They say you don’t find yourself until you lose yourself.
Well, I was lost and now I’m found.
So many of you have asked.
So many have you have wondered.
What is it really like?
What does it feel like to be ‘lost’ for a decade of your life in search for yourself? In search for your health? In search for your life? In search for answers to chronic illness?
Well, now that I’m on the other side of it… I’m ready to tell you.
You’ve heard my story time and time again. And if you haven’t, here are a few posts to help you get up to speed:
- My Thoughts
- My Thoughts Part 2
- How Chronic Illness Made Me a Stronger Person
- My Battle with Lyme Disease
- What I Learned From a Decade of Chronic Illness
When people ask me how I did it….how I survived 10 years of pure hell and pain and suffering- I really don’t know how I did it or how to respond to them. But I do know one thing. No matter what happened to me, what I was diagnosed with, what was said to me, how much pain I was in- I stayed hopeful- I believed- I dreamed- I trusted- I had faith that all of this was going to soon come to an end.
And as I sit here today and write this post for you, I want to let you know that whether you’re suffering from chronic illness or awful symptoms of headaches and bloating or your doctors can’t figure out what’s going on in your body- YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I’m sure many of you (or anyone you know who is going through health issues) can relate to what it’s really like.
Just know that I see you. I love you. I am here for you. I feel you. We are all one together helping each other heal.
And so here it goes….
I’ve lost friends.
I lost a connection to myself.
I lost a sense of being.
I lost a sense of taste.
I lost feelings. I was numb for 10 years. Yes, numb. Numb to feeling, numb to emotion, numb to life, numb to everything. I was so lost in my body and in such mourning that I couldn’t get out of my own way.
I lost of sense of purpose – until I started this website and met all of you who make my heart sing. And now that I’m launching MY COOKBOOK, my heart is beaming with happiness.
I lost my 20’s. I lost the fun of going on dates and going out dancing and being a silly 20-year old something.
I lost the feeling of fun.
I lost the feeling of love.
I lost the meaning of life.
I lost an understanding of why some of us suffer for years with illness and why some of us thrive in life with nothing but a papercut.
I lost a connection with people.
I lost a connection with ‘real life’. I never watched TV because the news was too traumatic for me, I never ate out because I got too sick from restaurant’s food, I never went to the movies because I didn’t have the energy to go, I never treated myself to anything because I didn’t feel worthy of it. I just felt like I lost who ‘Amie’ really was and what I was doing here and I was just trying to survive on a daily basis and get through my day by helping my body detox and heal, which was a very very very very very long process.
I recall seeing what life was like for ‘real’ people who went to work in the morning, hopped on the subway, grabbed a bagel and coffee, worked like a dog, grabbed a sandwich for lunch, worked until 8 pm, went out drinking, ate a burger at a bar and then did it all over again the next day….this is the typical Manhattan corporate worker and they look healthy and fine and I never understood how I got so sick by eating healthy and being a ‘good’ girl but now I realize that their life isn’t so swell because they come to me as clients now and they’re suffering from aches and pains and popping Advil daily and on pharmaceutical drugs to band-aid their symptoms, which they don’t have time to address at a Functional/Integrative medicine doctor because they are too busy. Such is life, huh?
My heart ached without me even realizing it because I’m strong. Actually I don’t even think I realized that I LOST any of the above until after my illnesses passed by because I was too numb to realize I was numb and loosing all of these things.
Moving into my new apartment in the West Village of Manhattan has been a dream for me-it’s also been incredibly eye-opening. On move-in day I was unpacking my clothes and realizing I hadn’t worn any of them in over 8 years. Most of the clothes still had the price tags on them. Why is that? Well, when you are sick and not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is put clothes on. You want to lay in your bed in spandex and a comfy cotton sweater and relax. You want nothing to do with buttons or zippers or anything tight. And so, throughout the last 8 years I lived in black spandex and black cotton tee-shirts. Now, since I live in Manhattan; all black outfits are in-style and that’s what many people wear so there’s nothing odd about that, however, when I realized I hadn’t worn my real clothes in almost a decade, I realized I was in mourning- in all black and I hadn’t worn color in almost 10 years. Isn’t it fascinating that when you get outside of something- you start to see so clear what was going on? Now that I’ve put illness behind me, I see that my life during illness was in mourning- in all black. Now, I’m branching out of that and starting to enter the world of color and zippers and buttons because I have the energy to dress myself and make myself feel like a human.
I’ve lost a lot, but I’ve also found a lot. I’m not the woman I was 10 years ago working at VOGUE Magazine. I’m a heck of a lot different and I love the woman I have become. I’m no longer interested in external happiness- I know that everything I need is inside of me and only ME can make ME happy.
Here’s what I gained…
I gained my 30’s and 40’s and 50’s and all the beautiful and magnificent years that are to come.
I gained a self of sense.
I learned who I really am.
I learned what I want in life.
I learned that I’m amazing.
I learned that people do not know how to relate to you when you are sick and not feeling well. They don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to act. And I took this personally for so many years until I realized they’re doing the best they can and no one will ever understand what it’s like to wake up in your shoes every single day. Ever.
I learned that some people don’t understand. And that’s okay. They’ll take it personally that you’re not coming to their baby’s birthday party or that you forgot to send them a card for Christmas and I’ve learned to let that all go…because they’ll never understand and it’s not worth me taking the energy to explain it to them.
I learned that no one and nothing can pull me down from my high-flying disk of happiness.
I learned that the next soulmate man to enter my life, will be just that…my soulmate. Because now I know what I want and I know he’s out there looking and waiting for me. I can feel it and I’m all giddy about it.
I learned that life is too short to let things pass by. Take a chance. Make things happen.
I learned to stop worrying about what others think of you.
I learned how to be happy in my own skin.
I learned to have the willingness to let in all that has been trying to flow to me the last 33 years, which I’ve been blocking with my own fear. Fear of everything. Even fear of healing.
I learned how to feel worthy.
I learned how to let love into my life.
I learned how to appreciate my body and all the amazing things it does for me on a daily basis from sleeping to detoxing.
I learned how to love myself unconditionally. (More about that in my Unconditional Love blog post).
I learned what true friendship really is because the real friends have stuck by me through thick and thin and still love me for who I am.
I learned how to have the courage to share my journey and experiences and struggles and pain and fears with you and be vulnerable enough to connect with you. The vulnerability that makes you want to cry, makes your heart skip a beat, makes you freeze for a moment.
I learned that all we want is love. All of us wants to be loved each and everyday and this world has more fear in it than love right now and we need more love and more happiness to soothe the fear that is instilled in so many people.
I learned that you have to treat yourself to nice things and be your own white knight in shining armor because if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never attract someone who will respect and love and value you.
I learned how to create fabulous flavor without gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, corn, eggs, processed foods, all purpose flours, white flours, caffeine, alcohol and more. Living proof is in my NEW COOKBOOK. (There are over 200 detox-approved recipes in my book that you’ll LOVE).
I learned how to stop and be still each and every single day. I learned how to meditate.
I learned how to show up for things I was scared of like energy work.
I learned how to dig and find the answers to healing. I learned how to listen closely to the signs that were coming to me on a daily basis that were steering me in the direction to my healing. And as I sit here right now I’m in awe at how the last year as brought me from a near death experience to pure happiness and wellness and perfect health. It’s mind blowing. It’s emotional. It’s crazy. It’s life. I’m learning how to take that first few steps toward the life that has been here all along waiting for me to show up and say, “Can we start now, Amie?”…. I know I am loved. I know I am seen. I know I am perfect and I don’t need to prove anything to anyone to show my worthiness. And for this I’m grateful.
I learned how to have the courage to keep opening myself up even when it felt like I can’t open any more.
Here’s to a great new beginning called life. The life I should have been living the last 10 years- but the life that hasn’t escaped me, for I know the years ahead will be far more incredible than any that have already passed.
And if you haven’t had a chance to check out my new cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body, you can order it now and you’ll get 6 Free Exclusive Recipes that are NOT in my cookbook!