Chickadee Says: I Am Not Invincible. Hello Adrenal Fatigue.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Am Not Invincible. Hello Adrenal Fatigue.

Hello Darlings,

I am not invincible. It seems ridiculous, but for me acknowledging the truth of that statement was a bitter pill to swallow. I like to think that I was doing everything ‘right.’ I’m a Whole Foods loving, kombucha drinking yogi with a sweet tooth and cheese habit. I’m really in-tune with my body, and fuel it with intention- even if sometimes that intention is ‘quench my grease craving.’ I thought if I kept my physical body in tiptop shape that I could do no wrong. Apparently, that’s not the case.

Looking back I can’t pinpoint the exact date when I knew something was off, and to be honest I wasn’t in a place to even notice that something didn’t feel right. Instead I barely gave myself the space or the time to breathe. I was so focused on the many hats I wore, yoga instructor, IT contractor, small business owner, blogger, dog mom, friend, daughter that every day was scheduled down to the minute. To-do lists were handfuls of pages long and sleep was a luxury instead of a necessity. After quitting Corporate America I needed to prove to myself and to my family (my requirement, not theirs) that I had made the right choice by leaving expectation and jumping into sensation. Unfortunately, proving yourself to yourself is the hardest thing to do, and it definitely doesn’t help that I have some incredibly brilliant friends who’re doing amazing things all over the world to judge myself by.

A photo posted by Kait Welch (@chickadeesays) on

Months pass and I’m still going full tilt. I’m burning the candle at both ends, striving to create the life that I’ve imagined and am incredibly impatient for. Slowly things start to break down. I made excuses for what I was feeling, my unstable emotions? Oh, just PMS. Inability to sleep? Too much on my mind. No big deal. I blamed myself for feeling rundown, that it was failure, lack of drive, an inability to succeed. It was all in my mind, buck up kiddo. I went to the gym, worked out and then could barely walk home, then would literally pass out sitting up attempting to work and wake up hours later with my pups licking my face making sure I was okay.I thought getting a FitBit might help me take control of my health. I had to weigh myself for the calorie counter and I noticed that I’m 20 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been. Blamed it on stress. And then I noticed that the device said my resting heart rate was in the high 80s/low 90s and I woke up or was restless an average of 30 times a night. I straight up told myself my wristband was broken. Little did I know.

Then, one day I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I had taken a look at my to-do list and said fuck it, excuse my French, and an Elephant Journal article popped up: ‘5 Ways That Having Adrenal Fatigue Improved My Life.’ Immediately it resonated. I started doing some research and noticed that every single one of my ‘what the hell is wrong with me’ symptoms was a known issue with adrenal fatigue. Adult acne, oversleeping and still being incredibly tired throughout the day, anemia, weight gain, hormone imbalance, night terrors, anxiety attacks, depression, the list goes on. I was in shock, everything that I thought I was causing in my head was the physical implications of my go, go, go attitude.

I immediately called my Naturopath, who coincidentally is my mother (seriously the woman has about a zillion letters after her name, TND, MH, MIr, NP, and the list goes on- it is very convenient) and explained what I had read. She put on her doctor hat and we had a consultation and we ultimately ended up agreeing on a diagnosis. Now, in the traditional medicine world Adrenal Fatigue isn’t “real.” It is hard to pinpoint, and blood tests need to be incredibly sensitive to pic up on tiny hormonal clues. In traditional medicine, you don't need to listen to your body but instead to the tests, and quite frankly, that doesn't work for me. Instead, they can give you a laundry list of other ailments and disorders that cause the same symptoms- seriously don’t look Adrenal Fatigue up on WebMD, it will tell you you’re dying of strange diseases most of the population hasn’t even heard of. But, in the alternative/natural medicine world (which I most definitely have both feet in) it's real, and treatable using natural methods.

Essentially, what has happened to my body is that after an incredibly long period of time of high stress without a break, my body was so tired of maintaining a constant state of fight or flight, that my adrenals were over worked and stopped producing the correct amount of hormones leading to an incredible imbalance and my page long list of symptoms I checked off. I was stuck in a constant state of panic and my body couldn't figure out how to regulate it so it fought me on everything.

A photo posted by Kait Welch (@chickadeesays) on

I am now on a regiment of supplements, herbal medicine, and the like (I’m not going to list them here, as everyone’s body is different- talk to your naturopath!) and am starting to feel better already. I also took a step away from life to kick start my healing. If you follow me on Instagram, remember my impromptu trip to Aspen? That was my ‘leave my computer behind give me space to breathe’ trip.

To finally get to my point, for all of you lovelies who have asked where I’ve been, I needed to take a step back from some of my responsibilities to give my body the rest it needed and blogging was the first to go. However, I’m slowly making my way back into the blogging world, which I love so much, so be on the lookout for lots of fun things to come. And to my friends who I’ve accidentally stood up because I’ve slept through plans, or straight up didn’t have the energy to move, I am so sorry. I love you all and can’t wait to get back to the chipper, energizer bunny of a yogi I’ve always been!

Take care of yourselves everyone, listen to your body, and give yourselves a break. You deserve it.

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