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March 19, 2024

E18 | Feeling unheard? Steps to finding your voice and healing

E18 | Feeling unheard? Steps to finding your voice and healing

Tired of feeling ignored by medical professionals and unsupported by family?

This episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey offers invaluable insight and strategies to help you be heard and find the support you need on your health journey.

SHOW NOTES:

Are you struggling to make your health concerns heard by doctors and loved ones?

You might be making the mistake of navigating your journey alone, without the right support system.

But there's a way to transform this situation and find the relief and understanding you deserve.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE, YOU'LL DISCOVER:

  • The power of seeking a supportive community that understands and shares your journey.
  • How a personalized, guided approach can change the way you manage your health.
  • The importance of advocating for yourself to ensure your needs are met and your voice is heard.


By implementing these strategies, not only can you begin to feel better, but you'll also experience the joy of being fully understood and supported.

OTHER LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 16: 3 practical steps to cut through the health information overload

Book "Life" by Donna Ashworth


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A must listen for anyone dealing with such chronic illnesses or anyone looking at improving their overall health and wellness” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Chapters

01:06 - "You don’t need a cage my friend...."

04:59 - The real issue here isn't just the symptoms you're facing

07:54 - When no one really hears you or gets what you're going through

10:09 - Health isn't a one-size-fits-all thing

11:33 - 4 things that you can do starting today

11:40 - #1 Seek a Supportive Community

13:11 - #2 Find a Guided Approach

14:04 - #3 Learn to Advocate for Yourself

14:45 - #4 Embrace Emotional Support

Transcript

In today's episode, I'm going to share with you how you can take some steps to stop feeling unheard or even dismissed by your doctors, or maybe your family. And that's all coming up right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you as I, a Functional medicine Certified Health Coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more.

So, in each episode, I share our inspiring poems, excerpts from different stories and quotes that may help you to draw strength and give you the encouragement and support that you need to stay on track, to stay motivated and as they have helped me. So today is an excerpt from the book Life - Poems to help you navigate Life's Many Twists and Turns by the poet Donna Ashworth. She says

 Sometimes things crumble around you not because you're losing everything. But because the life you built has become your cage. And you don't need a cage, my friend. You don't need a cage. You need fresh open spaces with room to breathe. Room to roam. Room to reach out and room to grow. Sometimes things crumble around you. Simply because you built them too well. Let it crumble. It no longer serves you. And it's high time you broke out.

So now back to today's episode. So when this client started working with me, I could see the tiredness in her eyes. I could see the kind of defeat that was setting in. She spoke with a quiet voice, and I got the feeling that she did not want to get her hopes up too high, because probably they had been dashed many times earlier because she had already, as she shared a history, I figured out that she had already seen many different doctors, including specialists as well as functional medicine practitioners who had made her do, uh, you know, many tests, spent a lot of money and given her a list of many supplements, and it had not made much of a difference. Of course, she had felt better. She had seen some improvements or her symptoms had been managed with the help of medication that were given to make her life more bearable. Some of the supplements, etc. had helped her to some extent, but many of the symptoms persisted and she was not. She knew that she was not really doing very well and nothing lasted right. She was not finding lasting relief. And plus what she also realized when she was speaking to me. What she lacked was the emotional support that she needed to stay motivated on track. And I believe that this is something that most of us don't really get when we are looking for, you know, when we're asking for help, we get the diet, we get the supplements, we get the lifestyle changes.

We don't really get the emotional support that we need to deal with the chronic stress, this mental emotional toll that this takes, you know, living with any kind of, any kind of chronic illness. And she felt also that, you know, she was doing all this by herself and it felt too much going off gluten, going off dairy and a whole host of food making other changes in her life, you know, and her family struggled to deal with all of this, right? It was just not her alone. Her family was also struggling as to come to terms with all these changes, and they did not also understand why she was making all of these changes because they couldn't see any difference.

And because you may have been in this position that you have tried all of this, and it's not making much of a difference simply because it takes time. It takes time for your body to come back into balance. So and what made things worse for this client was that the family did not really understand what she was going through. Sometimes it doesn't show up on the surface. Sometimes you can't really explain to a person in need, feel the need to go back to bed immediately after you woken up or you've taken a shower. So she had sort of finally given up and her symptoms had returned. Does this sound familiar to you? So you might feel like you're not being listened to, or that no one really understands what you're going through. And perhaps you've also been told that it's all in your head, that it's just anxiety, or that you're just depressed and maybe even started thinking lately that maybe there's something mentally wrong with you, and maybe the other things are not really present, because you just can't seem to find a lasting solution to how you are feeling. To all the unexplained symptoms that you're facing, right? There seems to be no real connection there. So you're coming to the conclusion that there might be something wrong mentally.

You see, the real issue here isn't just the symptoms that you're facing. It's about how these symptoms are being addressed or not being addressed. And the traditional approach is to focus only on the physical side of things, right. So the physical symptoms are the ones that we focus on most of the time. And then, you know, and most programs or, you know, programs don't even look at the whole picture. So your emotions, your lifestyle and how everything in your life is connected so they don't even connect the dots. And this kind of approach can actually leave you feeling, um, alone and hopeless, especially when the pills or the diet or the supplements that you have been recommended are not making that much of a difference. 

I've seen that happening too many times with my clients when they come to me, uh, they have been on a list of 40 or 50 supplements. They have tried different medications, and yet they have a, you know, they don't feel too well. They don't feel happy. There's a sort of just settling. They're just surviving. They're not really thriving and they don't know why. And you've probably tried a lot to feel better, like you've done many different things. You visited different doctors, you visit different specialists, you've undergone various tests, maybe even change your diet drastically, or taking a bunch of supplements. But here's the thing even with all these efforts, you might be still be feeling that you are stuck somewhere. You are stuck, you don't know where and you don't know why, and you're not getting anywhere. And it's frustrating when you put in so much of effort and you don't see the results you were hoping for.

Because there's two problems here. One is that the real root causes are not being addressed. Secondly, that it takes time to see results. However, you can see gradual improvements provided you are actually addressing the root causes. And that is why these solutions are often temporary fixes. And I call them Band-Aid solutions if they don't get to the root of the problem. So I'll give you an example. Uh, in the case of autoimmune conditions, the root, the root of the problem is gut health, right. There might be other things that they of course, they can be toxins accumulation in the body. They can be simmering infections going on. But where you need to start is your gut. Right. And I've talked about it in one of the episodes, and that is where I needed to start to, uh, for my daughter to actually help her get back into, uh, you know, uh, the pink of health and get her off medication and the same thing that I do for my clients. So let's dive a bit deeper as to why you know, what you have been trying to do may not have worked out the way you wanted, or you know why you have not been seeing the results.

Because sometimes when you're feeling alone and misunderstood, the biggest struggle is, of course, not just the physical symptoms. It's the feeling like no one is really listening to you. No one is really hearing what you're saying or getting what you are going through. And when the doctors, family or friends dismiss your feelings, it is really difficult to push through to get the answers that you want. And this, in fact, is the single biggest, uh, learning that happened for me when I was training to become a, uh, functional medicine certified health coach.  I trained in 2016 with the help of Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, which is based in Chicago. And till then I did not know how to really listen. Right. There is one thing to listen to. Uh, you know, figure out what you're going to say next. And the other thing is to listen, to really understand. And we don't know the difference, really. And I didn't know the difference. And it was only when I underwent the coaching program. Uh, that's a single biggest. I think learning from me was actually hard hearing, you know, hearing the person.  Just listening to that person and being present.

And I think that's one of the biggest things that I bring to my coaching sessions for my clients. Finally, they have a person who who understands because who's trying to understand them, who's actually listening to them. And and that's when the true healing really starts. Plus, there is so much of information out there. So one source tells you to do something, you know, go of this force. Another source tells you that, you know, salads are good for you, something somebody else tells you. Maybe the too much fiber is not good. It's overwhelming, and it makes you feel lost on what steps to take next and is too much of information. It's not a lack of information that makes people start, you know, people start. It's just too much. It says, I got it information overload, and you don't really have the filter to sift through what is really relevant and useful to you for your unique needs. And again, that's how I actually work with my clients. And just make sure that, you know, I sift through that information and just to bring out what they need to hear. In fact, I've done an entire episode on this topic, which is episode 16, three Practical Steps to Cut Through the Health Information Overload.

It's an important topic, I believe, and I'll share it the link in the show notes below, because health is also not a one size fits all thing. Unfortunately, that's the approach that traditional medicine usually takes. So what works for someone else may not work for you. So without implementing a plan that's specifically tailor made for your body's unique condition, your environment, your lifestyle, it's hard to make real progress. And again, this is why people struggle. So it's not always easy. Also, it's not always easy to tell your doctors or even your loved ones what you need. Maybe you're not sure how to how you are going to explain what you need. Maybe you need more time to figure some things out. Maybe you need much more sleep that you are getting right now. So what you are going through or what you know, are you worried that they won't take you seriously?

So this journey can feel incredibly lonely, especially when you think that you're the only one who's going through it and not having a support around you or your family. And you know, if your family is supportive enough, then that's really great. But a lot of families actually struggle to understand what the person is going through because they have not really walked in their shoes.  And it makes it so hard to find the motivation to keep searching for solution. And that is something that is so, so common. So what can you do about this? What can you do? I mean, this is something that you can think about what I'm going to share with you.

This is what you can do instead. So instead of feeling lost and trying everything without any clear sense of direction, there are four things that I suggest that you can start doing today.

Number one is seek a supportive community. So look for a group of people who are on a similar journey as you. This community can be, of course, be online or in person where you can share your experiences in a safe space because hearing other people's stories, hearing what they are going through, and hearing that they are on the same path can really help you and make a huge difference. It can help you to stay on track and as you realize that you are not alone. In fact, uh, many years ago when I was trying to make the changes in my daughters, uh, you know, in our family, uh, making changes in the diet, making changes in the lifestyle, it was incredibly hard. And I'm talking about ten years ago now, and I formed for a while. I used to host an eczema support group to help other parents, typically mothers who are the primary caregivers of children with eczema. And we used to meet, uh, once a month in my house so that we could share what we were going through. We could share what had helped us some insights and experiences. And it was really, really powerful. Just hearing this makes you feel so less alone because you finally feel heard. Somebody really understands what you're going through. When I when I used to share that, you know, we hadn't slept in such a long time, and only a person who has a child with eczema can understand the level of discomfort the child can be. The kind of itchiness, the pain, the struggle, and being unable to sleep at night.  It just adds so anyway, so finding a supportive community who is on a similar path.

Number two is find a guided approach, like an approach which is tailor made for you. So consider programs or experts that offer a step by step approach to your wellness. So I am offering these suggestions so that you can start thinking in this direction.  You have to do a bit of homework because, you know, again there are many, many solutions out there, but at least this will get you started thinking in the right direction. And uh, so the guided approach means that there should be programs or people who does, you know, just don't give you general advice and just give you 40 things to do, but guide you through a process that is personalized for you. So ask them questions you know you can ask them, or at least they should be able to explain to you why you are being made to do this. Why are you making these changes right? So having a clear path helps less overwhelm less and overwhelm. And you know that you know when it's designed for you, it's going to work.

Number three is learn to advocate for yourself.  I'm just sharing actually, uh, four steps here. Learn to advocate for yourself, uh, which is that start building skills to communicate effectively with your providers. You know, your health, professional medical professionals and your loved ones as to what you need. Like what is it that you need from them? And, uh, prepare a list of questions, you know, before appointments, before, you know, so that you can learn, do a bit of research, write down your questions, be very methodical as much as you can, so that you can discuss your health in a way that is empowering rather than diminishing.

And the last thing that I want to share with you now, the suggestion that you have is embrace emotional support. This is actually the one that is most overlooked. Healing is not just physical, so connecting with others who understand and provide emotional support is crucial. So I have mentioned a supportive community, but I wanted it to, uh, you know, I want you to make this point separately as well, because it is that much important, right? Your mindset, your thoughts, your negativity, your inner critic. There's so many things that are at play when it comes to your mental, emotional, physical health. And they all play off each other. So being able to express your feelings and challenges openly can be incredibly healing because you finally feel heard, like you finally feel that somebody understands you and that person is not dismissing you, but is is, you know, providing a safe container.
 
And that's what I try to do in my coaching session that I provide a safe container. Uh, in fact, in my, in the, you know, um, private Facebook community that we have, it's called Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. It's by the same name. It is a safe container for women with chronic conditions like autoimmune disease, who are looking for this kind of a safe space where they can, you know, share and support each other. We are, uh, you know, we are at the early stages, so we're just creating the community. But that's my vision for that community. Uh, so by shifting your approach in these ways, you can pave a path towards not just managing your symptoms. But truly thriving. 

So let me summarize it for you. Number one I mentioned was seek a supportive community. Number two was find a guided approach. Number three was learn to advocate for yourself. And number four was embrace emotional support. Find find those people. Find your people. So it's you know remember it's all about moving from being a passive resident recipient in your health to taking active, uh, you know, being purposeful and being actively engaged and being committed to your supporting your body's healing process. Because embracing a new approach is vital. It is vital because it emphasizes the importance of understanding community and personalization. Now, this is what you need. This is what is stopping you. Not from not from finding from not finding lasting relief. And also what happens when you feel supported and understood within a community. It can significantly and positively, of course, impact your mental and emotional health because it provides a sense of belonging and encouragement. That's what you want. That's what you want. You finally want to be again. You finally want to be understood. You finally want someone to see you, right? I see you, I care about you. So and on top of that, you can if you can get a guided step by step approach which is tailored to your specific needs, then you find solutions that are sustainable, right? That's when the solutions are effective. That's when you know it's going to work. And when you learn to stand up for yourself, then you learn how to stand up for yourself and communicate effectively. It empowers you because you're finally taking an active role in your own healing. You're not a passive recipient anymore, and you're taking informed decisions, and you're communicating your needs effectively so that they are met, whether it's by your family, whether it's by your, uh, health care providers. 

And as I talked about emotional support, it is crucial. It is really important that you don't overlook this aspect, you know, and just focus on diet. Just focus on supplements or just focus on the physical aspect because it helps to reduce isolation and it cultivates resilience. And you need the resiliency because you will have challenges that come your way. You will need to find a way to overcome that. And this will give you the strength.  So all of these together, they actually set the foundation for a transformative healing journey. And that gives you the confidence that you need to stay on track. And you know, when I talk to my clients, I talk about transformation a lot because I believe that that's what you want. You want to, you know, become the person, uh, you know, that you've always meant to be, 
 
You are meant to thrive, not just survive. And it's important that your journey, you you realize that your journey to feeling better doesn't have to be a solo one, and it should not add to the stress that you're already feeling because of whatever issues that you are facing. And it's about finding your voice. It's about being heard, finally, and it's about taking a step towards people who really understand what you're going through. 

If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram and in the room to thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey. Uh, Healing Journey podcast. I already mentioned the Facebook group, and if you want to, you know, surround yourself with people who understand your challenges and are similar a journey, then do join our Facebook Community Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. I'll share the link below. It's a safe space, the safe container for women who want to start making plans again. The next episode is a special bonus episode where I will be talking about a topic that is very special. Uh, it's a model that I have created over the years. It's called the Renew model because this was born out of my family's struggles, our challenges. Don't miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?