© 2013 jen

What Health Has To Offer: A Year Of Healing & Dreaming

2013 was a big year of learning for me. I learned that I’m so much stronger and at the same time so much more fragile than I had ever imagined.

I won’t get into all the details, but the gist of it is that all the dietary changes necessary to manage my celiac disease released an unbelievable amount of toxins into my bloodstream from a lifetime of sickness and made me seriously ill. It’s taken me most of this year to get a handle on my health and although I’m still not 100%, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. (Then again, who is 100% healthy?)


True health – no more pretending, no more white-knuckling it with forced willpower. No more trying to keep up. Just doing what I can today and every day getting a little stronger.

I never knew how much more I could receive with a healthy body. I wasn’t aware of the bounty that health offers.

I didn’t know that waking up in the morning feels different when you’re healthy. I used to feel this almost buzzing feeling throughout my body the second I awoke, and it propelled me to get up and get moving. I managed the feeling, which often led to an anxious feeling with a morning run. Now I wake up feeling calm. I wake up and think that getting up and lying in bed are equally awesome.

I’m not in a hurry like I used to be. I’m just living.

I used to feel these inner battles. Two mes, that were fighting for ownership of my body. One me that always felt like the true me, who is optimistic and thoughtful, and another me who was so frustrated and hurt. I had no idea that most of the frustration and hurt I was feeling was really old stuff that was confounded by the food I was eating, which was damaging my body and leading to malabsorption of nutrients. I think my body knew I was sick and was sending me messages all the time in the form of poor immunity, anxiety, depression, and anger. It’s just that I wasn’t really listening. I might find a remedy in the moment, but I wasn’t looking at the deeper issue: the food I was eating was killing me.

I still have an internal conflict from time to time, but it’s usually about something mundane. Will I get up the energy to run that day or will I be lower energy than that? Will I have a second gluten-free treat? Normal daily thoughts and then a contrary thought. But nothing like the inner wars I used to feel.

The result is that there is more time for just being. Feeling truly content – I never knew what it even felt like until recently. It is like living a different life. A second life.

I’m surprised by how much my diet has changed my awareness.

I feel so much more alert. Like I’m seeing things in a whole new way. Like life and everything in it is so much more beautiful and tenuous than I’d imagined.

I feel an interconnectedness with everything – like I want to protect and cherish it all. Every ounce. Every minute. Every being.

Here’s the strangest, and maybe the most miraculous, change this year: I started dreaming again – or remembering my dreams, to be more accurate.

Not hopes and dreams, I’ve always had those. I mean real dreams that happen at night while you’re sleeping.

For a big chunk of my life, I did not remember my dreams.

After talking to my nutritional therapist, I learned that this is common when you have an extreme vitamin B deficiency. From my reading I’ve found out that various sleep disturbances are common in undiagnosed celiacs.

As a child, I had night terrors. I would wake up screaming. The world of sleep didn’t feel very safe to me, and then I lost it all. No more dream recall past about 21 years old. Nothing. Totally silent sleep, which was better than being terrified, at least.

Recently I’ve been making up for some very lost dreams. I’m dreaming in vivid, clear images and sounds that are often surprisingly productive and inspiring. I’m dreaming all sorts of things, but the wildest part is that I’m often dreaming in strumming patterns. I wake up and grab my ukulele to cement the memory and what’s stranger is that if I can dream it, then I seem to be able to play it. It’s like I am practicing in my sleep!

Last week I woke up from a dream in which I had been drawing a really elaborate design. I haven’t drawn since I was a kid and never really made it past stick figures. I’m not a two-dimensional artist. All of the work I’ve ever done is 3D and mostly fiber-related arts. I woke convinced that I can draw! I need to test this theory still, but I’ve been too busy with the holidays.

2013 was hard and there are many aspects that I wouldn’t want to repeat, but getting back lucid, colorful, memorable dreams that seem to translate into my real life has been wonderful!

A good friend of mine told me that she’s convinced I’m being visited by angels in my sleep, and they are revealing my gifts to me in dreams. I like the imagery of that. Let’s just say that however it’s happening, it has been great.

2014 is the first year of my life that I’m entering with true health.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me and what I can share with you in life and here on my blog in the coming year!

Take care of yourself!

Much love,