The road to recovery doesn’t happen overnight, whether it’s of a physical or emotional kind. And, most of the time, those two things are intertwined. With God’s strength and guidance, I believe that healing and wholeness is possible. This has been my journey and truth be told, I believe that we all go through this journey in one way or another. I want this post to encourage you and remind you that you are the one and only person who can choose what you are going to do with what circumstances life has dealt you. And, I believe, wherever you are, with God, you can rise above and be stronger than you were before. But, it starts with a choice. One day at a time.
For two years, I battled adrenal fatigue. Due to an extremely traumatic situation and ongoing emotional trauma in my personal life, my body started breaking down. I shared a small piece of this in my devotional, Through The Morning Fog. It was during the foggiest time of my life that I found a strength that I didn’t even know was possible. But, it was several foggy months before I made a step towards becoming stronger. During that season of life, my body couldn’t function like it used to. From hair loss to weight fluctuation to brain fog to battling vertigo, my body was not getting stronger. I went to bed exhausted. I woke up even more exhausted. Some nights I would be out with friends, and by 6PM, my entire face just felt drained. Due to ongoing emotional trauma, different parts of my body began to no longer function. I stopped running for the first time since a high school injury took me out of cross country for a season. Having grown up in a triathlete’s home and being athletic all my life, it was hard for me to accept that my body was not where it needed to be. I had to admit that I was unhealthy. And, I felt so disheartened. This is what emotional trauma does to the body. And, this is why, when we are experiencing more stress in our personal lives that we MUST take care of both our mental and physical health. The body, mind, and spirit are all connected to one another. If one is not healthy, the other will suffer. So, what do you do when you can’t change your circumstances? How do you fight for your health when your entire world is crumbling all around you?
When it comes down to it, mindset is everything. It can be so easy to become a victim to our circumstances. As a survivor, I know what it’s like to live with a victim mentality. You can be a survivor, but still have a victim mentality. Yet, this is my plea. You can be a survivor AND a victor. It starts by changing the narrative in your own mind. It starts by stopping the thoughts that say, “I can’t do this or be this because of x, y, z.” No one is stopping you. The only one who is stopping you is you. Your health, God meant for you to have. Your mind, a healthy mind, God meant for you to have. Your happiness, God meant for you to have. Your heart, put together and whole again, God meant for you to have. One of the best things we can do is surrender what we can’t control over to God and then focus on what we can do to get help and get healthy. The hardest and scariest step is the first step. When you’ve been physically or emotionally unhealthy for so long, it can be so hard to take that first step to getting the help you need, whether it’s through therapy, medical guidance, or nutritional consultation, fill in the blank. But, it’s the bravest decision you could ever make.
Post-trauma, I took steps towards recovery. And, let me say this, recovery does not happen overnight. Anyone who has been through a physical injury knows this to be true. It takes small victories to recovery. So, celebrate those small victories. From seeking out medical advice, a nutrition specialist, and slowly getting back into my running shoes, I began to recover. One day at a time. It took about a year of recovery. Recovery takes time. It requires patience, determination, and a mindset that chooses not to look at what’s behind you, but what is ahead of you. I write all of this to say that I know that in our world today, the past few months have brought a lot of stress into people’s lives, and whether you realize it or not, your body might be internalizing that stress. It can begin to wear down your body, long before you even realize it. Your mental health is so important and it is linked to your physical health. You can’t take care of one without taking care of the other. Whatever you have to do to take care of your mental and physical health, do it. If you need to unplug, if you need to get an accountability partner, if you need to see a doctor, if you just need someone to talk to, find that next best step. Just like I said before, you are the only one who can make that choice. For you.
I am so thankful that I took those steps towards recovery. I am also super grateful for adrenal fatigue supplements (ha) and professional guidance, but most of all, I am so thankful that when I didn’t know what the next best step was, I could put my trust in God. You are never alone. Not for one single moment. And, this truth, on both the good and bad days, is the most beautiful truth that we can hold onto. So, when you see me in a pair of running shoes and you can’t understand why I love running so much, I’ll tell you this. Running was part of my recovery. For two years, I struggled to do the one thing that I loved and had been doing since I ran my first 5K at 9 years old. But, now, I am able to run again. It’s been a journey to get to where I am today and whenever I lace up my shoes and wrap KT tape around my knee, I can’t help but smile. When I run, I’m reminded of the blessing that it is to have my health. When I run, I remember that it’s not about the finish line, but it’s about focusing on the journey, one step at a time. Sometimes, when we are going through stressful times in our lives, we naturally do one of two things. We either give up or we try to run someone else’s race instead of our own. The best thing you can do is slow down, silence the voices of those who are around you and remember that God has not called you to run someone else’s race, but to run your race. With God, you are unstoppable. With God, you are strong and courageous. With God, wholeness is possible. With God, healing is yours. With God, restoration becomes apart of our narrative. Victory belongs to Jesus. When my running shoes hit the pavement, I am reminded with each step that I get to declare victory. I pray that wherever you are in your own journey that you are reminded that nothing is impossible for our God. And, that this is not the end of your race.