Change Starts with One Decision

There are millions of people depressed in the world.  There are millions of people who are suffering from chronic illness brought about by our society and the choices we make every day.  It’s like we’re in a race to commit suicide, but we don’t call it that, instead we call it life.  

I was one of these people.  I was racing to commit suicide and I was in the lead.  No one looks at it this way.  I wasn’t doing worse things than anyone else; in fact there are many people who live a less healthy lifestyle.  A lot of people smoke cigarettes, drink soda pop, eat sugary food, eat maybe one serving of real fruit or vegetables a day, no exercise, desk job, deprive themselves of sleep, or drink alcohol for the fun of it every now and again.  

In the beginning I use to get pissed off at myself and my body because I can’t mistreat my body the way others do.  It only took fifteen years of “dirty living” before my body said enough.   The thought occurred to me that I was pissed off at my body for failing me, but what about my body?  My body doesn’t get words, it gives me feelings.  For years it had been giving me feelings that I ignored.  This was my body telling me it was pissed off at the way I had been treating, now what was I going to do about it?  

There are many choices you can make.  You have to find the right path, but I do think there are some things that can help everyone.  First, recognize our bodies are not failing us, we are failing our bodies.  The fact that our bodies exist is pretty miraculous, never mind everything it does to keep us alive.  I’m no longer angry at my body.  I’m grateful for the warning system.  I’m grateful for its ability to heal after everything I’ve done to it.  Instead of thinking of my illness as a betrayal I see it as my body’s last ditch effort to get me to listen.  

As I’ve ventured down my healing path I’ve had intuitions about what I needed to do.  The first was I needed to quit smoking.  Smoking was a coping mechanism that I had developed when I was a teenager.  The thought of giving up while going through something frustrating was not to be entertained.  I used to say “I’m already dealing with cancer; I’m not going to try and give up smoking”.  Here’s the thing, that’s stupid.  I’m dealing with cancer, if there is ever a reason to quit smoking, it’s because I have cancer.  The most honest answer I’ve heard is “I’ll quit when I’m ready” and that is true.  Up until that point you’ll tell yourself a million stupid excuses that make no sense to anyone except you, but no one will tell you that because you’re allowed to destroy your own life.  

I did it for 6 years, until one day I was out of options.  Everything I had done at this point wasn’t working.  I couldn’t tell myself again that I couldn’t quit smoking because I had cancer.  That magical moment occurred where I realized that I had to quit smoking because I had cancer.  I quit smoking, cold turkey, a year ago.  I finally had a strong enough catalyst.  Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  I made a deal with the universe; I’ll never smoke another cigarette if my body heals from cancer.  

That was the beginning of really listening to my body, of paying attention to what I said.  For years I had said I really need to quit smoking and I’ve come to see this as my body speaking.  Mentally I did not want to quit, but my body was tired of being poisoned on a regular basis.   Those things that you say and then realize and make ten different excuses for why you do it or why you can’t change; pay attention to that, this is likely you, the smart, divine you, that’s trying to communicate and lead you to a better life.  Once I quit smoking it was easier to recognize other intuitions and make other changes.   

I had doubted the little voice that told me I needed a mainly vegetarian diet.  Instead I tried the alkaline diet, and then the ketogenic diet, then I just went with whole foods (non-processed).  The alkaline diet caused me to lose more weight (at one point I was at 85 lbs.), the ketogenic diet gave me some energy, but it required that I limit the fruits and veggies in my diet to stay in ketosis (note my experience should not dissuade you from trying this, each body is different), the whole food diet caused me to have indigestion.  My body appeared to prefer that I limit my meat intake.  Now I stick with mainly organic food and a large portion of my diet is fruits and vegetables.  I think you’d best describe it as a whole food vegetarian.  I’m careful of food labels and stay away from processed foods.  If they include the words “natural flavors” I don’t buy it.  If you’re not willing to tell me what’s in the food, I’m not willing to put it in my body.  

Next came getting rid of my pop habit.  I had at least one cherry coke a day, often it was more than that.  This one was harder.  Regular water was boring.  That’s what I had been saying for years.  This took a reprogramming of my mind, because my body didn’t think water was boring.  Come to find out my body had been starving for water.  I had been function in a state of early dehydration for years.  Pop does not hydrate you.  

This hit home a couple of months ago.  My body was already healing, but I have breast implants that have at times caused muscle spasms… or more accurately, lack of hydration caused muscle pains because these muscles are already working.  One night after dinner and dancing with friends I ended up with muscle cramps so bad I was curled in a ball in tears.  I hadn’t had a drink, instead of alcohol; I had allowed myself to have fountain pop.  As I tried to figure out what I had done I realized that I was thirsty.  I went on to drink 4 large glasses of water.  Now I start my day with water and end it with water.  I’ve stopped saying that water is boring – because it’s not – it’s the lifeblood of our body.  The only thing we can go less time without is air.

Change, it begins with us and we often know what we need to do.  We just need to discover our own wisdom.  We can be depressed about life, we can decide to be sick or accept the sickness and pains in our lives, but we don’t have to.  Chances are deep down you don’t want to be in the suicide race, you just don’t know what else to do.  It’s hard at first to be the person that brings change, but over time you start to trust yourself and slowly change the way those in your circle view life.  It’s a pretty magical experience that actually helps you continue to reach for your best potential.  Now much of my strength comes from showing others that there is another path.  A path that can lead to happiness and wellness.  We just have to get out of our own way.  


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