Like many other autoimmune diseases it wasn’t something that conventional medicine knew how to deal with successfully. After a quick scan of the internet message boards relating to my condition I could see that the people who were using conventional treatments were suffering a whole host of horrible side effects without any real improvement in the symptoms of the condition itself. It didn’t make reassuring reading.
The other rather depressing thing when I started to look into diet and other holistic treatments was that most practitioners warned me that this was going to be a long haul with no guarantee of feeling 100 percent better.
I can remember deciding that I didn’t want to hear words like remission or managed or controlled. I was prepared for a long haul but I was determined to get to a point in time where I could say, “I used to have Interstitial Cystitis……”
So I saw a holistic practitioner who specialised in my condition and made some very drastic dietary changes. I popped more probiotics than Kate Moss has popped much more interesting things and gradually started to feel better.
After a year or two of living like a nun I still had days when I felt rubbish and although they were less frequent I still hadn’t reached that point where I felt I could say, “I used to have……”
If you have ever come through an illness that seriously impacted your quality of life or maybe you have had to deal with an illness that has left you questioning the length of time you have on this planet you will probably have reassessed the things that really matter to you.
And sometimes it takes something like this to put things in perspective and to make big life changes without giving a stuff about what other people might think about you.
Going to the gym 4 times a week isn’t going to cut it when your body and soul are shouting at you that what they really want to be doing for physical exercise is walking in a beautiful mountain range in the winter sunshine somewhere in Southern Spain.
There has been so much research to show that the connection between our happiness and our health is huge. It is also an indisputable fact that most of us living an office based life in northern latitudes are lacking in vitamin D – which is known to keep all sorts of serious health conditions at bay.
All the time I was feeling ill I craved sunshine.
I was desperate to move to Southern Europe. – When I went on holiday there I REALLY didn’t want to come back. I loved to go there in the winter and just sit and soak up the sun like a lizard.
I can’t tell you exactly which part of this relates to listening to my body and which part relates to listening to my dreams. I can tell you that at the end of the day the two things overlap and you have to listen to both of them.
We took the leap and took out a six month rental on a house in the most beautiful mountain village you could imagine in S W Spain.
I took morning walks in the sun through ancient paths, I sat and soaked up winter sun outside our house, I lived simply and ate well and I healed.
And our life has never been the same since. I could finally say those words I dreamed of saying, “I used to have IC.” And now I wake up every morning in the sunshine (well nearly every morning) looking forward to a day of new adventures and experiences.
You can call me nosy if you like – I prefer to describe myself as interested – the thing is I love to chat to people who have made big and brave life choices to follow their heart. It is surprising how often people are spurred on to take the leap after going through a scary illness or suffering the loss of someone close to them at too young an age.
You don’t come through any of life’s challenges without gaining a new sense of perspective, without becoming more resourseful and often without becoming more open minded.
Inventing a new life for yourself and overcoming the barriers it takes to get there is no different. You will need to gain a sense of perspective about what is possible, you will have to be resourceful if you want to make it work and it helps a lot if you can remain pretty damn open minded.
I love sharing my insights into what is possible. I can give you insider info about how much it really costs to live in many beautiful unspoilt parts of Europe and I love throwing ideas around about different ways to up your standard of living while freeing up your time.
If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject I’d love to hear from you – please let me know in the comments below.