It has been a long journey. When I look back at where I was , even six years ago and where I am now, I am amazed. The whole journey has been an opportunity to learn, grow, change and heal. I am not trying to make light of the struggle that many of you may be in the middle of right now, I remember it all too well. I am an optimist by nature, and being on the other side of MCS, I am able to stand now on the mountain top and reflect on my journey. As I look back on the past sixteen years, things seem ever clearer; the patterns of illness that crept so slowly into my life were barely noticed and attributed to a hectic lifestyle. Now I know better. I acknowledge my own responsibility in my health. I made foolish choices, uninformed decisions and put my health on the backburner. I trusted professional opinion, more than my own experiences with this illness. I have to acknowledge that it was all part of the journey to healing; every event that happened, whether I understood it or not at the time was what brought me to a crossroads that demanded change. It was a change in lifestyle that required persistence, prayer and patience. It was a change that required me to evaluate everything in life from the food I was eating, to my living environment and decisions I had made that had huge detrimental impacts on my health (such as amalgam fillings and root canals). But I do not berate myself for the past, for it was those choices that brought me to the present, and I would not be the person I am today, had I not gone through this experience.
Here are the key things I have learned from this journey:
1. Having MCS put me on a path in life that I never could’ve imagined.
2. I am truly blessed with an understanding family. Even though it has been challenging, I have never questioned their love and support.
3. I am stronger than I ever realized. When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I am amazed that I got through it.
4. All of the changes that I had to make were frustrating at the time, but have made a huge difference in my quality of life.
5. As I had to toss or give away things that I treasured, I learned what was truly important in my life.
6. Whenever I had a setback, I asked myself what I learned and what I would do differently.
7. If people couldn’t accommodate me in their life, then perhaps they weren’t as important as I thought.
8. It is okay to put my health first.
9. Becoming proactive in your healthcare is a necessity.
10. Seeking out the right people to help you in the healing process is key to recovery.
11. Learning to trust yourself and your intuition can make the difference between succeeding and failing.
12. Educating yourself about MCS is critical to your recovery.
13. Having a support group helps you through the rough times.
14. I can pass on everything I’ve learned to others, especially my family and friends in hopes they can make positive changes in their lives early on.
15. Detoxing is an ongoing process.
16. Everything happens for a reason, even though you may not understand it at the time.
17. Most everything can be improved by a healthy, organic diet and supplementation.
18. MCS isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a life changing journey.
19. How you live your life matters. What you eat, what you put on your skin, what is in your house matters.
20. Attitude is everything. I learned to look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new.