Everyone has a story. Scars. Badges of honor. Most people have a story of inspiration attached to them- even if they don’t know it. Triumph, tribulation, tragedy…. I like to urge everyone I meet to tap into their most important, life changing, deepest, (sometimes their darkest) times and search for that inspiring story – the story where you lost the weight, won the race, earned the promotion, got the girl, overcame an illness, survived a tragedy, walked into a fire, saved someone, beat addiction, battled your fears or any piece of your life that someone else could relate to and use to build their own strength. I have met  many,many people who are ashamed of their stories. People who are scared to share, embarrassed of what others may think. While I can understand that fear, I have high hopes that stories like mine encourage others to share their own. It is my wish to inspire others to never give up, to listen to their instincts and to share their experiences.

After the birth of my second baby, I became very ill. I was misdiagnosed, mistreated and mis-medicated. I was miserable. I was scared. I was sick. I was beat down and broken. I was nearly insane…. But I survived. I never gave up. I got better. I fought. I made it and now I thrive. I am better because of my faith, my will to live and because I never gave up. I researched night and day to find what the doctors were missing. They told me I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I knew I did not. I had lost 30 pounds in 30 days. I was violently ill. Shaking. Vomiting. Spinning. Pain. This went on for months. I saw numerous specialists. I purchased extra life insurance. I wrote goodbye letters to my children and family. I was preparing for the worst although I never stopped searching for answers.

And one day I found it. I compiled a list of 10 tests I wanted done. Ten diseases, syndromes and possibilities that may be my ailment. The doctor reluctantly did the testing, although he swore that none of these were my sickness. He was positive I was postpartum. I knew better. When the results finally came back, the doctor had no words. Epstein Barr positive. Lyme disease positive. Celiac disease positive. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin D3 deficiency. Imagine the shock. Imagine the relief. Of course these are not easily fixed ailments. I couldn’t just take a Z-pack and call it a day. At least I had answers. At least I had hope.

I became obsessed with nutrition, food, retraining my brain and eventually fitness. Food and prayer became my medicines. I slowly got better but It took nearly 2 years for me to feel like myself again. I am not ashamed of  my story. I am not scared to tell it. People need to hear experiences like mine so they can regain their hope. Our stories and experiences give others hope. That is why I share it. It is a badge of honor, not something to be embarrassed by.  I urge everyone to share their stories and be proud of their scars. Without our experiences, good and bad, we would not be who we are today.

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