Hashimoto’s hurts, and it doesn’t just hurt our bodies. What makes autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s so insidious is that they can impact every facet of our lives. We’re not just struggling physically – we’re also dealing with exhaustion, mood changes, and the feeling that loved ones and colleagues just don’t get what we’re going through.
That being the case, it’s very easy to latch onto the idea that if we follow the advice of a health guru to the letter or follow this or that plan religiously that remission will be the end result. So we try to do one or both of these things and inevitably slip up because we are human beings and then give up because we are discouraged. Or we do manage to stick with a plan but we don’t see the kinds of results we were promised and the end result is the same because autoimmunity is a highly personal condition. Some of us even get discouraged because we find we feel better when taking medication but feel like we shouldn’t have to!
Great… we don’t just have an autoimmune disease… now we’re failures on top of it. Ouch!
Really, it’s so tempting to think that if only we could eat exactly this and sleep exactly this much and take this exact blend of supplements and let go of all our stress and find the best practitioner, THEN we could finally stop taking medication and get better. And it’s doubly to fall into the trap of chasing perfection because we all want to believe there’s a formula for reversing Hashimoto’s. If there is a formula, all we have to do is follow it to the letter and health will follow. And then once we’ve achieved wellness, we can get back to living our lives.
But there are a few problems with that kind of thinking!
First, as noted above, perfect health is an illusion. You can follow this or that eating plan and still have flare days. Your lab tests may look normal but you have a string of super low days. Bottom line: You can even achieve remission and your health still won’t be perfect – whatever that even means! So focus on what you can control, like what you put into and on your body.
Second, you are living your life right now. This is it. Whatever you’re feeling at the moment is part of your journey and what you have to work with currently. Hashimoto’s can definitely make doing some things tough (maybe you have to wait a few years to cross certain items off your bucket list) but that doesn’t mean your whole life is on hold. Don’t wait to do the things you want to do, just find new ways to do them.
Third, medication is going to be a part of some people’s Hashimoto’s journeys. There are lots of amazing natural ways to treat Hashimoto’s and for some people, a natural approach to healing can help them achieve remission. But for others, a truly integrated approach to healing is what’s necessary and that is totally okay. How great is it that we live in an age that puts so many healing modalities right at our fingertips? Embrace that!
And finally, perfection is the enemy of doing your best. Attaining perfect health with Hashimoto’s is a big, scary goal. Focus on waking up and drinking a cup of bone broth or meditating for 15 minutes before bed or buying natural kitchen cleaning spray next time you go shopping or making an appointment with a new provider. These are realistic goals, which means you’re much likely to cross off your to-do list.
It may not seem like it in this moment, but Hashimoto’s can be a true blessing. When you’ve received a diagnosis of autoimmunity, you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your body than you ever thought you would. You can let go of the quest for perfection and embrace the good you have while pursuing what good you can.
So to anyone out there who has found themselves discouraged by this all-encompassing disease, take heart. You don’t have to be perfect to be healthy and in fact, maybe it’s better that way!