How long have you been hiding?
Hiding who you are?
What you have done?
What you have been through?
For me I have hidden my illness, which was back in 1995. I was 36 years of age and I had a cancerous lump in my pancreas.
During this time my children were five and seven years of age. They did not know their mum was ill and, for that matter, neither did their father. I hid it, to protect myself and to soldier on. Soldiered on so as not to have the attention of being a sick person. Soldiered on to take care of my family. Soldiered on to keep the household going.
But at whose expense did this happen? My expense at not having extra help in life and home. My family’s expense at not having a wife and mother coping with her duties. The expense of not living my life to the full.
I hid myself and my illness and my health to me. Not even my husband understood or knew. He worked hard and didn’t need to know – until one day I just could not get the dinner together. I felt sick all the time, I imagine like morning sickness. Sick and tired that I just could not get the dinner together. I felt it was my responsibility to prepare the meal and take care of our home. But this one day I was over it all and I had to ask for HELP from him to buy some food for our dinner.
I can remember when I asked him to do that, I told him I wasn’t feeling well, to which he replied that I should have let him know. My comment back to him was that he would be broke by now if he’d have bought dinner every time I felt sick.
There are times we all hide things or feelings but these feelings and my illness have made me the woman I am today.
I was thin, tired, and felt sick all the time. I didn’t live my life very well. My self-esteem was nonexistent and I was withdrawn from others. I guess you could say I was a recluse. On saying that, at this time in my life I would go and sit with an old lady who had Parkinson’s disease three times a week for four hours at time. After every visit I would go home and lie down to rest and repeat the bible verse:
But those who trust the lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.
This quiet time would help me have the energy to collect my children from school and to do the next shift of my daily life. During all this time I regularly visited my homeopath who helped me improve my health. As well, I spent many hours considering and learning ways to help my health with herbs from my garden and reflexology. I came to understand what I needed to know to help my health improve. I can remember my homeopath saying I needed to travel to the Gold Coast, which was an hour’s drive away, to see a practitioner there. But I said I didn’t have the energy to do that. I had to accept that she would help ME.
Obviously, and despite a possible disastrous outcome, I got through it all. Here I am today – the healthiest I have ever been, even running two half marathons at the age of 52 and 53!
As I sit here considering, what have I learnt from being so very ill?
My biggest understanding and gift is that I did not nourish myself before my lump in my pancreas. Nourishing myself by taking time out to care for myself. Learning to stop to take care of myself. Giving myself permission to have time out to do something special for me or to spend some money on myself. None of these activities needed to be big, but I did not see that I could do any of them for me.
I was nurturing everyone else but myself.
But why was I doing this? And why was nobody stopping me?
Was it I didn’t have the time?
Was it I didn’t care about myself?
Was it I didn’t know how to look after me?
Was it I didn’t have the money?
I understand now that it was all these beliefs, but most of all it was that I didn’t care about myself. As I said my self-esteem was very low, not helped by my 4ft 10, small, petite build. I was always a determined person, despite my thoughts – or had my parents told me? – I’m really not sure – ‘She is only small she can’t do that.’ I don’t know, but my height has impacted my beliefs in my past, making me feel insecure and insignificant.
This is the start of my/Charmaine’s Health Journey.
Please note, this is not a reflection or blame on anyone – it is only expressing how I felt in my past.
So now you know my story, what is YOURS and what can you do about it today?
If you’d like to start caring about yourself and start your journey to health, you can contact me and my wonderful team of ladies at my Banksia Women’s Healing clinic on Ph: 3351 4691.