July 20, 2018

My First Health Flare Up In Two Years

The past couple of months have been filled with so much clarity, a bit of disappointment and a couple of setbacks in between. It’s so important to me that I share the whole truth of things with you because we all have things that sparkle in our lives and things that cause chaos or break our hearts. If I am going to have the incredible privilege of sharing my truth with an audience (no matter what the size) I feel it is my duty to make sure I share the WHOLE truth so that we can collectively relieve shame and break the cycle of isolation. This weeks blog is no different in the quest to be vulnerable and real.

Since the summer of 2016 I have been sharing that things in my life were in a state of crumbling and I actually feel like I am finally out of that phase and have entered more of a rebuilding period of my life. It’s created a deep sense of relief for me to see that I am piecing together a new foundation for myself in many areas of my life, but it has also been a reminder of what growth actually looks like in reality.

It seems like when we dream about all the ways we want to grow in our lives we have this fantasy or belief that if we grow, we are always and only moving forward. Well my love, I have found that this is not actually true. Growth looks a lot more like taking two steps forward, four steps back, one step forward, 7 steps back and so on.

When I started my journey to get healthier in 2016 I went to the best doctor I could find, got every test imaginable and embarked on a 9 month journey of the cleanest eating regimine I had ever been able to consistently keep up with. It was tough for me but I was also really ready for the challenge and figured that it was time as my body was giving me clear signs of needing a change.

Fast forward about two years later and while so many of my tests have come back with really amazing results and I see a ton of progress, I have also been experiencing a lot challenges with my health recently. It seems as though I have healed many things that were out of balance with my body but there have been a few things that haven’t shifted as easily. My immune system is still pretty stressed out and it basically wants me to be on a grain-free, sugar-free diet for good, not just for a few months.

Now that I have settled into the idea of this I don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life, but that’s NOT how I felt about it initially. When my doctor first told me what was going on with my body I was really angry. I felt a deep level of frustration that made me want to scream and throw a temper tantrum like a child who had just been told she can never eat cake. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was real. I felt all the anger of being restricted, being different, being in a constant state of physical discomfort and even the fears of being rejected because of it all.

What I was able to uncover through a process of leaning on some of the most special humans I know (a post on them coming soon!) and allowing myself to go through another grieving process with my body, has brought me to a place that feels empowering and filled with a ton of gratitude. When I got the results about my body and made the dietary changes I needed to, I actually didn’t start feeling great right away, it was actually the exact opposite. I felt like I was constantly going to faint, I had tremendous brain fog, my skin started breaking out in rashes and I event got some psoriasis back on my legs. It was incredibly overwhelming to say the least and the combination of my physical feelings mixed with the fear of my body being totally taken over by my condition again felt like more than what I could handle.

Can you relate? I have heard so many people in the chronic illness community share how the fear around their body breaking down is such an intense one for them!

What I realized through all of this breaking down over the past few months, is that my body is changing and that is OK. I have so much PTSD from everything my body has gone through that it causes me to be incredibly fearful when anything changes. I often forget to add fluidity to my life and allow for the unexpected because surprises used to mean something terrible was going to happen. These past few months have reminded me that this doesn’t have to be the case!

The changes of these past few months were tough at first, but they have lead me to these incredible experiences as well…

I am now cooking 90% of my meals at home again and finally remembering how much I love it and how much better I feel. Having a handle on my own food makes me feel deeply strong and empowered.

I have strengthened a number of relationships because I have been vulnerable enough to ask for help and have seen how people who are truly meant to be a part of my tribe, show up with ease and PLEASURE. Such a powerful reminder.

I have also felt a ton of grace in my work. I have had many days and even weeks where I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to with work and I still am very aware of the fact that everything has continued to move forward. After a ton of ups and downs, I am aware that I have finally found a workflow that works for my dreams and my body.

I joined the GYM! This one is an actual miracle. I don’t talk about working out much because I have always struggled with moving my body. After not walking without severe pain for so many years I had convinced myself that there was no reason to exert myself beyond daily running around in NYC. Well lately my body has told me a VERY different story and has made it incredibly clear that she needs me to move a lot more, and often.  

These are just a handful of the ways that my life has expanded as a result of the health breakdown and I am sure there will be more as the months pass. Our health is not linear my loves, and that’s ok! I just needed a reminder and I thought you might too. How have you experienced something similar with your health? I want to know in the comments below. Have you had setbacks that felt way worse because of fear? Or have you found that your health challenges always yield incredible results for you that you are grateful for? Let me know!

Photo by Melinda DiMauro

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Comments

  • Deana

    Dearest Nitika
    Thank you for sharing this blog. I profess I do not always read it but perhaps because I am in a similar position the title of your blog caught my eye and I’m so grateful you wrote it.

    I am a graduate of IIN and, like you felt that I had the process dialed in. I knew what sugar and grains did to my body but, I thought that knowledge was what would keep me in check. Not so and I threw (mentally) the same temper tantrum that my diet needed to change forever to keep it all moving like I wanted. RATS!! but, reading your post has made me remember the fluidity of my body and life. It’s calmed me down, given me strength and made me more empathetic to my health clients.
    I host a guest house in Mexico and one of the things I work at most is providing my guests with a peaceful, loving space to unwind and where the foods I serve them are wholesome and good for them. Perhaps I should sit in the garden more and remember that what I want and do for others, I can do for myself always and, if it means no cake ever, so be it. There are so many places I can find joy. Your blog was one. UNexpected, thoughtful and a great reminder that I can do this. Thank you!!

    Deana

    • Nitika

      Hi Deana! Honestly your comment was so beautiful, it brought ME peace. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and journey with me. It means a lot. Sending you and your brave body so much love ❤️

  • Ursula

    Hi Nitika-
    This blog post REALLY came at the right time and totally spoke to me. I’m a graduate of IIN and started following you after your lecture (so inspiring!!). I’ve been on my wellness journey for almost 2 years now after hitting “rock bottom” with my health. I have to stop and remind myself (when I’m having a low moment and beating myself up for not being “there” yet) that I’m so much healthier than I was and it’s a process and I didn’t destroy my body over night so it’s not going to be fixed over night. I love what you said about it not being linear (sooooo true!).
    THANK YOU for your authenticity. Thank you for keeping it real. Thank you for spreading the word. I’m going to go have a pep talk with myself 😉Ursula

    • Nitika

      Ahhh Ursula YAS!!! I love this so much and you actually gave me some great reminders in your comment – I love that. So glad you came to me through my talk at IIN and that you are resonating with my blog. It means the world to me!! Lots of love <3

  • Cookie correll

    I’m loving you even more in the truths of disappointments.. we all have them..the journey we’re all on is not always the one we visualize for ourselves.. it can bring us to our knees in disappointments and in shame.. we do feel we are better than this.. truth tho.. it just “IS”.. we live in the good or bad in our head.. but so much of this journey is neither.. yes it’s challenging.. but it just “IS”.. I value you so much for sharing and being willing to be seen.. in all your moments.. the beautiful ones.. and the ones that aren’t so pretty.. but you Nitika.. are a beautiful gem.. maybe the rarest of all gems.. like any precious stone..? You are being chiseled.. faceted.. ground.. but most of all polished.. you will shine through this journey.. but not without some pains.. I’m researching as I write this.. my healing touch therapist is very ill.. I probably love this woman as deep or deeper than any other soul.. she is pure of spirit.. I’m on a mission to heal the healer.. I’ve surrounded her with a family of crystals.. I have no idea how this energy is radiated out.. but it does.. just like I have no idea how healing touch works.. but it does.. found some information on a plant called moringa.. give it a look.. I’m watching a German documentary on it.. prayers and light to you dear one.. continue your amazing journey and we will hold you in love as you travel to healing..💟✝️🕉

    • Nitika

      You are too kind Cookie, thank you for always sending me such incredible love through the web! I really appreciate it and I deeply appreciate your support on my journey. Sending you so much love and I hope your therapist gets better soon xx

  • Jonathan Davis

    Thank you, all I can say is THANK YOU for sharing and being you! You’re a beautiful woman, soul and spirit

    My number is 2019366144, work number is 6463952222 I met you at Raval’s function last year and you blew me away then.

    We are social media friends
    IG @jdstage1stance

    • Nitika

      Aww that’s so sweet, thank you for your kind words!! xxx

  • Sharon

    Sweet Nitika,
    I only recently discovered you (on Instagram), and I am so very grateful I did. You are a voice the chronic illness world needs. I could so deeply relate to everything you wrote here, but what resonates in my bones is what you wrote about having PTSD from all you have gone through with your health. That is so crucial to shed light on. The world (especially the medical world) has not caught up with the fact that this is a very real condition that often coexists with illness. The reason it is so important to acknowledge is that it normalizes what can sometimes be a confusing and shameful experience for the chronically ill, and even more importantly, once we name it we can get help for it. In addition to doing all of the physical/external things we can to heal, equally important is the mind/emotional healing. Rewiring the brain (neuroplasticity) as a therapy ensures that as physical healing happens it isn’t held back by the brain & nervous system still being stuck in fight-or-flight or sick-mode. Some people achieve physical healing or remission, but the hijacked PTSD brain keeps the person unwell. As hard as it is, we must work to get out of our ruts and learn new ways of being…and sometimes it can even be better than before! This is a big part of what I help my clients with as a Functional Medicine Health Coach. Mind-Body Medicine tools are my favorite!

    So very grateful for this post and the light you are bringing to the world. It is comfort and healing itself! Wishing you continued healing and wellness.
    With Love & Gratitude,
    Sharon

    • Nitika

      Hi Sharon! Your comment is filled with so much truth and love, I deeply appreciate it and can feel all the good vibes you’re sending me through the internet. So glad we found each other and that you shared more about PTSD here. You are SO right about the importance of talking about it more. Maybe I should do a full blog just on that one day?! You’ve certainly inspired me. Sending you so much love and I hope we continue to connect online! xx

  • Julie

    I feel you. I see you. I understand. We are not that different. If you ever need support I am fully hear to listen not sell. 💛💛💛💛💛

    • Nitika

      That is so kind, thank you my love! I really appreciate it xx

  • Stephanie

    Hey Nitika,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve kinda been on a grain free/ refined sugar free diet myself for about 1 week! It’s not easy! Grains and sugar in everything but I’m so committed to not feeling tired and achy all the time:) I am also not a super fan of working out, but I will because it’s good for me. I just want to be happier and healthier on all fronts and I’m really inspired by the steps you’re taking:) thank you!
    Stephanie

    • Nitika

      Hi Stephanie!

      How’s the new eating regimen going?! Yeah it’s not easy at all but I agree that it’s worth it to feel healthy and happy. I a feeling better for sure, just a long journey that I don’t think it ending as soon as I had expected. But it’s still moving forward! Thanks for your comment. It means a lot and so grateful that my words have inspired you!!! Lots of love xx

  • Shikha

    Dear Nitika,
    It’s strange, yet fated how I stumbled across your Insta account this last week, during one of my worst flare ups and painful times. I was house bound for a week again with pain, and for the first time posted about one of my chronic issues on my insta page and fb (I refrain from sharing about personal things on social media). That lead to someone who follows you, liking my post and so I discovered you. Have just finished your podcast -“my journey from heartbreak…self love” and could relate to it so so much between your experiences and your thought process. I’ve come across some remarkable journeys mainly through social media, and honestly have to thank you for sharing yours as well. It’s inspiring, it’s thought provoking and it accomplishes what you set out to accomplish…giving space and love to everyone who joins you. Unfortunately NYC is a long way from where I am, but maybe you could do something next time you are in HK 🙂 Looking forward to following your journey on insta and through your podcasts. God bless, wishing you and everyone (including myself) good health and strength.

    • Nitika

      This comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share this with me beauty. It means the world and I can feel your strength through your words. I am so incredibly grateful that we found each other and I will for SURE be reaching out next time I am in HK!! Sending you and your brave body all my love xx

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