Food has always been my thing…
As a child, I loved all food. I would rush to finish my plate so I could beat my brother to the leftovers. I can remember coming home from work in my teens and demolishing a whole pizza to myself. If it was there, I would eat it. At university, I would open a loaf of sliced white bread and continually make jam on toast until the loaf was gone.
At the age of nine, my eyes started to open up to the world, as I realised that everything is not as it seems and what I choose to eat makes a difference. It was around this age that I made the decision to turn vegetarian. This was in the eighties, when vegetarianism was radical, so I survived on crispy cheesy pancakes and sosmix. I thought being vegetarian was good enough. Then, when I turned vegan, I thought that all my eating worries were sorted – it’s vegan so it must be healthy, right?
Too tired for life…
Then, in 2008, I started to become very tired. In fact, the word ‘tired’ does not even begin to describe how I felt. Every cell in my body wept with fatigue. I saw my doctor, but all of my blood tests came back as normal. I started to feel I must just be lazy, and even my doctor started to imply this was so, even offering me a dose of antidepressants!
I was experiencing constant brain fog, confusion, explosive diarrhoea, sighing, extreme exhaustion, bad memory, clumsiness and lack of coordination. I felt tearful and had blurred vision, along with persistent migraines and a feeling of insects running through my blood. I had no idea of what was wrong with me.
I was finally diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Pernicious Anaemia. This was not because I was vegan, I had been taking vitamin B12 in supplements for years and it didn’t matter how much vitamin B12 I consumed my digestive system was refusing to absorb any of it. So it turned out that it wasn’t me who was lazy or crazy, but my immune system.
I felt isolated and let down by my body…why me?
I felt isolated and let down by my body. Why me? I was in my twenties, but too tired to live my life. I was put on a loading dose of vitamin B12 injections that made my face itch and my arms and legs ache. But hey, they at least made me feel like death warmed up! I was having a vitamin B12 injection every three months, but my symptoms were actually getting worse. I was beginning to lose sensation in the bottom half of my legs and arms when driving, had pins and needles in my extremities, constant ringing in my ears, insomnia and vertigo.
I felt I needed more vitamin B12, but was told by my local doctor that it was all in my head, and yet again I was offered anti-depressants, accompanied by painkillers, and told to exercise. This was the moment I decided to follow my gut instinct. It led me to having a private vitamin infusion and learning how to self-inject vitamin B12. I can remember being driven to the appointment for my infusion with no energy and being barely able to speak or move. I had the infusion, fell asleep, woke up and haven’t stopped speaking since!
I had by now reduced my work hours and was teaching part-time. I was also coming to the realisation that my so-called dream job was not a dream – it was now reality and the reality was so different to the dream. My life felt stagnant and I was bored. Now I was beginning to feel more alive I was looking for new dreams. I felt in my bones that there had to be more to life.
I needed an injection of life…
I had been given a diagnosis and I was getting treatment, but I still didn’t feel fully alive. I started to realise that this numbness could be beyond my illness and diet, and that maybe the numb feeling was my whole life. In search for something more, my partner and I purchased ten acres of land and decided to shake up our whole lives up, a make-or-break move on every level. We went to live in Wild West Wales, with very little money and a lot of trust. New doors opened, and continued to open, to allow us to flow into our new path. One of these doors was a bursary with the Nutritional Healing Foundation to study on their Naturopathic Nutrition Practitioner Diploma. I went with the intention of learning and ended up becoming a practitioner, a naturopathic teacher and a motivational wellness speaker. This totally changed my life!
I realised that I was absorbing, understanding and flowing with this information. It made every cell in my body light up with joy, a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I knew that this was my path. But how could I help others to heal if I was still wearing the pernicious anaemia hashtag? So, I made myself my first case study and put everything I had learnt into practice. I started to look at all aspects of the disease. This meant not just physical symptoms, but also the mental and spiritual, and even (shock, horror) what I liked about it! I was open and honest. I ditched my ego and asked my body “why have you got this?”
I worked and worked on myself and in September 2015, I stopped injecting. I had my final appointment with my haematologist on the Winter Solstice 2016, which proved to be the end of the darkness for me on many levels: my bloods were perfect and my B12 was still way above the highest range and my haemoglobin was looking great.
The one thing I learnt on my healing journey, and which I am passionate to share, is there is no golden nugget that heals all. There is no magic elixir, and no healer. It’s about making a change on every level: physical, emotional and spiritual. The healer you need is right inside of you. Healing is about connecting back into the true you, the natural you. We all come from the same place and go back to the same place…Mother Earth.
Living my dream...
Above my desk in my ‘dream’ teaching job, I filled the wall with inspirational images and quotes. Among these images was a handmade rustic house on the edge of woodland in West Wales. Little did I know then that what I had created was a manifestation board. It was this board that kept me going. Every time I would go into the office, I would tell myself ‘this is not forever’. I would look up at the images and quotes and feel in my heart that this is what my soul wanted.
I am now living and breathing those images and the quotes above my desk. I am writing this as I sit in my own woodland in West Wales, while my partner is building a beautiful wooden house to be our home. We have just raised the final wall and there is nothing quite like physically lifting up the walls of your own house to make you feel like Supergirl!
The naturopathic way...
My vision is to share my life as I live it, in the naturopathic way, at one with nature. My hope is that this will help inspire you as part of your own transformational journey. It is never too late to dream. Remember, you are never too committed, too young, or too old, or have too many life complications. I want to show you how you are a true marvel of the natural world. You belong here at this particular moment in time and nature surrounds you. Nature loves you and you are nature.
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”