Own Your Self

Own Your Self Kelly Brogan MD book coverby Kelly Brogan M.D. with Nancy Marriott

What can a person do when the anti-depressants, mood-stabilizers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety drugs, and tranquilizers turn that person into a zombie? That’s what happened to me at the end of the 1990s. Fortunately, I was able to locate a therapist who helped me taper off all my medications. At the same time, I was being educated about a healthier, more balanced set of beliefs after leaving a high-control religious cult. Then, once I became a functioning human, I got along quite well in my job and my newly-single life. At least in the interim.

I wish this book had been available years ago. Even so, I’m happy to have it now. I could have easily fit the description of one of Dr. Brogan’s patients. What she writes about to this point, I have already lived. Medical doctors will rarely suggest the possibility that a diet change might be the answer when their client’s health goes off the rails. No, because their job is to offer a pill for every ill. After all, it’s a preferred business model that shows well on their quarterly reports.

Getting off pHARMa drugs is a process this board certified psychiatrist calls “tapering”. At one point, she put away her prescription pad and instead offered counsel specific to each person, without drugs. At the same time, her clients are encouraged to stop eating the high-carbohydrate foods described in the industry-controlled food guides. I’m referring to the disaster commonly called the Standard American Diet (SAD). Instead, she recommends her clients switch to a low carbohydrate, high protein diet, known as the paleo diet — of organic food. Now, it is at this point where people often feel resistance.

“Oh, I can’t afford that!” is the most common objection I hear. I even used that line — at first. But, it’s really a matter of getting our priorities straight, according to Dr. Brogan. Drastically changing our pill-poppingly poor eating habits does take commitment. And I wasn’t ready for such a commitment — that is until I found myself seriously ill with a fatigue so debilitating that I couldn’t crawl out of bed, never mind go to work at a job I had grown to despise. That was in 2013.

Now I prepare all my food at home and often ahead of time, for efficiency sake, so I’m not in the kitchen more than I could stand. There are many activities I enjoy besides cooking and preparing food.

One menu item I eat daily is a fresh, organic salad. I cannot stress how important it is to eat living food without those spooky industrial ingredients which I can’t spell, can’t pronounce, and can’t digest. I’ve taken the time to itemize the cost per meal of the food I prepare organically. For example, I discovered it costs me only $1.50 for a slice of meatloaf made at home. I grow my own potatoes and sweet potatoes from sprouts. I grow many veggies for the cost of the seeds. The Lamb Lentil Stew and my Chili costs about $4 per serving. One serving of Greek Chicken, baked, costs $4. My home-made vegetable soup costs even less, considering I make my own stock, and grow many of the ingredients. Very reasonable cost, wouldn’t you agree? It even surprised me! It’s even cheaper than fast food, plus it’s always nutritious so it will provide the help I need to regain my strength and stamina. I proved to myself that my budget can indeed withstand those health-promoting purchases.

Dr. Brogan says that once we honor our body by offering it real food, it will begin to guide us to further wellness. And I really wanted to be well and get back my energy. Once I committed to eating healthy, that’s when my body started communicating with me. It’s like my soul came online to let me know my next step.

So, this is where I’m at now. I meditate every day. I eat like Dr. Brogan’s book — and my other Naturopathic doctor — suggests. My anxiety and depression are melting away. I spend time in nature every day in ways that my body enables. And my fatigue is lifting.

I’ve been sharing some gems in the book with my husband. He too became concerned when I got ill and happily we both made the switch to real food at the same time. He is receptive and eagerly eats my paleo offerings along with me.

I’m at the place now where my husband and I are feeling drawn to like minded people on a similar healing path. Along those lines, Dr. Brogan describes how the Universe opens doors which yield opportunities to bring these kinds of communities together in a most natural and benevolent way.

Recently my husband wrote the following concluding paragraph in our Christmas message to friends and family:

“It seems there is a vast array of systemic problems in the world, and it can feel overwhelming at times. However, the great truth is the world turns, things change, cracks appear in what formerly seemed impenetrable, and opportunities for improvement emerge. Nothing beats a good idea or self-empowerment or a cohesive community, and for these reasons we are optimists about 2020.”

I believe what Dr. Brogan says about doors opening. When we honor our body enough to give it what it needs for vital well-being, it is true. Because it is happening right now as I write this review. My husband is now managing his Type II Diabetes without pHARMa drugs. My joy and enthusiasm for life is awakening. I’m thrilled that I trusted in my Self enough to follow my soul in this direction, even before this book was published. Her book legitimized and validated my soul’s path to wellness.

It’s time books like this were required reading in grade school.

I am grateful beyond words.

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