Foreword: Please don’t start this unless you have 15 mins to read it to completion. Come back to it later. If you read only half way it will leave you depressed. Don’t do that to yourself. Comeback later. There’s no rush.
I read a story recently about a dog who gave birth to a litter of six pups. To the humans who cared for the mother, all six seemed happy and healthy, however after a short while the momma pooch gently lifted one of the pups up, carried it from the dog bed to the other side, where she nuzzled and then left the poor little bugger. She returned to the ‘nest’ to tend to the remaining five pups. The little pup who had been outcast cried and whimpered, the mother looked at it sadly, but did not go to it.
The humans, alarmed, scooped the pup up and placed it back in the bed with the others, but it was to no avail. After a short while, the mother merely picked it up and removed it again. The humans tried this repeatedly over the next few days. They made it their mission to save this unwanted pup from its apparent fate. And they succeeded, the mother eventually gave up on her mission to orphan her apparently-healthy offspring, but at what cost?
That puppy went on to live for thirteen years, but according to the owners was constantly sick, regularly at the vets, racking up huge bills, needing operation after operation, medication after medication, just to stay alive. Moral of the story: Momma pooch knew something the humans, though trying to be ‘humane’, did not.
As my own mother was in labour, her body and my own unborn foetus conspired to turn me upside down in the womb and wrap the umbilical cord around my neck. The hospital staff, seeing my vitals instantly shift, rushed my Mum into the operating theatre to perform an emergency caesarean to save my life. Western medical intervention ensured I survived, and here I am, thirty six years later writing about it. But should I be? Should I be here? Should I be writing about it?
Nature is life. Humans are an expression of life. Life knew that I was a flawed copy, and took action at the last moment to prevent that flaw coming into existence. This isn’t about right or wrong, good or bad. The medical staff overrode nature, and so here I am. But was I meant to live?
Perhaps you think I’m being ridiculous in asking such a question. Perhaps you think you know better than I do. Perhaps you think I’m over thinking it. Perhaps you think I’m being morbid. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps you are wrong. It doesn’t matter. I express my experience truthfully on this page. That is all that is certain here. The rest of it is just opinions, as proved by the use of the word ‘think’. Right or Wrong. Good or Bad. Beauty or ugliness -it’s all just opinion. Conditioning. Programming. Fluff.
I woke up at 4am this morning and started to meditate, as I do most mornings these days, but rather than finding peace and calm, I descended almost immediately into mental anguish, and eventually, hell. I have no choice in the matter, I cannot control it any more, and nor do I want to. If a downward spiral begins I have to ride it to the bottom, and it’s best to get there as quickly as possible. This spiral spiralled rapidly, and within minutes I had my face buried in the pillow and was blasting muffled screams into the material of the pillow case. This was the third morning on the trot that this has occurred.
I’m in a strange period. I have found this love, a strange love, for everything. I walk around and feel powerful fondness for all the creatures that I see, from insects to birds to humans. I feel connected to the world like never before. It’s like I’ve just upgraded my satellite TV package from Basic to Premium Deluxe. I understand myself, and the world around me, and all the people in it like never before. But at the same time my life has lost meaning, all the stuff that used to give my life purpose has ceased to fulfill or drive me, and so the joy has departed. I’m full of love and patience, but in a deep malaise at the same time. How do you make sense of that? It’s something I’m working through.
I made some sense of it this morning as I furiously screamed my final bout of rage into the poor pillow. When I enter one of these spirals, obviously it’s not a particularly pleasant experience, but at the very bottom I fall out and into a void of wonderful nothingness. It is there where the true revelations seem to occur, the clarity of my existence becomes clear. When my third eye bursts open and I intuit what I need to intuit. The spirals aren’t always downwards into hell, sometimes they cycle up into heaven and when I hit the void at the top of that I find pure love. It seems that pain and anger bring wisdom and knowledge. Ecstasy and bliss bring love and joy. I welcome both directions. You should know that, because I’m fully aware that a vision of me screaming into a pillow int he darkness of my bedroom is probably not a nice one for you. For me, it’s just part of the process. I’ve learnt to feel things on an enormous spectrum. So yes, there is terrible anger and sadness, but there is also mind-blowing, better than any drug, bliss and love. I’ve wondered if that’s bipolar, but I always feel in control. Maybe. Who knows. Who cares. It’s life.
You have not lived my experience, so you cannot know my experience, as much as I cannot claim to know yours. I have whole-heartedly and honestly attempted to describe my experience through the words on this blog over the past two years, however it is but a tiny window into my soul. I have written extensively on the subject of my health. The sad fact is that I have felt as though something was not quite right, physically, with my body since my mid-teens. I remember struggling to stay awake in class sometimes at school. The digestive problems started around that time too, 16 or 17. Debilitating stomach aches. When I was 19 I started having issues with my bladder that led to an operation. I almost dropped out of uni in my third year as I was struggling to cope. In my mid-20s I went from doctor to doctor being tested for all sorts of ailments. I suffered from terrible arthritis in my knees and feet, my hands were often numb and cold, my digestive system got worse and worse, my hormone system was malfunctioning and I started to suffer mood swings and sexual dysfunction. There was near constant back pain that no amount of osteopathy or physio could cure. And fatigue. The fatigue that started to appear occasionally in class at school plagued me regularly in the workplace. I would often doze off through afternoon meetings. I became an expert at putting fake meetings in my diary and finding secret places to nap.
Doctors tested for lupus, thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, crohns, diabetes, and on and on. They never tested for Coeliac disease. Why??? I saw at least three gastroenterologists. Not one thought to test for it. Looking back now it seems madness. Nothing came back conclusive except that I did have early-onset arthritis. The medical system is whack. I’m sorry to all the doctors out there, most of whom just want to help people, but I have very little respect for the profession. They know how to treat a broken leg, but for chronic diseases they just don’t have an answer. If you have a chronic disease, come talk to me. Doctors will likely give you a medication to mask your symptoms whilst you slowly deteriorate. Doctor after doctor washed their hands of me when they couldn’t find the problem. Eventually I took matters into my own hands and started to tweak my diet, becoming an early champion of the paleo way of eating. The digestive issues started to improve, the arthritis went away, my thyroid seemed to perk up. Life became a lot more enjoyable. However hangovers became the bane of my existence. They would often last for three days, but I was oblivious to why, so I drank, because that was the only time I felt free. I started passing out, having panic attacks and scary things happened with my heart that led me to A&E, twice. Like gluten, alcohol was removed from my life. Life became really quite dull. So I moved to Australia.
I spent my first year Down Under living in mouldy apartments. High temperatures, next to a large body of water, massive humidity and poorly built buildings. Mould is everywhere here, and it’s a silent killer. Just look at the tragic tale of Britney Murphy and her husband. I’m tuned into it, my local supermarket has a mouldy aroma near where the bottled water is, I hold my breath whilst walking through that section. The coffee shop with the wonderful-looking pastries that I can’t eat has a mouldy cover out front that makes me woozy if I stand there too long. There is a theatre in Newtown that I simply cannot go in. Like a canary in a coal mine, if mould is there, I’ll be able to tell you. The fatigue I’d largely eliminated with the gluten and alcohol bans came back with a vengeance. And then I got bitten by that spider, and all hell let loose. That insect bite put some sort of toxin in my body which was the final straw for my long suffering immune system. That was almost four years ago. I’ve written about it extensively on here before, I don’t need to go back over it. I’ve made peace with it. I’m bringing it up here for context.
Here I am today, with two decades of research into trying to find ‘health’. Whilst many of you have been off finding love, starting families, buying houses, focusing on your careers, I’ve been distracted with trying to find ways to feel well. I’ve covered it all off. I eat organic and grassfed, no sugar, nothing processed. I eat according to the body ecology diet, water in the morning, protein at lunch, carbs at night, I do regular fasts, I don’t drink, I’ve learnt how to de-stress, I practice yoga, I meditate at least twice a day, I walk a minimum of 10k steps a day, when I’m not fatigued I can run a 24 minute 5k, I do strength training, but not too much, I take my shoes off and ground, I take epsom salt baths on the reg. I learnt to do all this, because if I don’t, I can’t function, I get really ill. In the past year I also developed a spiritual practice, found unconditional love and the truth of life. and resolved the gigantic rift I had with my own past. I healed my traumas, I found the joy, the gratitude, the clarity, the oneness. Prana now runs through me and into others like lightning passing jumping from one metal rod to another. It’s so powerful that it scares me sometimes. I’m learning how to use it to heal others. Which is amazing, and ridiculous. Energy healing wasn’t even on my radar a year ago. That may be a bit too ‘woo woo’ for you, and that’s fine, but for me it is the diamond in the rough. The thing that enables me to find gratitude. Enables me to feel it was worth all the hassle.
And yet, AND YET, despite all this, I am still not in good health.
I have scoliosis. I was 27 when I found out that my back is slightly twisted. My left shoulder slopes down lower than the right. My neck carries my head slightly forward to balance it out. One of my pupils is larger than the other. My jaw hangs slightly more to one side. My nose points slightly to the other direction. My right hip is looser than the left. Subtle imbalances are displayed externally throughout my body, but I’m not vain enough to care. The real flaw lays inside my back. The spine is the support system for the muscular skeletal system, but it is also the home of the spinal cord. The nerves shoot out from the gaps between each vertebrae, regulating the function of the organs, the nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems. When scoliosis causes the spine to curve laterally and unnaturally it pinches those nerves and negatively affects the functioning of those systems. A prominent scoliosis support website says:
Accumulated stress. In milder cases, most scoliosis symptoms aren’t severe enough to impair the patient’s ability to function, but over time they can add up to a lot of strain on the body. On top of the emotional stress caused by the spine’s deformity, patients may endure chronic pain and fatigue, headaches, difficulty sleeping and digestive problems — all of which can sap vitality over time.
Amazing really, how reading a story about a runt in the litter, could lead to an insight so profound during a 4am meditation (I don’t sleep well).
This is important knowledge for me. It’s a massive part of the puzzle. It explains why I have not been able to find good health for the past 20 years despite trying so damn hard to find it. It explains why my body rejects foods which are mild stressors, like gluten, dairy, tomatoes, white potatoes or anything artifical or processed. It explains why I struggle to build muscle, and lose it quickly. It (partially) explains why my stress tolerance became low, why fatigue has been a problem. Why my body can’t clear mould toxins, or why that spider bite wrecked me. More than one doctor has told me that my physical ailments are all in my head, and to some extent I believe that was true. Undoubtedly childhood trauma and my parent’s divorce affected me in a profound way, but I realised this morning, in that meditation, that it was always destined to be this way. I wasn’t meant to live. Nature reminds me so every day. The intention was for me to die in my Mother’s womb.
What this realisation gives me is something beyond measure. I know now that I can give up my exhausting search for optimal health. It simply ain’t gonna happen. The thirty six and a half years I’ve had to date have been an unintended bonus. Any further days, weeks, months or years I’m gifted are a blessing. How incredibly freeing to realise that I don’t need to try so hard any more, or question why I don’t feel so great most of the time. Pain and suffering is my status quo. It’s time to accept it, manage it and move on.
There is a quote that says something like:
“A man with his health will have a thousand desires, a man who has not, has only one”
This is true for me. Everything in my life, especially in the last decade, has been of secondary importance to finding good health. It has dominated my existence. It is no surprise, although of course, of utmost disappointment, that I am single and without children. I am not the bachelor who revels in his single status. I have no interest in one night stands and casual flings. Ever since I can remember I’ve been craving a loving, fulfilling relationship, I just haven’t been able to find it, because I’ve been a little distracted, a little lost. The sexy, confident women I’ve been attracted to have no interest in man who is lost.
But what about if I accept my limitations? Stop fighting the pain? Stop trying to make a conventional life work for me? What then? Stephen Hawking only really flourished after his disease took away his physical body. What’s become really apparent to me is that I feel good when I’m moving my body a lot. When I’m out in nature, walking through the bush, swinging from trees, diving in the ocean, dedicated to my yoga practice. Away from the pollution and craziness of cities. I simply cannot spend forty hours a week at a desk bathing in man-made EMFs, artificial light and air conditioning anymore and expect to be ok. My body needs to be outside and it needs to be moving. If I want to live a long and happy life I need to cut the cord with the old life. To commit myself to Mother Earth. To Gaia. I don’t know how that will work, but it will.
The microbiome, normally inherited from our mothers as we pass through the birth canal, and so in my case disrupted upon birth by C-section, needs me to be outdoors. Caesarian babies are 10 times more likely to have asthma, 4 times more likely to have coeliac disease. Babies who do not pass through the birth canal suffer a blow to the development of a well functioning immune system. Is it any wonder that so many more kids have autism, behavioural issues and food allergies when elective C-sections are borderline fashionable? From my experience you simply cannot heal a damaged gut or rescue a failing immune system with sedentary lives, indoor gyms, offices, and 40-degree yoga studios. My body needs dedication to the practice. It needs space. It needs clean air, and food, and water. I need to go live out there. My gut has known this for some time, I’ve been thinking about it for a while. It’s time.
I’ve seen people holding on to nothing
Broken dreams and broken cords
Running on empty, losing sleep, oh
It’s true I’ve earned these cracks upon my feetWalk away from all that you know
Walk away and hold your own
Walk away and hold your ownAnd I’ve seen people holding on to something
Smiling with no place to call home
In you I see something so familiar, uh
My dear friend, so nice to have you homeXavier Rudd, Walk Away
That last verse gives me real hope, and you know what else gives me hope. That puppy. That puppy who wasn’t meant to live, but did, thanks to human intervention, and went on to live a long life. It was a life of pain and suffering, but you know what his owners said about that dog? They said he had more love in him than he knew what to do with. He gave that love freely to those blessed to be around him. He was a survivor. It seems to me I could learn a lot from that pup.
Maybe I was meant to live after all, but it’s a redundant question, it’s not worth pondering, because I am here, alive, and grateful to be here; grateful for the past; grateful for the present; grateful for the future, whatever it may bring.
And a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.
Final word: I have a facebook page I’d love for you to follow. I post links to the articles and smaller pieces I’ve written. There’s a link over there, go on, have a look and subscribe.