Yesterday I stepped out of my house to get my mail and smelled gingerbread in the air. A sign of summer ending in my neighborhood! I happen to live near a bakery factory where the famous Swedish Mor Annas gingerbread cookies are produced and each year, at the end of summer, the wind carries the baking smell of Christmas cookies right to my front porch. Some leaves are turning already and it won’t be long until autumn is here for real and marks the start of yet another new season. And just like the seasons of nature, everything has a beginning and an ending. Nothing is static, everything moves. Even Long Covid.
Today exactly 500 days ago I started writing about having covid-19, which turned into Long Covid, and how deeply that affected me. Throughout the six seasons that followed I added my writing to the Corona Chronicles on this blog which up to today have been read by tens of thousands of people from all over the world. I am beyond grateful to have been able to contribute with something positive for other people in the midst of the global pandemic.
Oh, what a ride it has been! I have been on a constant roller coaster: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, in a way I’ve never experienced before. Not the intensity of it and not the relentless, 24/7 continuation of so many strange and challenging physical symptoms in my whole body that no one could explain. Living with Long Covid is a special kind of hell and, as with any other condition or illness, you can never fully understand it unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
My body has needed 71 weeks and two vaccinations to return to a state from which I can live my life pretty much like ‘normal’ again. Medical professionals haven’t been able to provide much useful, instead I am beyond grateful to have found Bioresonance-treatments which proved to be exceptionally effective for me. I drastically changed my diet, needed LOTS of rest, took a variety of natural supplements and added low-intensity exercise (walks and yin yoga) when possible again. Add the support of my husband, children, parents, friends and the people from Body Politic’s covid-19 global support group on Slack and here I find myself still standing after all this time. I have some lingering chest issues that might stay with me for a long time still, I don’t know. Also high-intensity training (stuff that raises my pulse) is not something my body tolerates very well yet but otherwise everything finally has returned to ‘normal’ in my body.
If you’ve read this blog before you know that ‘living according to what feels true to me’ is what’s most important for me in my life. Living my truth. Cultivating the capacity (and courage) to be with ‘what is’, observe what’s going on and be a real, authentic person are things that did not stop just because I got ill. Instead it intensified enormously. So for the past 16.5 months I have turned inwards for most of my waking hours in order to connect with depths inside me that I previously had not touched. I faced huge existential fears, cried my eyes out, felt incredible desperation, anxiety, hope- and helplessness. But also, by diving into what acceptance really means I found a deep, deep calmness and gratitude for life. The calmness that accompanies just-being and the gratitude that followed when I could breathe freely again and understood that I would not die.
So, as you know, I wrote about all of this and published it here on my blog. Especially the stuff about how the virus and Long Covid affected me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I haven’t found many people who talk about that! I wrote, published and shared my writing in various groups online not because I want attention but because I thought that someone, somewhere out there, might find something useful or inspiring in reading about my experience from this perspective. Writing has been such a resource for me on my Long Covid-path and it’s been my privilege to share it here on this little piece of the world wide web (does anyone still call it that?).
I now feel that I have come to a point where it feels natural for me to end my chronicling about having Long Covid. I have found myself an incredible consultancy assignment in the Swedish office of a Dutch-based global NGO which feels like a dream. I will also start a building project at my home that will result in a room with a separate entrance. This will allow me to work as holistic counselor/trauma therapist with clients from my house (in person or via Zoom) in a safe, quiet and beautiful space that I will create myself (think: lots of windows with views of the woods, pillows and tea). That is a dream come true as well! My trauma therapist-training will continue and I will teach evening classes Dutch at the Uni here in Stockholm again. Life!
Does this mean that I will stop writing on this blog? No, definitely not. I will continue writing about living life with all its magic and messiness, as I have done for the past 3.5 years. Just because I can and just because writing feeds my soul.
A new season is arriving and pretty soon the gingerbread cookies will be piled up in stores here in Sweden again. We are so privileged in this country, to live in peace and have access to food, housing, vaccines and professional health care to name just a few things. It’s so easy to take all of this for granted. Just as many people take their health for granted. I will try NEVER to take these things for granted ever again. Every day of my life truly is a gift, however cliché that might sound. And however strange this may sound, Long Covid has been a gift too as I have learned so much about myself. But as I wrote: the roller coaster has come to its end and it’s time to close this Long Covid-chapter to, once again, enter a whole new chapter of my life.
So here I go.
Thank you for following me on my Long Covid-journey! I hope you will return to this blog at some point. If you want you can subscribe to it (see the bottom of this page) or follow it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. And as always, please share it in your circles if this resonates with you. Thank you! ♥
Photo: James Butterly – unsplash.com
This writing is the last part of what I call my Corona Chronicles. On this page you can find an overview of my stories since March 2020.
What were your symptoms of long Covid? Specifically, we’re you dizzy, lightheaded, heart rate spikes, chest pain, circulation problems, adrenaline surges? It has been almost a year for me. I was doing great this summer but since September I am now experiencing dizziness if on my feet too long. Thanks you and so happy that you are feeling well again.
Hi Carol, nice to hear from you and thank you for your comment! At its worst I had about 20 different symptoms but the worst ones were difficulty breathing, chest pain (still not completely gone today), severe brain fog, stomach issues, heart rate spikes and OMG the adrenaline surges don’t get me started… It has been such a roller coaster. I noticed my body craved a lot of salt, and when I didn’t eat salty stuff I easily got dizzy/lightheaded. So perhaps eating salty snacks in between meals is a tip? I ate thousands of salted pistachio nuts I remember 🙂 Wish you all the best and sending you a hug ♥️
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It´s so motivating to know that Long Covid will come to an end. I´m very glad to read that you have learned and accepted and you can say: “Long Covid has been a gift”. Thank you. Your words and experience mean a lot to me. And allow me to describe you as a brave person, not because you weren´t afraid but because you choose to move forward. I need to take that step yet. Hope won´t take me that long. But meanwhile, it helps me to read about your experience. Thank you again. Kinds regard from Spain.
Dear Victoria, thank you for writing to me! I’m sorry to hear you are dealing with Long Covid as well. Glad to hear my words can be of support to you – that is exactly why I chose to publish this. I believe you (and all of us) are constantly moving forward, even though it might not feel like it sometimes. Hang in there! Sending you a hug from Stockholm ♥️
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with long COVID. It’s funny, today I searched “long haul covid joe dispenza” because I’ve recently started up my meditation practice again and I like Joe’s approach, and your blog was the first thing that popped up. The second strange thing was that I am also in Sweden, and lastly, I too live near a bakery where I can smell chocolate balls all day. We share a similar background I guess.
I am just starting month 15 of my long haul. I was infected in March ’21. It has been a living nightmare. My symptoms have been very similar to yours. Worst of all is the crushing fatigue, it’s awful, and being unable to really “work out”. I can walk a lot (usually like 15-20km a week) but if I try to train (I was training for a marathon and weight lifting before becoming ill) I end up in bed because of the post-exertional malaise.
Let me tell you – reading your blog has been a relief and seeing that you’ve recovered gives me a lot of hope. There’s lots of recovery stories online but also stories of people who aren’t getting better after two years! I’ve been to the long COVID clinic at Karolinska and they’ve scanned my heart and lungs, those seem to be fine. I had an MRI and that was fine. But I’m still not getting better, and the hospital has no recommendations for treatment which is super frustrating.
Maybe you have expanded on this elsewhere in your blog, but could you share some of the things that helped you recover the most? And was there a point where something clicked and you felt you had “turned a corner” or was it super slow like my “recovery”? Sometimes I feel like I’m getting better, then I have a major relapse and I’m back to square one. My legs have been twitching for 10 months or so. I used to get bad headaches and chest pains, those are mostly gone now. So I’m really just left with awful fatigue and this twitching, and brain fog.
Anyways, there’s so much more I could go on about but just wanted to relate my story to yours and share some of it and maybe get a little advice. Thank you again SO MUCH for sharing your personal struggle with everyone, I for one have found it extremely helpful and reassuring.
Hi Seth, thank you for your message! I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with Long Covid too, and already for 15 months. I remember how I felt around that time, it’s such a challenging journey which is difficult to explain to people who haven’t experienced it themselves.
I’m really happy to hear that you find my writing helpful, that means a lot to me!
I will write you an e-mail with a longer answer to your questions. Are you in Stockholm? Because I have some tips of practitioners here who have really helped me too.
Hang in there!
Thanks so much for your response Nanda. Yes, I am in Stockholm! I’ll keep an eye out for an email. Thanks again. I’m going to continue reading your articles!
E-mail sent! Let me know if you haven’t gotten it. Hope you will find my tips, and the rest of my covid-articles, helpful!
All the best