctive treatments regularly. Compliance is also needed for the work you have to do on your own. Don’t ask what I did to treat my conditions to get better either. Everyone is different and has a different combination of bacteria, viruses, parasites and/or fungi, not to mention allergies, sensitivities and the difference in everyone’s DNA, there’s no wonder treating takes a customized approach. This is about what everyone can do to help themselves despite their circumstances, level of illness, access to treatment and any other variable.
We all have three things in common that are needed for healing and that is a mind, a heart and a gut
The mind a very powerful thing and most of us don’t even come close to utilizing our full potential. One of the coolest things the mind can do is help us to heal and we have already talked about having a positive mindset. Once you have committed to being compliant and willing to change your lifestyle, then you must learn the connection between your mind, heart and gut.
You need to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods, again I speak from personal experience. I was so sick that I was on a supplemental feeding tube twice for nearly two years just to get in the calories I needed to let my body fight off all the bad guys. I admit that I do still struggle in the area of nutrition. I have a lot of food aversions and unknown sensitives that I hope to overcome as I continue my own healing journey.
With that being said, my mind went to complete mush when I was unable to eat and was not properly absorbing what I was getting in. I used a whole foods, plant-based feeding tube formula that I had to fight for, but thanks to my amazing doctor’s support, I was able to get it and it made all the difference and my brain fog got so much better. It takes little victories to see the progress sometimes, but that is also another topic for another day.
The point here, is that one thing you can do right now is make the best food choices you can for your own situation. We all cannot afford to eat organic and grass fed, but we can choose real food over processed convenience foods. Your health is an investment and it is worthy of spending what money you have on taking care of it so you can have a future and an opportunity to make more money when you feel well again. I didn’t say this was going to be easy. I said it was work, and it is, even down to deciding what is most important to you to get to your end goal of healing.
So your gut and your mind are intricately connected and in order for your mind to feel better, your gut needs to feel better as well and that can be accomplished largely by eating well - and again compliance counts. A cheat day here and there after you have lived cleanly for at least 6 months is totally allowed and recommended. It helps you manage cravings for foods you have cut out and it also makes you feel like crap because your body has gotten used to eating well and it revolts by making you feel awful. Don’t worry, a little extra detox and you ‘ll be back on track. (Detox is a topic for another day too!)
So now we need to talk about the heart. The heart in this case is your soul; your spirit; your belief system. Whatever it is that you believe in, you need to make peace with the hand you were dealt. Losing almost everything really humbles you in a way that most life experiences cannot. At age 39 I was forced to leave my career as a teacher, about to lose my marriage and was so sick that my kids kept asking my husband if I was going to die. I lost family members who refused to believe that my illness was real and friends who got tired of my not being able to go out and who didn’t understand the choices I have to make to keep my energy levels balanced.
When you feel like you are at rock bottom and the doom and gloom is about to eat you alive, you CANNOT give in
You must accept that this is your current reality and you do what you have to do to get through it and you don’t have to apologize to anyone for putting your health first. Sometimes your heart has to break to get stronger. Your heart is also a tool that you can use to help you heal. You have within you a great spirit that guides you and tries to protect
you, but sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that we don’t want or that you didn’t ask for. You have three choices. You can look at the glass as half empty, feel like a victim and remain stuck and unfulfilled in life. You can suck it up and deal with it over and over again and accept the results you get. Or you can choose to look that same glass as half full and then choose to change your circumstances to ones that bring you healing, joy and a feeling of empowerment.
Lastly, but most importantly, you must literally and figuratively trust your gut in order to heal. By the time you find a doctor who believes that tick borne illness is real, you may have lost your ability to trust not only the physician, but your ability to make good choices for yourself. My healing journey led me to countless doctors, most of whom thought I was crazy or a psych case. When I finally found the the right Lyme literate doctor for me, my gut, or my instincts to trust were renewed. I trusted him and the process. I knew it would be a long journey, so it was important to me that my doctor was someone that I liked, not only as a healer, but also as person.
It’s a large investment in yourself and you have to make sure that you are working with a like minded practitioner. Besides listening to your gut for its instincts, you also have to take care of your gastrointestinal tract because the bacteria in your GI system is critical. Tick borne illnesses love to set up shop in your gut and wreak havoc all over your body. The gut is directly connected to the brain by the vagus nerve and this is important because it can affect your ability to think, concentrate, remember and even function. Imbalanced microbiomes, from infection, leaky gut or medication can affect your mood and behavior. It is imperative that you keep your gut populated with good bacteria from foods and probiotic supplementation. A healthy gut helps you not only feel better, but it also helps strengthen your immune system and your ability to think, to make decisions and ultimately to trust your gut instinct again.
Healing from chronic illness is absolutely possible. Trust the plan. Do the work and you will get better