Neither does help or healing always come from sources we expect. My guess is that most of us hold some picture in our minds of what we imagine health or healing to be. Probably we conjure some list of things to deny ourselves (like sugars or carbs), or things we feel should be added to our routines (like more exercise or more water). Some of us may even give our image a name - like "veganism" or "colonics" or "raw foodism". In some cases, our image is actually a living, breathing person whom we consider to be "the picture of health".
But on a subject as immediately personal and inevitably emotional as that of health, it's no wonder we come to identify ourselves so strongly with some particular method or ideal. It can become our mission, our purpose, our fight, and even our activism. Such goals may in fact be quite noble and well worth the education they can bring to ourselves and to others, but what I seem to be learning these days - both from what folks share with me, and from my own experience - is that real health and healing don't always conform to the ideas we impress upon them. And if there's one thing that health is NOT, it's cookie-cutter. (Mmmm, cookies... See what I mean?)
I bring this up now, before posting any additional blogs on the changes I've made that helped me go off synthetic insulin, because I wanted to take a moment to address something about which I had been feeling a bit awkward for a few weeks - the fact that I went from whole-heartedly consuming pretty much ALL raw foods (including veggies, fruits, meats, dairy and other unheated, unprocessed foods) to consuming only some raw foods. I must have felt convinced at some point that raw foods - and raw foods alone - would be my road to recovery; otherwise, I would not have entitled my blog what I did.
My perspective has shifted a bit now, however, and while there is much I've learned since embarking on my healing journey, I'm beginning to understand now that raw foods are to be only a part of that journey - a markedly significant part, mind you, but smaller than I had originally thought. While my healing process had mostly plateaued on an all-Raw foods diet (I wasn't ever able to come off that final 5 units of basal insulin per day), what I learned from the experience brought me hope, among other things. All the reading and experimenting I've done in the last year and a half have opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn't considered, and to truths I didn't want to see but cannot now forget. With absolute sincerity, I can state that I've no intention ever of returning to any kind of routine or regular consumption of conventionally farmed, mass-manufactured, processed foods. In fact, where they may be avoided, I fully intend to avoid them.
And even with those seeds of knowledge firmly sown for me, my having veered somewhat from my former course of an all-Raw foods diet felt, at first, like something of a betrayal. But whom or what was I betraying? The only goal I had ever really declared was healing. And having come off the synthetic insulin certainly was a big step in that direction... So what loyalty had I, then, to my former course?
The answer, I soon realized, was none. No loyalty at all... Not if I what I really wanted was to get better.
That we imagine some path or some person to be our model of health... does not make it so. And, in truth, we may be the devout servant (or slave, in some cases) to any ideal, even unto our death. I've met a number of folks now who have told me as much - that they were so committed to veganism or fruitarianism or some other -ism which ultimately wasn't working for them, that they followed that conviction right up to the edge of death, before finally choosing to part ways with that set of beliefs and try something else.
Fortunately for us, our bodies are so clever and adaptive that they survive a great deal of the damage we unwittingly administer. Unfortunately, however, that inherent resilience and compensatory ability can make it more difficult to identify clearly the things we do which ultimately cause our bodies long-term harm. Even an apple may be rotting on the inside but reveal no outward sign of such.
It might not, therefore, be a bad idea to keep this in mind when we see those impressive specimens of the human animal out in the world. Certainly, they may be beautiful to behold, and as a source of inspiration, information or guidance, admiration (and even cautious imitation) of such people and practices may rightly be encouraged, but the truth is that we cannot know what's really happening with their health. We can only work to improve our own. And so comparing ourselves to anyone else is not only pointless; it is a waste of time and energy.
Certainly, there is no shortage of beautiful, vibrant folks who eat raw foods. I remember thinking last January that once I made the switch myself I could look forward to nothing but increased energy and radiance. And for the most part, that was what I experienced. Once in a while, though, I'd feel a bit lethargic, and I couldn't understand it. I'd think I must be doing something wrong. I'd even convince myself I had to 'keep up appearances' at times - not because of any pressure others would put on me, but because of what I expected of myself... and of my new raw foods lifestyle. But with or without raw foods, I now understand that when we become sluggish or sick, it is because our body is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing - repairing and recuperating. There is plenty more to say on this issue, of course, but for now it may suffice to offer my considered opinion that we are generally as misinformed about sickness as we are about health.
Even now, as I embark on this new leg of my healing journey, it's been difficult at times for me to accept that my broken body needs rest in order to recover. But that is how healing works. The body doesn't suddenly become all shiny and sparkly the very same moment you finally pay it enough attention to treat it well. The process of healing is just that - a process. And once the body has the proper tools necessary for clean-up (i.e. meaningful detoxification and support from minerals and nutrition), it can finally go to work. And make no mistake, friends, that there are dark places to be revealed along the way, deep crevices to be dug out, washed clean, rebuilt and transformed. Only then can the body be as strong, sound, functional and reliable as possible.
So healing may not be pretty. It may not feel (or even smell) good at times. And it may be that we arrive at real healing only after any number of unintended detours.
That is my hope, at least. For I would rather be wrong about the way in which I arrive at healing and yet still arrive there, than hold defiantly to any path that leads me lost.