Simona’s Story about Graves’ Disease and healing
As one Cree storyteller said: Stories are Beings. You invite them to live with you. They will teach you what they know in return for being a good host. When they are ready to move on they’ll let you know. Then you pass them to someone else.
Stories will also sustain you in times of challenge, frustration, and failure and it will confront you in times of confusion, pain, and loss, as they do with me.
I am so happy to share this story with my dear readers! Below is the Simona’s story, and with her permission I am publishing it hereby. She sent it to me as a response to my article about Graves’ disease overweight that I recently wrote. I was touched by her story, because it resembles my own, to a very big extend. I know that I am not the only one who conquered Graves’ Disease, one or another way! I am not the only one who came out with more knowledge and understanding of what is this disease is all about. Enjoy reading!
10 years ago I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. I went to see my doctor after I’ve put on 10 kilos (~22 pounds) in the space of 2 months. I knew something was wrong, since I’ve always been very, very active, athletic, toned and never overweight. I was my doctor’s first case of someone gaining weight with an overactive thyroid. He thought the lab has made an error and re-tested.
The 10 kilos “stayed” with me for over 5 years and to all your readers – I don’t think there is much you can do until you sort out your life and your priorities one way or another. I believe it was my body’s self-preservation instincts at work. I was doing more things in a day that most “normal” people would do in a week. I was running a business, looking after a family and a household, I was studying, I was managing a few investments properties, I was looking after a big garden, I was entertaining, I was renovating and extending the house – all this at the same time and it had to be done perfectly… Since there wasn’t enough hours in a day, I stretched my waking hours to the max and slept for only 4 or 5 hours a day. I think it was my body’s way to make me stop and say – I am not doing this anymore – you go on without me – if you can that is.
It was depressing and I refused to accept it. It took a long, long while to accept myself as the “new” me. My hormone levels were 2.5 times the maximum. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t take a shower at the age of 35 – I couldn’t keep my hand up long enough to wash my hair and had to put a chair in the shower – only then did I realize – the weight gain was the least of my problems.
I had to accept that I am not well, that I have no energy to keep on doing all the things I used to do, take it easy and be kind to myself. I cut back my workload, I learned to ask for help if things were getting too much, I’ve learned to say “no” (this one is still a work in progress) and I’ve decided I loved myself more than ever before – after all there was 10 kilos more of me to love.
Only then did things go back to normal including my weight. I got rid of everything that was too much – including a chronically unhappy, bully of a husband – that did have a lot to do with things being a lot more normal and peaceful.
I am now the biggest procrastinator there is. I know tomorrow is another day and the sun will come up again – I don’t have to finish everything today. There can’t be anything that urgent to warrant a sleepless night (except a sick child).
I have put myself back in the center of my Universe and a day when I can wake up, have a shower and function is a very happy day. I am very grateful for everything I have and don’t need to push myself for anything else – just wake up, have a shower and be able to function – I will never allow myself to forget how nothing mattered when I was so unwell.
In Bulgaria there is a saying: “If someone says this job is urgent – sit back and wait – if it is that urgent – someone else will do it – if it hasn’t been done – it means it wasn’t that urgent to start with”. A psychologist told me that procrastination is your body’s natural instinct to avoid unpleasant tasks. It is not that bad when you think about it. Listen to your body! I hope that this can be helpful to your readers. Thank you for your informative emails. Take care.
In fact, I did recently published an article about hyperthyroidism and weight gain, with possible reasons and some suggestions. Feel free to check it out.
I also published some of the stories from “Life Stories for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism”, which we created together with other readers back in 2009 (check them below). If you are one of these people, don’t hesitate to email me an update about what happened to you for the past 4 years, I want to know! (Click on the book to learn more and get your own copy).
I’ll also be more than happy to publish your story, anonymous or not, regardless if it was successful or not yet, regardless if you went through RAI, thyroidectomy, medication or used natural methods to treat Graves’ Disease, Hyperthyroidism or Thyroid eye disease. People have to be aware of all different options for treatment and to know that there were other people in the world who went through the same problems. Share your experience, let’s help others too! Email me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if possible with your picture, if not, that’s still fine.
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