I will admit, this has been, by far, the hardest step towards wellness. It’s an ongoing effort, but it does get easier with time. It has been about leaving behind all the things I used to hide behind or use as an excuse, and really accepting the solitude and nakedness of not being anything but me. And it has opened my eyes to what is real, what is important, what is meaningful, and all the rest that just isn’t.
I was tired. Tired of being sick. Tired of doctors who had no real answers. Tired of discussing the latest ailment with those around me. Tired of depending on everyone else to tell me how to feel better. Tired of tests. Tired of diets and the latest superfood trends. Tired of being disconnected from everything, my loved ones, my partner, my own body, my life. I was tired of reading about all these amazing people who changed their lives for the better and trying to duplicate their way….and failing. I was tired of everything just being so very hard.
- Lyme disease
- Alpha-gal disease
- food allergies
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- relationship failure
These are the labels that used to define me, that were given to me by other people. But they were people I trusted, so I accepted them as truths and wore them like a fancy new coat. Like some messed up badge of honor. These things were part of me I couldn’t change, right? Wrong.
Labels. Boxes we use to compartmentalize the world we live in. Words we use to connect to others with the same label in some twisted match game. “Oh, I have that disease too. What treatment are you on?” or, “I’m having this test done.” “Oh, yeah, I had that done last month.” Or the group of “newly singles” out on the town.
We want to belong. We gravitate towards what we can identify with. And labels give us an easy way to find the like out there in the world.
But it’s all superficial.
Those labels did not have to define me. They weren’t even my own, they were given to me. But I chose to let them. I chose to identify with them, and then went looking for others relate with on the purely superficial level of a random diagnosis. And you know what? It did not actually help me connect with anyone on any deeper level. It didn’t make me special. It just made me look for more labels to collect.
Deciding to shed all the labels is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And when I did, something amazing happened. All the things I thought I had, I thought I was, I portrayed to others…they all just went away. The superficial relationships went away. The stress went away. The tiredness went away. And I was just left to be…me. Me, as I wanted to be. Me, as I saw myself. Yes, Me, Me, Me…it sounds very selfish. And, to be honest, it kind of is, but not in any way that does harm. As a matter of fact, it has improved the relationships I had that weren’t based on the superficial.
Becoming just me has freed up the space to concentrate on others and their needs. I no longer spend so much time focused on all my labels and the have-to’s associated with being that person. I am no longer dragged down by the negativity associated with being a divorcee or a princess or a bitch, so I am free to be whatever is needed by the ones I love in all those little moments that really matter.
New labels try to enter my life from time to time, but I refuse them, as I should have done from the beginning.
I practice herbal medicine, but I am not an ‘herbalist.’
I strongly believe in the wonders and power of nature, but I am not a ‘witch.’
I enjoy taking pictures, but I am not a ‘photographer.’
I love making food, but I am not a ‘cook.’
I grow plants and my own food, but I am not a ‘gardener’ nor a ‘farmer.’
I write a blog, but I am not a ‘blogger.’
I am very passionate about what I believe to be right and wrong, but I am not an ‘extremist,’ ‘environmentalist,’ or ‘kook.’
Just me is enough
I am a mother. I am a woman. I am me, as I am today, and as I will be tomorrow. And even if that is different, I will still be me.
Shedding the labels and accepting the simplicity of just being me, letting the bareness of that be enough, that was my first step towards true wellness, wholeness, and health. It’s not easy, and it’s not over. No Magic Pill, remember? But it is undoubtedly worth the work.