I’d like to say that I’ve dreamt of being an Herbalist all my life, but frankly that wasn’t my truth. Herbalism was given to me when I was struggling to find comfort within and around my body. At a very young age I struggled with amenorrhea, hormonal imbalances, food intolerances, gut malfunction, body dysmorphia, binge eating and ultimately being diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis at the age of 19. Rhabdo, for short, was a diagnosis that was hard to swallow because it could have taken my life. If you’re unaware of what Rhabdo is, it’s a muscle injury that results from the death of muscle fibers and the release of their toxic contents into the bloodstream. My urine was cola red, I couldn’t walk, I was in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life and I was the most extreme case my doctors have seen in their practice. Every single day I was swarmed by doctors amazed by my diagnosis, but it was absolutely terrifying for me. I remember crying to one of the nurses asking for reassurance that I wasn’t going to die because I was entering into kidney failure territory.
There’s a measurement called a “CK Level” that measures muscle breakdown, typically understood by athletes who train to break down muscles to then rebuild them. A normal CK Level measures 80-120, but mine reached well over 70,000ck. I received this muscle injury in both of my thighs from a one hour cycling class, but with my background in human anatomy and herbalism I later understood that my body was extremely weak before the cycling class, and this was just the tipping point. Fortunately I am walking again, my levels have stabilized and I can live normally, but there’s a lot that I can’t do with my body because of this injury but it’s taught me the value of life. The year following this injury I became incredibly depressed because I felt unsure about being in my skin, why this happened to me and why so severe because everyone goes to a cycling class at least once, right? With any good endeavour comes a story, and this is a big part of mine.
In addition to my Rhabdo, my depression lingered well before and after as I’ve struggled so deeply with my body and inhabiting it. It’s been a very long journey, still is some days, but it’s shaped me and my line of work. Despite my history with binge eating and not feeling home within myself, I knew I always had energetic gifts that allowed me to know that “this” thing called “life” is actually so much bigger than everything happening to me. In fact, none of this was happening to me, but for me; and it did take me years to finally come to terms with that because my past is my story, my story is my teachings and my teachings is my life purpose.