Natural health in the trenches, Katherine Willow’s monthly diary

BY THE SKIN OF MY TEETH

When I first started writing this blog, I envisioned being an inspiration, with my natural lifestyle, good health (for my age) and cool tips from natural medicine.

It has been disconcerting to find myself hanging in by the skin of my teeth.

Over Christmas I relapsed into a contracted state of exhaustion, weakness and low-grade anxiety — for no reason.  It was as if I’d slipped into a younger version of myself when I was really struggling.  This is the result of taking a deep-acting constitutional remedy for my chronic terrors; part of real healing is removing layers of symptoms back to childhood. 

One clue that this is the case is an underlying optimism and hopefulness despite these old feelings; in previous times, there would be bottomless despair.  Another clue is that I was able to function despite the lows; when younger, my life would collapse around me. The best news is that the terrors are much decreased, thank you to our newest doc, Dr Veronika!

The vision quest outside over solstice was. . . cold.  I managed half of it and then came in, given that the heating system that I’d devised was only partially successful.  My lasting memories of the time are a combination of coming uncomfortably face to face with my pride (not the high spiritual insights I’d envisioned, hah), and a moment tending the fire when the clouds parted in a tiny area of sky to reveal the full moon before closing in again.  By the time of the total eclipse I was fast asleep in my warm bed!

The loud and clear message at the end of it all was to take better care of myself.  Again.  How humbling: a perfect antidote to my arrogant attitude of thinking I always know everything. . . grin. . . I also want to acknowledge the beautiful support given by Lise Lillian, who offered to hold space while I was out and helped me prepare and debrief.

Other than that, two year old Felix, who is still living with me, is flourishing, growing big and strong on his regime of raw milk, organic foods and exercise in the fresh air — he can now ride a sled down a hill by himself and pull it up again! And even better, he’s starting to take an interest in his potty!!  Best of all, his language is improving by leaps and bounds!!!  Can you tell I’m a doting grandmother?  He required a craniosacral session to fully heal his face plant off the couch and is going through the typical assertiveness of his age — which is teaching me new levels of patience and caring.

My 2011 resolution is no sugar for the year.  I was slipping into total indulgence over last fall; even if it’s organic, an excess of sweets still imbalances insulin levels, mood, energy and cognition.  Already my body and mind are starting to feel better and I’ve lost the excess weight on my belly.  Skipping sugar will help me focus on writing my book during this sabbatical — which I’m still totally enthused about and an opportunity for which I feel deep gratitude.  Spreading an understanding of German New Medicine is such a revelation for difficult diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, especially when combined with naturopathic medicine, and gives me a profound sense of meaning and purpose.

In conclusion, this rough phase is a natural part of healing decades of emotional and mental imbalance due to old traumas.  It is no secret that I garnered several psychiatric diagnoses over my past: schizophrenia as a teen that was cured by my homeopathic grandmother from Germany; borderline personality disorder, which I am gradually outgrowing; anxiety disorder, which is now so much less after decades of therapeutic efforts; a tendency to bipolar, which drives my usually patient and supportive coworkers crazy on occassion. . . .

It would go much more smoothly if I could remember to accept myself instead of always trying to achieve more in order to compensate for and avoid difficult feelings!!  However, I remain optimistic and am eternally grateful for all the people, tools and knowledge that allow me to continue to improve and learn things I can pass on to my patients. . . .

Hoping that this year of the rabbit will be a good one for your own healing, prosperity and relationships and I look forward to seeing some of you at our monthly open houses and events.

Hugs and handshakes,
Katherine