My first foray into the world of alternative therapies came late. My background was typically traditional. I had hopes and dreams of being considered a good ol’ country girl right up to my dying day. Conventional, conformist, loved and approved of by all who knew me. Getting “it”, meaning life, right was key. I was a human doing rather than a human being. I was taught by society that I could have it all. And I was an unquestioning believer.
Looking back, I can recognise some the moments when life loomed large to slap some sense into me. By the time I reached my thirties, I thought I had this game of life figured out. Oh dear! Abruptly, my life fell to pieces. I walked away from everything I knew and understood. The fact that I dragged two unsuspecting and compliant young children with me was regrettable (for them). I am grateful that they survived my shenanigans and have become lovely, well-adjusted adults who are charming in the tolerance of my (according to them) tree hugging, rainbow chasing, unicorn riding, cheesecloth and sandal wearing ways. The biggest lesson I learned was that I could have it all … just not all at once.
Cue a series of life lessons hard learned, hard won and, equally, some hard lost. I was unaccustomed to losing. I was neither gracious nor tolerant of failure. Some of you may recognise this pattern of being unable to let go. Some of you may even be thinking “death grip”. I entered the world of alternative therapies ignorant, unprepared and wide open to inviting in chaos, virtually everything I believed I was attempting to leave behind.
I was getting sick, I was studying and working full time. Thankfully, I had supportive parents, more correctly, disapproving parents who were wonderful, loving and generous grandparents to those above-mentioned children. Let’s just say I wasn’t a poster child for sleeping well, eating well, or exercising enough, or addressing my stress. Or being tolerant, nice, kind, thoughtful, you name it, according to my family and friends, I was the poster child who served as a warning.
Autoimmune symptoms started to appear. Was it even recognised as a thing back in the 90’s? Memory loss which became extreme. One terrifying day, I was at the checkout and I couldn’t remember the pin for my ATM card. I would look at completed assignments and not recall when I had written them. I could pop pills for the physical problems, but I had nothing, absolutely nothing, for my mental and emotional stuff. Ha! Caring for my Soul wasn’t even on the charts.
Doctors and psychologists alike chorused, get some sleep and manage your stress. I didn’t do well on medication. I was utterly intolerant and unresponsive to talk therapy. I even spoke with member of the clergy. Yes, I went there because I suspected that God may have been punishing me for refusing to buckle up and hang on to a normal life (yeah, I went there too).
As I’ve already mentioned, kicking and screaming seemed to be my preferred mode to move, at snail’s pace, towards alternative therapy But, ever the martyr, I managed to prolong the agony by going back to university to refresh my qualifications in music. It was a step backwards into the life I led before everything changed. That foray didn’t even last a semester. I was more fascinated by the way kids who had unresolved primitive reflex issues compensated or used skills to gloss over what was beyond their skills. So, I swapped to psychology. Then, to appease God, I also studied general theology. I was happy enough going nowhere fast. Was I a human being yet? I seemed to be doing a lot of … doing.
Hello Kinesiology! THE best stress management modality as it was touted to me in the 1990”s. Had I at last found my niche?
Tune in next time and come meandering with me. Oh, and bring a stick!’