It Should Be Better Than This...
You shouldn't be this tired. Or this sad. Your hair shouldn't be thinning while your waistline expands. Your nails shouldn't be so brittle and you should be able to sleep, especially because your body needs it so bad.
They say autoimmune diseases take no prisoners, but I know Hashimoto's Thyroiditis does.
For years I was a prisoner in my own body. Doctors couldn't place my symptoms. Friends told me I was probably "just stressed". I listened to doctors and followed instructions. I took my medicine on time and tried my best to exercise and eat right.
I did everything I was supposed to and I still felt off.
So, I quit talking about it. I kept my symptoms to myself. For years I kept my disease to myself.
But then one day everything changed.
I was still working as a nutrition coach and trainer. I still had clients who were meeting and exceeding their goals. I was still willing myself out of bed every morning.
But one day at the gym, someone snapped a picture. They tagged me in the photo on social media. One of my clients, a fit and healthy girl, one I was so proud of and excited for, made the remark:
"You look so great Leigh. I wish I was as skinny as you."
But, I wasn't skinny. I was so, so sick.
I couldn't take it anymore.
Here was this girl who was in great shape, doing all the right things, and the picture of health. And she was looking up to me when my hair was falling out. When my marriage was faltering. When I was barely surviving on gallons of coffee and still needed mid-day naps. When I was punishing my body instead of taking the time to listen to it.
To love it.
To heal it.
When I finally got the nerve to talk to my doctor. To tell him all I'd been feeling— the mood swings, the insomnia, the exhausting and unending fatigue—he told me to go home and have a glass of wine. He told me I was making something out of nothing and that I needed to find a better way to relax.
I had two choices when I walked out the door of that doctor's office.
I could retreat. I could crawl back inside myself and suffer in silence for another 7 years...
Or I could take matters into my own hands.
I could choose to be an advocate for my own health. I could choose to stand up for myself and demand better. I could choose learning. I could choose healing. I could choose me.
So I did.