First posted 29 November, 2015
Today, tonight, I had an epiphany.
It dawned on me, for the first time in a long time, that I was going to be ok. That, I am ok. And it gave me butterflies. For so long, I’d keep looking back. Keep thinking back to when everything in life was easier, carefree, when I was content. I kept thinking of a time when I was only restricted by my allergy, not my intolerances. To a time when my skin was flawless and beautiful. To a time when my biggest problem was trying to buy a ski jacket before flying to Europe.
I became so caught up in what my life had been like before everything changed, that I didn’t notice how far I had come. It has been 11 months since everything started to fall apart and 8 months since I started to rebuild everything that I lost. Eight painfully long months. BUT despite how long this journey has been I neglected to realise how much good had come from it. For one, I was learning to enjoy and appreciate a whole different range of foods, from something as simple as vegetables to vegan foods… vegan chocolate actually rocks. But more than that, I was diagnosed with PCOS and was dealing with all the symptoms that came along with it – irregular period, acne, hormonal imbalances. But I managed to change that all of those things and I didn’t use a single chemical drug to do it. I didn’t just mentally will it to happen either… I instead used herbal medicine to manage and restore my hormones, a natural process that the pill had destroyed. And I know there some sceptics, and that’s fine – I’m also a big believer in traditional medicine! – but I’m living proof that natural medicine works and you can’t call bullshit on me.
My body was starting to work for me again and for some reason I kept holding on to what it was instead of thanking it for what it had become. I realised that I need to give myself a little more credit. I’ve gone from having dairy 3-4 times a day to zero times a day, and have done so for 6 months. And that was hard… it’s still hard. It’s not something I want to give up, I miss my morning cappuccino and sneaky treat of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate more than you probably realise… but I have no choice. If I want to have clear skin and a happy body then I have to. And I’ll have to go completely cold turkey on it for a little while longer. But I also remind myself that one day in the not too distant future, I’ll go easy on myself and allow myself a spoon of whatever dairy my heart desires.
Today I realised that I am changing… I’m always changing. The reason I don’t look like how I did 18 months ago, isn’t because of what I’m going through. It’s because I’m going through life. I’m 18 months older than when I felt “perfect” (of course I didn’t see that at the time… hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it?) and probably a kilo or two heavier and I’m sure none the wiser, but that’s ok. You know why? Because I’m not the only one that’s changing. That’s not a privilege set a side for me, and me only. To grow old is a privilege to all. So what that I have a few scars on my face and back. I know I’m still loved regardless of it. And to that particular human I’m forever grateful. When I’m having a bad day or when I feel like going back through time to when everything was ‘easier’, I remind myself that I’m still that girl, that beautiful girl and that I’m no different to anyone else.
For the first time in a long time I feel strong. I feel happy. I feel positive. And it’s the most beautiful feeling in the world.