I’ve Found My Light Again

How wonderful it is, to be loved.

No, I’m not talking romantically here, although that is an amazing feeling as well. I’m talking about self love. To truly love yourself, no matter where you are in life, is absolutely freeing and empowering all at once.

To say my health journey is unique would be an understatement. By the age of 23, I’d had two surgeries due to athletic injuries: left knee and lower back (two herniated discs).

My back surgery in December of 2015 was a pivotal point for me. After years of physical agony, starting to get a little relief pulled back the curtain on how hard I was struggling mentally. 

In January of 2016, I started going to therapy. Growing up with a psychologist dad and a sister as a licensed counselor, I was no stranger to the mental health world. I’d just been ignoring my own symptoms for years.

There’s been a lotttt of growth the last three years. So much self discovery has taken place, and I’m finally starting to feel a little more balanced on the inside. Understanding my thoughts and actions and how it all relates – therapy is tremendously helpful and I recommend it to any and everyone. Even if all you want is someone to talk to who cant spill your secrets!

Anywho…fast forward to this summer. I’ve been dealing with these awfully inflamed bumps on my armpits the last year or so, and kept assuming they were just some pissed off ingrown hairs. After getting one the size of a golf ball, in so much pain I couldn’t put my arm down, I decided enough was enough.

I’d gone to different general practice physicians, but kept getting wrong answers or no answer at all. Within 10 min of my dermatology appointment, she diagnosed me with Hidradenitis Suppurativa, or HS for short.

Quick hits about HS

Facts:
– HS is autoimmune/auto-inflammatory  condition
– HS is a chronic skin disease
– Lesions/abscesses  occur where hair follicles and/or sweat glands get blocked
– Your body basically goes into overdrive to heal the blockage, creating this massively swollen area around the initial pore because of cell overgrowth
– Also known as acne inversa

Myths:
– HS is contagious
– HS can be cured
– HS only occurs in obese people
– HS occurs because of bad hygiene habits
– HS is a form of STI/STD

Since my diagnosis in July 2019, I’ve been doing a lot of research on my own as far as holistic methods of healing. Because my skin disease is rare, there isn’t a whole lot of research out there right now, and in fact, there’s only one FDA-approved drug for it: Humira.

yikes, no thanks, if I can help it.

It turns out, your diet pretty much RULES your overall health. I’ve been loosely following the AIP, or autoimmune protocol, diet to help me find food triggers. People all over the internet claim to have major success, some even sent into remission from HS, all because of diet changes.

I’ve completely cut out gluten and dairy, and have decreased my sugar/carb intake tremendously.

While I don’t own a scale and don’t know the exact amount of weight I’ve lost, I know it’s a fair amount. I’m down two sizes in clothing – whoohoo! BUT – while weight loss is great, my initial reason for starting AIP was because of my skin disease. I was sick of being in constant pain, wearing long sleeves in the Texas summer heat, that SOMETHING had to give.

Not only am I losing weight, but my flares seem to be disappearing faster and getting less inflamed and painful. WIN WIN!

The past three years, I was solely focusing on healing my mind. Coming to terms with my mental illnesses and learning how to thrive. Now, it’s time to connect my mind healing and my body healing.

I’m still learning a lot and trying to be patient throughout my journey, but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. My physical ailments pretty much go hand-in-hand with my mental illnesses, so if I can get one in control, maybe the other will follow suit.

Regardless of my setbacks and times of self-hatred, I am ME. I am BEAUTIFUL. I am a WARRIOR.

And boy oh boy, does it feel good to be loved again.

xoxo,

HB

 

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One thought on “I’ve Found My Light Again

  1. Pingback: 4 AIP-friendly meals made to satisfy | Hey, it's Hannah!

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