Five years ago I was given a unique opportunity to make a miracle happen. Five years ago I didn't know how deep my gratitude could reach and how much light and knowledge and truth could be mine. Five years ago I didn't yet know just how quickly my life could be turned upside down. And even at my own bidding! Because five years ago—in January 2010—I'd declared it the YEAR of HEALTH. Oh the irony. Sometimes it has to get pretty dark before the sun shines in again, but then, if you can wait it out and hold on with hope, it shines brighter than ever before. To get the health I desired I had to first be totally incapacitated. But at the time I didn't realize that my life was actually being flipped right side up.
Five years ago today I walked into a rheumatologist's office for the first time. She painted a picture of a life I didn't want. I wore orthotics and used a handicap parking pass. Sometimes I couldn't flip the blinker on or turn the gas cap of my car. I wanted more. I prayed for more. And I searched and searched until I got more.
Five years ago I was led like I've never been led. Friends, friends of friends, sisters of friends, coworkers of friends, and total strangers gave me the answers I didn't know were the answers.
Five years ago next month I went to lunch with Emily, and she told me about her grandpa with cancer who'd kept on living. I asked her endlessly, and she told me all she knew about choosing foods that were more alkaline—a 20/80 goal—to fuel my body with what it needed most in such a weak state. Plant-based and preservative-free. So I did what she said.
Five years ago I started listening. Listening to my body. Listening to my spirit. Relistening to the CDs of The Omnivore's Dilemma. And listening to the wisdom of people past and present. I remembered that I'd been told my whole life to "eat meat sparingly" and eat "every herb in the season thereof; and every fruit in the season thereof." Five years ago I started to eat real food—the stuff God made.
I am forever grateful for five years ago and everything in between. It has been a health journey. A health scavenger hunt. A test beyond all tests. I am grateful for my miraculous body, the drive to keep asking, the inspiration (i.e., partial insanity) to follow, and the amazing people along the way who have changed me forever—body, mind, and spirit.