I know some of you are struggling with your health right now and I know first hand just how hard that is. I know what it feels to be hopeless, dying, and without answers. I wanted to put together a few elements of healing that I personally have found to be absolutely essential to moving onwards and upwards. I hope these help y’all! heart emoticon 1. Try it all! Be open to treatments that might seem unlikely, doctors who seem “alternative”, and paths that seem less taken. It was through these avenues that I learned the most, especially through my own research. 2. Surround yourself with those who support you. This means it might be time to cut off relationships with those who do not take your illness seriously, or who do not value your healing. You are worth more. 3. Do not compare your journey to others’ unless it helps you in a positive way. Comparison is the thief of joy when you are struggling the most. 4. Be your own advocate. Nobody will care about your health as much as you do – fight for proper treatment, even when practitioners doubt you. I was told I needed a gym and a therapist when I was at my sickest by a doctor. I needed neither! 5. BELIEVE you will be better than your worst. Visualize being healthy and what that “looks” like, even if you have been sick for years. If you believe you will be sick forever, you just might perpetuate that. 6. Find a distraction. This blog was started when I was still at my sickest. I needed to redirect my energy from support boards of suffering and despair and channel that energy into something positive. I chose to stop talking about my symptoms all day long (and trust me they were big and scary, think brain swelling, vertigo, confusion and more) and start creating something that could help myself and others. 7. Find a way to laugh and smile every.single.day even when you are in pain, even when you are trapped in bed. You must, especially when it is the hardest to do so. 8. Feed your body what it needs to be whole. Don’t let ANYONE tell you that food doesn’t affect your ability to heal or play a major role in your immune system. It does. Food is powerful. 9. Love yourself. Love yourself when you feel horrible, look horrible, and feel worthless. You are worth so much more than a stupid affliction. Tell yourself how lucky the world is to have you around. 10. Do not become your illness. It is fine to be an advocate and to help create change in the world for research or whatever you believe is needed. But you are way for fantastic than your affliction, and becoming it can sometimes create the opposite of what you are hoping to achieve. Be more awesome than the color ribbon that reflects your illness. Be bigger than that label! Bonus: Be patient. Healing doesn’t take hours or days. It is a process. It took me YEARS and I am still a work in progress. Most people didn’t get sick overnight (even if it felt that way), it takes time to get to the worst point of your illness, and takes time to climb back out of that pit.