My Journey to Self Care – from Fixing to Healing

The bottle of pills sat on my kitchen counter for months, untouched. I’d filled the script hoping it would help, but couldn’t bring myself to take it.

It was a popular drug used for autoimmune conditions, but an invisible force held me back.

Eventually, with desperation as motivation, I took it.

Of course, all hell broke loose.

Five days later, my already burning nerves were screeching, heart was flopping, and brain was over and out. A call to the doctor confirmed what my body was screaming, “Stop the drug immediately!”

I kept saying,“I knew it,

That drug had sat unused on my counter because my body KNEW.

After that, I was done with Western Medicine. No more doctors, tests, guesses, diagnoses, or drug experimentation.

Surprisingly, in the coming months, I began to feel better.

I’ve been asked, “How did I do it? What’s my healing regime?”

This question assumes that I have it figured out.

I’m not so sure I do.

My body has never felt like a friend. At the least, it was an inconvenience and at the most, it got me what I wanted. Craving sexual attention, I denied it nourishment to keep it thin. A single parent, I pushed it to work two jobs. I demanded it do my bidding, to which it often rebelled.

Getting ill was just more proof that my body had it out for me, and I’d tried various treatments to fix it. After the drug fiasco, something shifted.

I began to notice the “pull towards” things my body craved, and the “push away” from things that were no good

The first thing my body felt pulled to was essential oils. My body sighed yes when I massaged them into my skin, and the soothing aromas, over-riding stress in the brain’s emotional centers, calmed me.

This practice gently supported my body, instead of violently pushing it to conform. It felt easy and peaceful, in total contrast to the past frustration of trying to fix myself.

I began a body love practice. Over several weeks, I sat in stillness and sent love and Reiki to one body part at a time.

My feet were in pain from taking me through life without my consideration. My shoulders ached with stories of heavy burdens. My pelvic bowl held a child that wanted her innocent creativity back. My ribs were constricted from guarding my heart.

The only agenda was attention to my body. 

In meditation I began to experience my body as a complete universe, with the same beautiful rhythms as the larger universe. This led to creating a meditative visualization of blissful homeostasis, balancing my physical, energetic, and spiritual bodies.

A bigger force was guiding me, call it my higher self, that is one with the entire cosmos. This force, binding mind, body and soul, was now leading me to healing.

These practices relaxed my body and bathed it in love.

There were other external changes, adding superfoods to my already organic nourishment, investing in a high quality water purifier, oil pulling, and quitting a daily coffee habit. I also stopped a daily intake of horror stories on chronic illness forums, a fear triggering habit that was draining my precious energy.

During that time I also started seeing a counselor.

In Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she talks about shame as actual trauma. It’s hard to comprehend that shame can cause PTSD, but believe me…it can. In one session, while doing EMDR, a trauma treatment, I had an overwhelming shame PTSD attack. It was a revelation to understand the depth of trauma I’d experienced.

Although I’d worked with counselors in the past, I now felt like the blinders had been lifted.

I believe all these things were helpful, but the real change was a shift in consciousness. 

If I had to name my regime, it would look like this.

  • Body love, good! Body rejection, bad.
  • Body support, good! Body control, bad.
  • Loving body attentiveness, good! Neglecting body, bad.
  • Self acceptance, good! Self shame, bad.
  • Inner wisdom, good! Ego searching outside, bad.
  • Mental peace, good! Mental fear, bad.
  • Emotional awareness, good! Emotional suppression, bad.

Several books also showed up to support my process.

Eight months after the medication disaster, I became aware that something had changed. Camping with my family, I walked a quarter mile with my 3 year old grandson, the farthest I’d been able to walk in years. He was still moving faster than me, but I was ecstatic!

I’ve gained some of my previous life back, which I thank my body for regularly.

There isn’t a simple answer to the question, “How did I do it?” I might have gotten better regardless, but I think there’s a deeper truth.

The question isn’t how did I do it, but what changed? 

It started with an inner shift that led me to becoming my body’s own lover, instead of an adversary.

It’s ironic the illness that took me out also gave me the time to heal.

How many of us feel we have ample time to rest, and to deeply attend to ourselves?   

I can’t answer for others, but I see women around me doing exactly what I did, chronically pushing themselves beyond their limits. Like I was, they’re convinced it’s absolutely necessary.

The Universe always supports consciousness, and focusing our attention on self care invites the love of the entire cosmos. When we do that, we find the freedom to heal our most important relationship, our lover’s relationship with ourselves.


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! MaryEllen! I love this! I love you! This IS what it’s all about. Finally honoring what the body, the soul, the heart is begging for. The rest can be gently drop as we move towards our own truth.

    • Purelightcoaching

      Yes! Honoring the body, soul and heart. Being gentle with ourselves. We’re taught so much of the opposite of this as women…taught to ignore our true needs, our very own precious body and heart, and to be hard on ourselves. Our bodies know better!

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