Old Me and New Me
It’s funny how sometimes moments grab you and suddenly a spark lights an idea and it catches fire and before you know it your whole world is ablaze with new ideas and energy.
I’ve been having ‘dad dates’ with my son over a period of time and one of the things we did was go to watch The Hunger Games movies at the cinema together.
It was whilst watching the last one, when I realized something profound.
I realized all movies, books, religions, fairy tales, myths and fables are the same.
And they follow a path exactly like my life has so far.
You start off in a relatively mundane place in a mundane world.
This could be Kansas (Dorothy), a cupboard under the stairs (Harry), Philadelphia (Rocky) or even Nazareth….
Life is fairly boring for all these characters until a massive event happens in their lives. Usually something that could be thought of as a tragedy.
The hero then goes on to overcome the tragedy and smite the metaphorical dragon. Despite the odds against them they overcome adversity and win.
But the crucial part of all of these stories is yet to come.
They all return from whence they came. Whether it be Katniss in The Hunger Games or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, they all return to what they knew before but a wiser, stronger, better person. A winner. A victor.
The other strange thing is that all these heroes were always in charge of their own destiny. In the end, Dorothy only needed to click her heels and she was home, away from danger and safe again. She just didn’t know how to before. She had to go through the darkness to find the light.
Several children made it home safe through a wardrobe too and having faith in The Force and a light sabre also helped someone else find the light.
But they always come back and inspire others that they might be heroes too in their own little way.
Which brings me to health...
I was brought up in a regular, everyday home in the south east of England in a small village where everyone knew everyone and nothing much happened.
As I grew older life settled down, I met the girl, got married, had children, forged a career and just carried on as everyone else around me did.
Don’t get me wrong, life was great but it didn’t have any magic sparkle. No Harry Potter wands or light sabers.
But then came the dark. I got sick. They call it Crohns Disease. It's something that consumes your everyday life.
The sickness took over my life and placed me in a dark tunnel from which it was nigh on impossible to see the light at the end. As I walked further in to the tunnel it got darker, I got fatter and sicker. Everyday life was becoming impossible.
I reckon I spent 30% of my day on the toilet.
But one day I got angry. I got jealous in fact. I was jealous that my wife had found new vigor and health and was running and getting fit and I was being left behind.
Even though she had done absolutely nothing wrong I felt rejected and like tomorrow’s rubbish.
I couldn’t participate in what she was doing because I was too sick (and fat).
I literally felt as if I was slowly drifting out to sea and no one could hear me. My fire had gone out.
Or I thought it had. Because one day, for no particular reason at all, I got angry with myself and I put my battered old running shoes on. And I ran (hobbled) around the block. It was an epiphany. Something I’ll always remember.
It was that moment then that confirmed I could do this. I could fight the demon inside me and rid myself of this illness.
But like Dorothy, I had a long journey ahead to find out how. I did try and click my heels but nothing happened…
And that’s where my journey began...
I read books, watched videos, attended conferences and learnt how to heal myself. I learnt all about nutrition and up-to-date science and how to fight my battle. I stopped eating wheat, sugar, processed food, alcohol and caffeine. I purified my body. But I ate like a horse, just eating the right things as nature had intended.
The weight fell off and very, very quickly the sickness waned. Until it was simply not there any more. My medication which tied me down like shackles was all discarded and with it the side effects I took other medication for…all gone...
An excerpt from Gary's story for "Made By Scars - the Men's series"
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