2 Contrasting Psychological Approaches to The Frustrations of Having Hashimoto's
Thyroid disease, whether it is hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's, or Graves, affects patients in two contrasting types. I have been both types, and I want to empower you through my own healing journey of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis to find the courage and permission to heal yourself.
Now I want to make something very clear today. There is no right or wrong way to heal from a chronic illness. The only way is your way. All that matters in the end is that you do find that healing. Which way will you choose to heal yourself?
I want to offer a message of hope, raw and sweet, flowing from my heart to yours because I know. I've been where you are. I've walked this road, and now I beckon you to follow because you are going to be okay.
If you are reading this because you have a loved one that suffers from thyroid disease, stay tuned because I will be sharing my biggest advice on how to support them at the end of this list. You do have the power to influence their healing in a positive way.
In this list I describe the 2 contrasts in my own words. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis has changed me for the better. I was a very different person then compared to the person I am today.
Throughout my personal Hashimoto's Thyroiditis journey I have learned to give myself permission:
1. I gave myself permission to heal no matter how long it took instead of being rushed.
The questions came fast and hard, pelting me like hail. What was I going to do now? When would I be able to go back to 'normal' life? I felt invaded by more than an autoimmune disease, but I decided that I mattered more than the unrealistic expectations I was doomed to fail. When I released myself from meeting them; I found healing freedom.
2. I gave myself permission to own my own health instead of being owned.
I have a voice. My body has a voice. I gave myself permission to listen to my own body. When I listened, I allowed my body's whisper to drown out the noise of other voices. I listened to other voices only when they matched the whisper of my body, and the Creator who made my body. For me, this meant including adaptogenic herbs and other holistic alternatives in my protocol.
3. I gave myself permission to be a survivor and not a victim.
I am not a victim, and I refuse to be victimized. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis did not change my identity or the essence of who I am. I am a survivor. This brings me to my next point about focus.
4. I gave myself permission to focus on the light and not the darkness.
I fought against Hashimoto's Thyroiditis for a long time. I didn't want that label. I was afraid it was going to define me as a person so I remained in a place of denial. That denial exhausted me more than the disease itself. I finally came to the place where I realized I could accept my condition and deny it the ability to define me at the same time. When I gave myself the permission to move forward; I gave myself a different mindset: a mindset of positivity. That focus on positivity has carried me a long way. Research from UC Berkeley actually indicates that positivity has an anti-inflammatory effect.
5. I gave myself permission to be messy and not perfect.
I gave myself permission to have messy days. I gave myself permission to struggle because my own expectations were unhealthy. Most importantly, I gave myself permission to let others see me struggle. My brokenness let in a light that I would never have seen otherwise. It gave me a perspective through which I view all of life in a much healthier way.
6. I gave myself permission to stand out instead of fit in.
My illness made me stand out. I gave myself the permission to belong in a world that screamed I was a failure because I didn't meet the status quo. Yes, my Hashimoto's detoured me from the path I wanted to be on, but accepting it has allowed me to move forward. I acknowledge today that Hashimoto's Thyroiditis has made me a better person. It has given me empathy, compassion, and a sense of personal empowerment because I am overcoming it one step at a time.
7. I gave myself permission to trust my body instead of doubting it.
I didn't want to trust my body again, but I chose to trust my body in spite of the sense of betrayal. I know that if I had not stopped and listened to the symptomatic warnings that I might not be here today.
8. I gave myself permission to rest instead of fighting.
My faith has carried me through when sheer strength of body, will, and spirit failed me. I know it is because I believed in a Power higher than myself. I trusted the One who created my body to create in me a place of healing, and Jesus has led me to every healing step. Because of Him, I can say today that I've experienced countless victories over Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
To those with a loved one with thyroid disease:
If you are reading this because you know someone who suffers from thyroid disease, I encourage you to swallow the pity and offer them the gift of belief. The knowledge that you believe in their ability to heal will be healing in and of itself. People with thyroid disease are already struggling to trust their body again, and the last thing they need to hear is doubt.
To those with thyroid disease:
What it all boils down to today is a choice you are brave enough to make. You've had the bravery to face your diagnosis, and you possess the courage to overcome that diagnosis.
Are you the rushed, owned, victimized, darkened, frozen in the spotlight, doubtful, and tired of fighting type? Choose to be the type that gives yourself permission to heal, own your health, be a survivor, to focus on the light, to be messy, to stand out, to trust your body, and to rest in faith. From one thyroid disease survivor to another I just want to say that I believe in you, and I believe in your body's ability to heal itself. Above all else, I hope you choose hope today because you are an overcomer.