There has been so much written about health that I know this isn’t going to be an easy one. In the past year I have really entrenched myself in my health both mental and physical. I have read numerous books and articles about what to eat, the best exercise and how to deal with the stress of day to day living. I am finally finishing up on the last bit for my yoga teaching certification. It has been a long time coming but, as they say, better late than never.
My body is not the same as it once was. I consider myself in good health but it is nothing of what it use to be. I use to be able to go on no sleep with a somewhat healthy diet and moderate exercise and never miss a beat. I rarely went to the doctor even when I probably should have. But youth makes you think that it’s not going to happen to you and that pain you have in your stomach will just fix itself. Until it becomes an appendicitis. That was when I was sixteen. Went to the hospital and I’m sure, because of my youth, everything went well. I don’t know if I even realized then how serious it could have been but again youth just figures it was a bump in the road for a short time and you move on.
But then at seventeen I got pregnant. There was not a lot of information about birth control and even though there was a sexual revolution no one told me what the repercussions would be if you didn’t use birth control. I know that sounds ridiculous but in 1972 in Cincinnati, Ohio in a catholic Italian family, sex wasn’t something you had conversations about. At least not in my family. He was my first real boyfriend and I thought I was in love and this was the one. Yet again I didn’t think it would happen to me and didn’t really think clearly about what the outcome would be. Back then there were only a few places to go for an abortion and it wasn’t in Ohio. My single mom was so overwhelmed with her own life that this was just one more thing she had to handle. There wasn’t an option, in her opinion, and we went to a clinic in Washington D.C to have it done. Her decision, coming from an Italian catholic, was not taken lightly. I grew up very quickly after that trip. It has stayed with me my entire life and most definitely shaped how I see my son. My physical and mental health went hand in hand and I quickly learned that a rash decision could have major consequences.
I know there are secrets in everyone’s closet especially if they are my age and I’ll bet it has taken it’s toll on their health one way or another. There is no doubt, after that time in my life, it shaped how I viewed life in general. I paid more attention to what my body was telling me whether it was physically or in my mind. I sought help later in life not just because of what had happen when I was seventeen but just because. It didn’t matter. It changed me and how I viewed what I needed to do to get healthy. I’m still trying to find the balance. I’m still trying to quiet the demons and know that the past is just that, the past. But part of getting healthy is also being aware of what is right for me.
So my spiritual health is what is getting me through the days now. I have gotten through the typical and not so typical maladies and come out of it all pretty healthy. I most certainly fall down and eat the wrong thing or don’t exercise when I should but isn’t part of being healthy giving yourself a break every now and then? Just be careful of the consequences. Being healthy is having the knowledge to know the difference.