Diet and exercise are often considered the cornerstones of healthy living. Even with the importance of sleep and eliminating smoking added to the mix, there is still much more involved.
My diet was not healthy. Years of frequenting a fast-food drive through between my job and the nursing home saw to that. Hungry after a hectic day of teaching, I would consume the hamburger or hot dog, fries and diet coke—just as I arrived at my mother’s care center. With any luck, I got there just as her meal was served. Bedridden and a prisoner within her own body, Mom was unable to feed, dress or clean herself. And I tried to be there for her.
My main exercise was walking my dogs and playing badminton with my students. My life revolved around teaching, caring for my mother and my dogs. Often I felt exhausted, achy and unfocused.
After years in a nursing home, my mother passed. Then my pains, sleep deprivation and brain fog escalated; as did my attempts to find out what was wrong with me. Finally, largely through a process of elimination, I received a diagnosis. The invisible illness destroying my life was fibromyalgia.
Unable to teach, I was eager to embrace the help offered by the medical profession. So I traveled up and down on the medication merry-go-round. Nothing helped: not the prescriptions, supplements, therapies nor diets and exercise programs. Nothing helped. And I continued to get even sicker; until I was unable to look after my home, dogs or myself. It was then I met Joy of Healing founders, Andrew and Tamara Overlee.
Joy of Healing’s unique mind, body, spirit wellness work helped me put the shattered pieces of my life back together. At last, I had a diet and exercise program geared to meet my body’s needs. Because of this and their special energy work, my body started to heal.
However, the Overlees were not finished with me yet. No one, not the physicians, nor psychiatrists and counselors had ever helped me identify and resolve the issues in my life that kept resurfacing. My fears and insecurities, anger and jealousy were still there—hiding under my façade. I still hoarded my feelings; much like I hoarded my possessions. I still liked control. I was the master manipulator; but I still lacked confidence and a sense of my own self worth.
Thanks to Joy of Healing, I have faced and resolved the issues that were keeping me sick. At last, I am proud to share who I am. There are no more dark secrets in my life, no need to hide or mislead. I realize the only one I can control is myself and the only one I can change is me.
I will forever be grateful to Joy of Healing for giving me back my life—renewed and full. While diet and exercise are cornerstones to healthy living, wellness is truly physical, emotional and spiritual.