My Story Part 1.
I will try and keep this short. But to explain the journey of healing is a complex and mysterious task. So many facets, so many visible and invisible things happen on the path, it is almost impossible to know what to leave out and what to include.
Healing illness is a mystery. When that healing involves every aspect of being, it is a thousand times more mysterious.To me it is a spiritual experience as well as a very human one. As you explore my site you will, I hope, see all things that contributed to my healing transformation, and see that certain themes recure and a number of fundamentals I personally believe are essential if
healing, true whole person healing, is to take place.
BUT ultimately life is a mystery and there are more things we don’t understand in this world than things we do.
So having said all that, let’s take a deep breath and I will tell my story.
Falling out of Innocence.
The seeds of my illness were planted deep in my emotional body as a teenager in the 1970’s. My parents, a lower middle class and quite conventional couple, experienced a drawn out and difficult divorce. Over a period of about 5 years this separation
and divorce played itself out in hidden ways and lurked in the shadows of our family psyche. Neither of them had the power or inner resources to deal with the situation authentically as divorce was still a taboo on the 70s.
I was a very sensitive child who had assumed that my parents were together forever, and of course believed that they were God like and perfect. I had no concept of this sort of trouble. I was innocent.
I was affected very deeply by this experience. It has defined much of my life and has been the dominant theme of my life so far.
So when they reached crisis point one day in 1976, it was like a pressure cooker releasing its steam!
Family life ended that day, like an explosion. Everything collapsed in a terrible episode that saw my Mother taken off to a mental hospital for her ‘breakdown’.
I left home a few weeks later, moved in with a gang of friends into a caravan and began life in the ‘outside’ world.
That was my preparation for adulthood.
The Wilderness of Avoidance.
For about 20 years I disappeared into a life of hedonistic dysfunctional avoidance.
It was the time of the 4 D’s.
Drink, Drugs, Diet and Dysfunction.
I was an ‘almost’ alcoholic for those 20 years. Yes, I was addicted to alcohol. I drank as often as possible, as much as possible. I drank to find enjoyment and to hide from pain. All I really found was oblivion.
I took massive amounts of drugs, from the natural substances like marijuana and hashish to the chemicals like amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, and of course LSD and ‘E’. The toxic residue left in the body from these drugs is massive and very difficult to remove. The psychic and energetic damage inflicted by these drugs is enormous.
I stopped drugs years before I stopped drinking as they were just not working any more.
Diet. I am grateful that I was eating crap food in the 70s and 80s. It was not as toxic as it is now! But it was bad enough. We had kebabs, Chinese take away and Chip shops. My diet was appalling. I did’t care what I ate or when I ate.
I thought I was free but I was totally imprisoned by my suppressed emotions and my search for oblivion.
I was a charming, good looking, punky musician. On the surface I seemed ok, but each and every relationship I had soon began to implode under the weight of my wounded emotions playing themselves out.
Under the surface I was furious, terrified, abandoned and deeply wounded. I was a child lost. No relationship could withstand this kind of stuff.
By the time I was 36 years old my body system was beginning to collapse, and I was trying to give up drinking (this in itself was a very long and painful process). I had been treating the beginnings of a stomach ulcer, I had Rosacea on my face (excema on the cheeks, eyebrows, lips etc – red raw). My kidneys were agony, I passed out regularly on the street and at home. I felt like death and knew I was not well but was clueless to know what to do.
I was at the very beginning of the unraveling journey.
In 2002, at age 43, I met and began working with my wife Amoda (link). I had already began to explore my life a bit, started some body work, homeopathy and the like.
She saw I was in a dreadful state and introduced me to a couple who were practising Ayurvedic medicine. I saw them for a pulse check, and I will be forever grateful to her and to them. Without this help I believe I would either not be here today or I would be very sick.
They were horrified! They told me I was so toxic, so out of balance, that I was going to manifest serious illness unless I acted. They detected early arthritis ( I was 43!), but more than that, they saw my system overloaded with toxicity and heading for breakdown. Long term herbs, what they usually prescribe, they said would not work to remove this deeply embedded toxicity.
So they suggested Panchakarma (link). PK, as its known, is an Ayurvedic detoxification process that takes 4-6 weeks and is very deep.I go into the details on another page.
So off we both went to Mumbai, India, and went through this powerful cellular cleansing process. It was a roller coaster ride that opened my eyes to the powerful connection between body, emotion, mind and spirit. After 6 weeks we returned to the UK. I was very pleased with myself, naively believing I had cleansed and removed 20 years worth of toxins and over acidity in just 6 weeks.
Little did I know.
I had just scratched the surface, and what lay below was a monster. After about 2 months of our return I began to suffer rectal bleeding. It started with a small amount but pretty soon I was bleeding heavily, AND I WAS SCARED. I booked to see the Doctor who booked me for a colonoscopy (camera inserted in the rectum to explore large intestine). While I waited for the results I searched Google for possible causes. All I saw was Colon Cancer. It was a very scary time.
I truly felt my life was falling apart. I was 44, beginning to feel really ill and weak, my life force was draining, and life was unraveling before my very eyes.
And then I went to see the Consultant to receive the results.
THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED.
This day is etched in my consciousness and will be forever. I remember it as being the moment I faced two doors, like Neo in the film ‘The Matrix’ when he was offered two pills, one to wake up the other to stay asleep.
One of the doors, I know now, offered a life of medication and possible surgery, and a joining of the majority who abdicate responsibility for their own health and hand it over to ‘experts’
The other door led to a journey into the unknown, the healing journey, the ‘less trodden path’.
I CHOSE THE SECOND PATH.
The Consultant sat with a stern face and told me I had Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the form of Ulcerative Colitis (inflammation and ulceration of the colon) and possibly Crohns disease (same in the small intestine). It was a very serious case.
He offered me his prognosis (The same one no doubt he hands to everyone).
1. You will have this for life.
2. You will be on medication for life.
3. If the meds don’t work you may need surgery to remove some of your colon (replaced with a colostomy bag)
4. There is no 4th option.
Fortunately I had done enough work on myself, meaning I had ‘woken up’ to alternative possibilities that I had the temerity to question this man. I was firmly steeped in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine by this time and so it seemed logical to first consider a Natural Progam of healing before the rather bleak options he proposed (I’m putting all this very politely, we actually had an argument!).
He dismissed Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine as being a) Quackery and b) Dangerous!
I was SHOCKED! He was a man of some considerable intelligence but such a closed mind that all alternative possibilities were not even on the table for discussion. Trying to discuss diet got me nowhere, he was not experienced enough to be able to offer any advice.
And so suddenly it struck me…’What am I doing here?, Why am I having this conversation?
And that was it, that was the moment I took my fate in my own hands and defined my future. What did I do?
I SIGNED MYSELF OUT OF THEIR CARE.
I told him I needed to experiment with alternative options, and if they failed I would return. He looked knowingly at me as if to say ‘You will be back’. And as we conclude part 1 of My Story I have one thing to say, and I cannot say this strongly enough:
I HAVE NEVER TAKEN ANY MEDICATION FROM THAT DAY TO THIS – NONE – ZERO.
(Please remember, this was only my path. I am not advising against medication. If it works for you great. I am simply telling you about MY Story. I refer you to my disclaimer.)
Click here for part 2 where I talk about my long journey of healing.