As with all transformation stories, mine starts in a dark place. My name is Anne, and I’m originally from an island in the South Pacific called Guam. Before my life and health took a turn for the worst, I was a regular woman – working, in and out of relationships, trying to find my place in the world. I lacked spiritual guidance. That’s when it all started going wrong for me.
In 1992, at age 24, I had my first ectopic pregnancy. At age 26, I was sitting across from my doctor.
“I’m sorry, Anne, but you’re not going to be able to have children.”
For me, as with most women, having children is the beauty of life. As women, we can create and bring life into the world; I had always dreamed of being a mother with unadulterated excitement and awe. Being told I was infertile hit me like a bus, a rush of cold air. Darkness grew within me that I didn’t know how to shift.
After my first ectopic pregnancy, my doctor performed a tubal ligation. For those who aren’t familiar, a tubal ligation is the surgical severing and tying of the fallopian tubes, resulting in sterilization. This was a life-threatening procedure for me at the time, but the doctor decided it would be best. Years after this decision, I hated this doctor for what he had done to me. I directed my anger, resentment and pain toward that doctor and my body. I hated my body, that it was sick, and that it was unable to create life or bring my own joy into the world. Because I felt useless and unempowered, the dark void within me continued to grow.
After this traumatic procedure, the medical appointments ramped up. By the end of 1994, I had two bowel obstructions, a ruptured ovarian cyst, a second tubal ligation, and a bowel resection that removed 26 inches of my bowel due to gangrene. I had another resection in 2000, removing a further six inches of my bowel. In 2004, I had my final surgery, a partial hysterectomy.
I spent these years in isolation in hospital beds with nameless doctors and medical staff, always treated as a problem, a victim, a sufferer. Powerless, I was constantly in severe pain – mental, physical and emotional. Unfortunately, my final procedure was not the end of my illness. In fact, it was the start of my new chapter, a chapter of fatigue, depression, low self-esteem, darkness and, of course, more pain.
As a result of my surgeries, my body began fighting itself. I suffered from chronic diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, chronic fatigue, severe anemia and multiple yeast infections, to name a few symptoms.
“Is this all that’s out there for me?” I wondered.
I constantly questioned my faith and mortality. Death was a prevailing threat I had come to terms with. Perhaps spiritually, I already had died.
My Path to Health
So I decided to change. I weighed 80 pounds, my marriage had ended, I had adopted my beautiful daughter and I had decided that now was the time. I wanted to be for my daughter what I could never be for myself: a strong, healthy, empowered woman.
“Screw conventional medicine,” I decided. All it had done was cause me harm.
Instead, I chose alternative and natural medicine, Eastern medicine, anything other than Western Medicine. This is where I started my life as a student, committed to holistic health, and set out on a path to learn, heal and transform.
I qualified as a yoga teacher, a Pilates instructor, a holistic fitness practitioner, energy healer and an essential oil educator. I learned and practiced tai chi, qigong, acupuncture, Ayurveda, myofascial massage, meditation, visualization and energy healing; everything I did was rooted in holistic nutrition, functional medicine and alternative therapies. Instead of masking my symptoms with drugs, I healed my symptoms with food, energy, spirituality, and connectedness. I learned to manage my stress, align my energy, and heal my body with food and herbs and, most importantly, I learned how to love myself.
In my healing period, I changed my diet in favor of whole foods and nourishment for the soul, adjusted my self-talk to be loving and motivating, altered my perspective in favor of positivity and faith, and practiced daily self-care. Only then did I become healthy. As a side effect, I also became a better partner, mother, friend, daughter, teacher, and student. I finally understood the essence of life, and my body was healthy enough to enjoy it.
Helping Women Like Me Choose Health
Twenty-six years later, I am still in my prime. I have committed myself to helping women who are like I once was find their voice – to become empowered, connected, strong. Like me, many women are constantly fighting against themselves and each other. It is my mission to help women find unity, self-love and true health. If you are struggling with your health or your voice, I am here for you.
I focus on the three sides of the triangle: digestion, hormones and breathing. Focusing on one or all of these things can help heal the majority of women experiencing these physical or mental battles. I am an accredited Buteyko breathing practitioner and holistic health specialist. With twenty-six years of self-guided learning about how to transform your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, I can teach you to elevate yourself and those around you. I understand the struggles of women and have experienced the darkest depths. We can all benefit from connecting more deeply. How do you show up in the world? Are you healthy? Happy? Balanced? Energized? If you’re struggling, I’m here to help you.
My vision is to heal the world by empowering people to master their whole health – mind, body and spirit – ultimately connecting to their authentic self and sharing their wholeheartedness with others. When that happens, the entire world is a happier, healthier and more peaceful place for humanity.
Article written by Anne Menik. Follow Essential Anne at www.essentialanne.com for more on looking, loving, and living healthier. She can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media by clicking here.