There is a proverb that says, “A person who is healthy has a thousand dreams. A person who is sick has only one.”
For many years after my daughter’s birth, I had only one dream: to feel well again.
Over the first few months after Mia was born, I became a person who was unrecognizable to even myself. I would literally sit in front of my bathroom mirror (usually in the darkest hours of night when I was unable to sleep) and stare into my own eyes wondering who I had become. I was exhausted, anxious, and terrified. I felt depleted and agitated at the same time. I couldn’t think clearly. What I always imagined would be the happiest time in my life was quickly transformed into my darkest days.
I had Hashimoto’s Disease.
I hadn’t felt like myself since I became pregnant and it only got worse after my daughter was born. My hair was falling out. I was riddled with night sweats and insomnia. I had no energy and no drive. I was a shell of my former self. (If it interests you, you can read my entire story in this blog post I wrote almost 2-years ago.)
My health (or sudden lack thereof) quickly became the only thing I could think about. More accurately, I obsessed about it. For months and months after my diagnosis, my days were consumed with taking inventory of my bizarre symptoms—and then dealing with the anxiety that consumed me as a result of them. Roy would return home from a long day of work and listen to me cataloging every detail of how bad I felt—All. Day. Long. It was exhausting and challenging, to say the least.
I knew I had Hashimoto’s—but I didn’t understand how this had happened to me and I felt ashamed that, despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t get better.
As we lit the candles on Mia’s 1st birthday cake…and then her 2nd…and then her 3rd, I silently wondered if she would ever get to know me—the real me. It had been so long that I wasn’t sure if I even knew the real me anymore.
I could still remember my former self—the driven business owner with a fulfilling career she started at only 23 years old; the friend who could sit and talk for hours and who loved to entertain; the young woman who felt excitement and passion about nearly every single thing in her amazing life and who, almost always, wore a genuine smile on her face.
But that was not who I currently was. I had given up my career and quit working completely when my daughter was 4 months old. I didn’t connect with most of my friends—I was literally too exhausted to talk any more than I needed to. I had lost my passion and drive and any desire for fun or excitement. I was difficult to be around. I was just trying to survive. I was praying that I would simply make it through one more day, scraping by while doing the bare minimum that my life required of me.
I wondered if the old me was still somewhere trapped inside. Mostly I feared that she was, but that she would never come back out. I did a lot of therapy and inner work to come to terms with this very real possibility. After all, I hadn’t been sick for days or weeks or even months—it had been years since I had truly felt like myself.
On one hand, I hate to think back to this time in my life because it was so excruciatingly painful. On the other hand, it is remembering this time and retelling my story that allows me to fully appreciate how far I have come.
Because this is the good part.
I just turned 40 on February 8th. It is milestone birthdays like these that cause most of us to reflect back and evaluate. And the truth is that after all I have been through, in most ways I feel better now than I have in over a decade! That’s a big statement to make—and I wouldn’t make it if it wasn’t true.
I feel better at 40 than I did throughout much of my 20’s and 30’s.
Physically, I feel amazing. I have so much energy, my brain feels sharp, and my mind feels clear. Emotionally, I feel connected, balanced, and at peace. I am happy and I feel inspired again.
And best of all, I am filled with dreams!
I catch myself bubbling with enthusiasm and creativity in a way that I hadn’t been able to do in so many years. I have countless ideas and opportunities I am passionate about and excited to embark upon.
And I am filled with gratitude. Every. Single. Day.
I didn’t think this would ever be possible for me again—and I imagine that there are some of you reading who may feel the same way. Because the truth is, my story is not all that unique. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people suffer from some form of thyroid disease, with women being affected significantly more often than men.
That is why I could not be more excited to share this amazing resource with you!
My friend, Dr. Izabella Wentz, is a patient advocate, researcher, clinician and educator. After her own diagnosis with Hashimoto’s, Izabella became committed to raising awareness on how to overcome thyroid disease—first through her best-selling book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause and now through her upcoming Docu-series, The Thyroid Secret.
I was so honored when Izabella asked me to be a part of this amazing documentary and share my information about healing thyroid disease from both a personal and professional perspective. Izabella interviewed 100 top thyroid and health experts as well as more than 50 thyroid patients for this incredible project.
Roy and I viewed (and loved!) every minute of The Thyroid Secret’s 9-episodes during its pre-launch, which is why we are so excited to finally be able to share this resource with our community!
The World Premiere of the Thyroid Secret begins on Wednesday, March 1st and is completely free to view for the 9-days while it airs.
You will see me in Episodes 1, 5 and 7 🙂
You can watch the trailer and reserve your “seat” here.
Are there women in your life who just don’t feel good…or feel exhausted all the time…or struggle with anxiety…or infertility…or weight gain or loss? Whether they have a thyroid diagnosis or not, this series could empower them to make huge changes in their health.
Please be sure to share this life-changing information with those in your life who may need it!
So glad that you viewed and enjoyed it, Heather!