This past year has been a trip—and then some. Without intentionally setting out to do so, I've ended some toxic relationships (which were mostly toxic because I was the one doing most of the work to maintain them). And, even though no one is independently wealthy over here, I decided to sever some professional ties (mostly because they weren't paying me even close to what I was worth).
As a result, I've had some moments when I've felt—beat. I mean that kind of exhaustion where if I slept 16 hours a day, it wouldn't be enough. I've also had moments when I've broken out into tears for no apparent reason and, let's not even discuss my bank account.
There's no doubt about it, in some ways, this season has had me feeling worse rather than better. And although I know I've made choices that truly are the best for me, it hasn't immediately felt that way.
However, what was going on in my personal and professional life isn't what helped me to pinpoint what was actually transpiring. It was actually something what went down with my body physically.
What My Candida Attack Revealed
If you've ever had a yeast infection before, you know there are really no words to describe how utterly annoying and uncomfortable it can be. Well, not too long ago, I had the triple threat (literally) of a yeast infection, a small eczema flare-up, and a bout of tinea versicolor—all at the same time. Hell on earth, I say. No exaggeration.
t had been so long since I had a yeast infection that I went to the drugstore to cop some Monistat. Not to knock the over-the-counter drug, but basically my body laughed at the cream. It was a complete waste of twenty bucks.
I was willing to bet good money that what I had going on was a fungal issue (I have a natural sensitivity to fungus). And since I'm not a fan of taking antibiotics (I try to avoid them if I can; besides, some infections are resistant to them anyway) and going to the doctor was going to cost a pretty penny, I decided to take matters into my own hands and treat matters holistically.
What I discovered helped me to see the silver lining in my not-so-little-little fungal attack.
Bad breath. Constipation. Breakouts. Mood swings. Insomnia. A low libido. If you make the time to check out "The Largely Unknown Health Epidemic Affecting Almost ALL Americans," you'll peep that reportedly "70 percent of all people are affected by Candida, a systemic fungal infection"—and a lot of the symptoms I just mentioned are indications that you might be one of those individuals.
Anyway, as I was reading up on just what candida is and does to our bodies (it's some pretty icky/scary stuff), I also looked up some natural ways to treat a candida infection (which is a form of a fungal infection).
Breaking all of what I discovered down is kind of its own article. Let me just say for now that antifungal herbs like garlic, turmeric, tea tree oil, Pau D'Arco, and Oil of Oregano are real game-changers. If you add to that some berberine and Yeast Fend (from The Vitamin Shoppe) and a mega-probiotic, I'd be floored if you don't start to feel much better.
Well, after you start to feel worse, that is.
What do I mean by that?
After I researched how all that was going on with me was interconnected and then I added those herbs (along with eating less sugar, drinking more water and taking my stress down a few notches) into my system, for a couple of days I was like, "What in the world is going on?!" I was more tired, had more discharge and itching, and even a few pimples. Uh-uh.
But then I happened upon a phrase known as the "healing crisis" and it's not only changed my life, but also my perspective on what I was going through - both internally and externally.
What My Physical Healing Crisis Is Teaching Me
Long story short, a healing crisis is defined as being "a temporary worsening of symptoms that occurs when the body is going through the process of healing itself through the elimination of toxins."
In the case of candida, as the cells die off, toxins are released into our system that result in us feeling worse (sometimes much worse)…first. That's because during a healing crisis, the symptoms aren't the things being addressed. The root of the infection is too. Maybe you've been consuming too much sugar, or have an underlying health issue, or you're not having enough antibiotics - whatever it is, the healing crisis is an essential part of resolving your concerns. So if you stay the course and are patient on your journey, you eventually end up feeling better than ever.
As I thought about the healing crisis on a physical level, it got me to thinking about many of the things that have been going on in other areas of my life.
Take my personal relationships, for example. Being basically co-dependent in so many of them was a lot like applying Monistat to a yeast infection. I was doing whatever I could to keep certain people in my life, but I was never really happy in those relationships. What was my root issue of that?
Well, for starters, I'm realizing that as a childhood abuse survivor, some of the boundaries that weren't taught to me as a child, resulted in me not setting healthy ones as an adult. Oh, but I'm doing that now (if you've never read Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't—chile, it will change your life!).
My relational healing crisis is teaching me that going-along-to-get-along is usually a "symptomatic way" of handling things. Choosing to value myself and not settle for less—across the board—is getting to the root of past patterns and problems.
And you know what? Just like things had to "die off" in my body for me to be physically healthy again, certain people, places, things, and ideas had to go as well for me to live my best life.
In order for me to get to where I know I need to be, life literally had to get worse before it could start getting better. But baby, I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and the gold at the end of the rainbow.
So, if it took having a health crisis to learn what a healing crisis is and why I needed to experience one, believe it or not, the candida was worth it.
Bottom line, if you've got to let some things go, even if it hurts, in order to be your best self, DO IT.
It will feel like a crisis at first, but there will be healing in it.
I promise you that.