Today is the Swedish national holiday Valborgsmässoafton which celebrates the arrival of spring. I like having a day to celebrate springtime, especially after this particular winter. It’s been dark, it’s been cold, it’s been challenging. But now the light has returned, and not only weather-wise.
These days, at least on the outside, it looks a lot like I’m living my ‘normal’ life again. A combination of a vitamin C and a particular kind of probiotics intake, bioresonance treatments and the elimination of wheat from my diet has proven to be extremely effective for me. It has given me energy so that I don’t have to plan so much around what I choose to do in a day. I’ve gone from having hardly energy to sit upright, to having a little bit more to also take a shower or walk to my mailbox. That was about the first four months of my covid journey. Then I went from walking a tiny bit of my street, to walking in the park behind my house. That was another couple of months. Even though there were lots of ups and downs, the general trend over a longer period of time has always pointed upwards. And here I am today, able to travel to the city if I need to, do yoga, teach a class, buy groceries… My body is OK with all of that again. How amazing is the human body and its ability to recover?!
Unfortunately I still don’t feel I can declare myself 100% healthy. Why? Well, every single day I wake up I feel that I’m ill. I don’t know what happens in my body overnight but it’s a real struggle for my body to wake up and re-adjust itself somehow. I need at least an hour every morning to feel more in balance again. What remains throughout the day is a sensation in my chest area that I’ve grown so used to by now, that it’s very clear when it disappears (which it does sometimes for a short period of time). I don’t have acute pain anymore (which I had for months) but it’s more a feeling of a slight pressure, phlegm, sometimes coughing and general discomfort in that area of my body. Energy-wise I do have enough for one day, but usually around 21.00 I’m completely empty and need to go to sleep. There’s no energy buffer yet, at all, I feel. All of the above is totally fine and absolutely livable so I’m not complaining at all. I fully trust that with time, my body will restore itself completely. I will know it when I wake up one morning, feel normal and go about an entire day without feeling slightly ‘off’ in my body. That will be a glorious day!
My country is getting ready to vaccinate people in my age group soon. I hope to be eligible for a vaccine in about a month from now. I notice that I’m eager to get it over with, so I can see my parents and friends in the Netherlands again but also because I expect to get side-effects of the vaccine. I’ve read many stories from covid long haulers whose bodies, for a period of time, totally went back to the acute phase of the illness once they got the vaccine. I really hope I’ll be spared that experience! (I’ll let you know in these chronicles)
Reading about covid-19 and especially Long Covid has been triggering for me, I have noticed. Also meeting people who talk about it has caused a reaction in my body. I feel my throat tightening and a general feeling of stress in my stomach. To me this is a sign of slight PTSD caused by everything I’ve been through since March 2020. Fortunately I am training to become a Somatic Experiencing® (SE) trauma therapist (I just entered my second year) so I have a lot of tools to actively work with myself around this issue. And, as soon as I feel ready, I’ll open my holistic counseling practice again and incorporate SE techniques so I hopefully also can support other people in a meaningful way. But it’s as they say on airplanes: you have to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.
Tonight there will be huge bonfires lit in many places in the country to celebrate springtime. Gathering is obviously not recommended this year so my municipality has fixed an online live-stream of the Valborg-fire that will be lit behind my house. Hopefully in a year from now, everyone can gather around the fire again. I picture myself standing there already now, greeting my neighbors and sensing the heat on my body. I wonder what I will be feeling then. Has my covid journey become a distant memory or will it still be more alive and active inside me? Time will tell.
I will be making my own fire shortly, write some words on a piece of paper and throw it in. I love little rituals like this, to mark an ending and celebrate a new beginning. It calms me and feels incredibly hopeful. I wish you the same feelings; of calm and hope. However if you’re in the middle of a Long Covid journey this might feel extremely distant to you. I can totally relate, I’ve been there myself. I really hope that my story, and stories, will give you a little bit of hope or inspiration in your own process!
With love ♥
Photo: Tengyart – unsplash.com