My healing journey was trial and error! I don’t recommend everything I did early on in my recovery because I was still learning- and it was a steep learning curve! I now know much more targeted ways to go about the process of healing chronic illness and that is how I coach my clients. However, there are several things I did early on that were hugely impactful in my recovery, that I’ll share with you here.

  1. Getting completely sober. The first profound step I took in my healing was to stop using all substances and become sober. I had been struggling with problematic substance use for years, including a variety of drugs and alcohol, but because I was functional I had avoided facing my addictive tendencies for a long time. When my illness hit, I was no longer functional because of my symptoms, and I knew deeply that it was time to face my substance use habits. I completely eliminated all substance use and have maintained sobriety, particularly from alcohol since then. My nervous system has healed so much that the reasons I turned to substances in the past to cope are no longer relevant for me.
  2. I completely eliminated the sweet flavor out of my diet for a long period of time. Once I cut out refined carbohydrates and sugar I did not use non sugar natural sweet flavorings at all. I realized that I had a serious addiction to the sweet flavor and I needed to totally eliminate this flavor for a time to reset my palette. I did keep one serving of fruit in my diet daily for a period of time as a stepping stone, and eventually cut this out too.
  3. I addressed deep patterns of tension and trauma that had been trapped in my body as a major part of my healing journey, early on. I had been fighting against my chronic fatigue and dysautonomia symptoms for a long time- I would crash and have intense symptoms but I would try to keep pushing through. This completely burned out my nervous system and once I embraced a healing lifestyle I finally decided to completely change the way I structured and approached my days. I stopped trying to exercise, I stopped going out all the time, I cut down on work and pretty much all extra curricular activities. I spent my free time meditating, tremoring, and going to gentle yoga classes. This allowed my nervous system to start to restore and heal.
  4. I strictly implemented a low histamine diet for over a year to get my symptoms stable enough to embark on a deeply healing but higher histamine protocol that is GAPS. A whole foods, low carb, low histamine diet did not heal my symptoms, but it stabilized me enough and reduced my symptoms enough that I could manage my healing routines a little better. It took me a long time to get stable enough to transition into GAPS because I was having intense detox responses, had a solvent chemical exposure (paint fumes), and went through a huge break up. These all triggered my histamines, regardless of how strict my low histamine diet was.

These were some of the key things I implemented early on in my healing that allowed me to get to profound recovery in the years to come. These changes laid the foundation. You know in your heart of hearts, what these steps are for you. Are you ready to implement them? Check out my website home page to see my latest offerings.

About the Author
Jen Donovan completely rebuilt her life and career as a result of her experience with severe chronic illness. After finding no answers from conventional medical approaches, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of key mentors, found a path to healing.
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