When we moved out west after my six months in The Bathtub™, my husband's sister had gone …
Four years ago today, my mother left her body after a twenty-year struggle with herself. To the casual observer, she died of "MS", but thanks to fighting tooth and nail through my own traumatic experiences, I see the whole thing very differently.
For as long as I can remember, our home was filled with unhealthy "food". My father was self-employed, so the financial aspect of my childhood wasn't always all that secure or dependable, but even during our poorest times, our cupboards were stocked with cookies, pasta, chips, bread, and "treats" (I call these "mis-treats" today) of all kinds. Even in the winter, our freezer contained ice cream, frozen waffles, and popsicles, and we definitely ate them.
My father would pass us twenty-dollar bills whenever my sister and I would head to the convenience store at the end of our street, and rarely was there ever any change as we lugged home plastic bags filled to the rim with penny candy, pop, freezies, and anything and everything we could afford. Most, if not all, of this junk would be consumed that very day.
Our family life growing up, in pretty well every way, was all about excess and the extreme - this or that, all or nothin'. Daily Tim Horton's mis-treats, lavish dinners at The Keg whenever we were doing well financially, and when we weren't doing so great financially, just a can of Campbell's soup and salmon sandwiches with Wonder Bread.
At seven years old, I contracted pinworm, and we all went to the hospital so I could get checked out (the only and ever time I've been to the hospital for myself). My parents didn't make the connection, and as is tradition, neither did the doctors (who know nothing about the importance of nutrition and are only programmed to push prescriptions and shots because they get kickbacks).
Almost at eleven years old, I started gaining too much weight. This on its own as a pre-pubescent can be scary, depressing, and very embarrassing, but at this age, having loved to sing and find solace in my voice and music throughout my whole childhood, I officially decided that I would be a singer as my life's career. So at this young age, I was demoing songs for other writers to pitch to companies and singers, I came home from school daily to work on writing and recording songs, and I lived and breathed music even bigger than I already had. It was always my dream to become famous in that arena.
And by the time I was thirteen years old, I was finally being recognised for what I was good at. I was connected to an A&R guy (do they even have those anymore?!) at Arista Records in L.A., and he and my father (who acted as my manager in those days) struck up a kind of friendship. Record companies in Japan were interested in signing me. I got used to a slew of remarks such as "beautiful face", "amazing voice", and the most debilitating following of, "but she needs to lose some weight before we'll sign her". Do you know how debasing that is?! Especially to a thirteen-year-old girl who is a dreamer and in love with love, and who only wished to be recognised (by both the industry and cute little boys) for the fun, talented, creative, deep-feeling person she was? (One of many reasons the entertainment industry is disgusting, but that's truly a blog post for another day!)
Around this time, I was still gaining weight and now experiencing skin issues (extreme dry skin that made me look scaly and feel even worse about my looks) that hadn't arose before. And I was still eating terrible food and not making the connection! I was ADDICTED to sugar and yeast, I was deeply depressed and living in embarrassment of what I looked like (because neither the record companies nor the boys wanted me, so why would I want me?), I didn't love myself, I was a low-level insomniac, and I was sneaking cookies and chips and bringing them up to my bedroom on a nightly basis to eat under the covers. I was never really interested in working out or even going for a walk (unless it was to the store to get junk), and I just kept eating and eating and eating - drowning myself in my sorrow and self-hatred.
At fourteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with MS. Almost immediately, she owned it. This amazing woman who had always been so strong and determined, who loved to read tons of self-help books and cared about her own empowerment and improvement, this woman who was an amazing cheerleader and supporter for others, gave her power away that day. She gave into the fear of what an "MS" diagnosis meant to her in her experience (her brother had been in a wheelchair years ago after also being diagnosed), and she gradually fell apart over the next twenty years. At the beginning, her legs didn't work as well as they used to, and she "progressed" to a cane then a walker then a wheelchair for many years before her bodily death. We noticed a few years after the diagnosis that she started slurring her words, until she basically gave up talking for the most part, except to force out with great difficulty a "yes" or a "hi". The woman who painted and read books and wrote in a journal and created interesting woodburnings and crafts lost the use of her hand as it curled up, twisted, and tightened into a claw.
After her diagnosis, she started looking at how she ate, but instead of getting back to basics and panning out as far as she could to see as much of the picture as possible, she focused only on diets that were catered towards MS. After her diagnosis, she talked constantly about "my MS"; she owned it on all levels. She even commented a few times about how maybe she was going through this pain and struggle so that a number of others wouldn't. An incredibly noble thought, but just as debilitating and self-denying.
It was around sixteen years old that I started thinking about suicide and thinking about it daily. Between never feeling as though I belonged in this world, the sickness my mother (and ultimately all of us) was going through, dealing often with rejection on many levels (from peers and the music industry), and being bigger than the people around me, I was miserable. I thought about all the ways I could get rid of myself and stop being such a burden on the world, on my family, on myself.
Okay. So let's fast-forward to me at thirty-two years old, seven years ago and eighteen years after my mother was diagnosed, because that's where the culmination of all these terrible eating patterns and all those years of not exercising or embracing movement led to.
December thirteenth, 2013. My issues had definitely worsened since my teenage years. At 320 pounds, I was wearing a size 26 pants, 4X shirts, and a triple-H bra (betcha didn't think they made those huh?!). My hair was too stringy and dry, and I lost what seemed like a lot of it whenever I'd wash it. I hadn't worn makeup in four years, but my skin was the most scaly and painful it had ever been - even to the point where my cheeks and forehead would bleed or secrete poison in the aftermath of my sluffing off dead skin in the shower (and pre-sluffing, I was itchy as fuck). My feet, ankles, and hands were always swollen - there was never any relief from this, and walking a few blocks, even in runners, would cause massive blisters on my toes, foot tops, and heels. My periods were few and far-between - I would experience a three-day menstruation every five or six months. I had quit wearing deodorant for a few years, but I still had a lump under my left armpit from my lymphs being clogged from never working out and avoiding sweating out all the toxins I'd accumulated over the years (the previous unnecessary deodorant included!). I had horrible body odour that usually started only a few minutes upon leaving the shower (and this was not due to not wearing unnecessary deodorant). I had a slew of boils on the insides of my thighs that I constantly had to drain and treat with tea tree oil. I had terribly itchy eczema on the back of my right hand, and on the same hand, my cuticles were receding and tucking underneath themselves. I was constantly exhausted, and no amount of sleep would levy this. And even during the small pockets of that life when I would push myself to go for an hour-long walk or to a gym or go dancing, I never released any weight and would continue to gain weight.
I was depressed and stayed up until all hours of the night playing video games that helped me avoid all the horrors of my life, and I wouldn't bother getting out of bed until the afternoon the next day. I avoided going to the theatre, theme parks, traveling (after the age of 25 when I stopped going to L.A.), I avoided having FUN because my ass was too big to fit in the average-sized seat! I was embarrassed to be seen out in public, so I stayed indoors as often as I could (I worked from home as a voiceover artist) - even sometimes getting my husband to go get groceries alone because I just couldn't bear to be judged or looked at; I figured everyone who saw me thought I was the most disgusting blob of ugly, smelly waste-of-space garbage they had ever seen.
But really, that's what I thought about myself.
Now this doesn't mean that at this time, I wasn't trying to improve my situation. A few years prior, we had cut out all soda from our grocery store trips (although we would buy a 2L or a couple of cans whenever we'd order Pizza Hut or some other garbage). We cut back on our alcohol consumption. We shopped less and less at the big grocery store and instead opted to buy from a local market - and organic and non-GMO - whenever we could. I went raw vegan for a few months and was immediately citing differences in how I felt emotionally and physically (though I didn't quite cut out the perpetrators of my lack of health, and a temporary diet mentality never succeeds). We bought a juicer and made organic juices and elixirs. We went for hour-long walks, even in the wintertime. Also, in early 2008, I went through a great awakening that helped me to realise that we've been lied to by "officials" and "experts" about EVERYTHING, and that nothing present in mainstream society is without perversion, trauma-based mind control, ritualisation, manipulation, and the stealing of freedoms and sovereignty - and this alone pushed me to want to eat better foods and try new things to improve my situation, to be stronger and healthier should I need to defend myself and to be ready for whatever came.
We weren't adopting these new, healthier ways all the time, mind you - it was stuff we sprinkled into our longstanding terrible habits. We were still drinking alcohol (we'd cut back, but that really doesn't matter) and getting takeout, but for some of our meals, we were boosting the amount of times we'd juice or eat organic homemade salads or try out new raw recipes. At this point, we didn't yet realise we needed to cut out the bullshit altogether, and finally, for me, things came to a climax.
In the particular few weeks leading up to the end of 2013, I was working eight-hour days and really throwing myself into my work, sticking it out in my makeshift studio of blankets and boxes, trying to save up as much money as I possibly could because the following May, we would be moving to Salt Spring Island B.C. (which is an amazing story of synchronities and meant-to-bes that I'll be telling some time in the future, for sure!). I became so overworked that I couldn't even make dinner, I was so very exhausted, so we were ordering pizza and wings and Chinese takeout and pop three or four times a week for almost a month.
And then I found myself on December thirteenth 2013 with a yeast infection. Not something I hadn't dealt with before - yeast infections were something I experienced probably once every seven months or so for years and years prior to this point, so there was nothing that seemed amiss about this (even though a yeast infection alone means EVERYTHING is amiss!). On New Year's Eve, I was drinking Fireball with this yeast infection, and I found myself at the beginning of the new year in the worst pain I've ever experienced (and up to this point, I had experienced a Bartholin's gland cyst on my vagina for four days, and that shit is horrible).
For the next almost-six months, up until the moment we got in our truck and started driving northwest from Ontario to B.C., I lived about 99% of my life in the bathtub. This was an absolute nightmare that, interestingly, I would never in a quadrillion years take back because . . .
At this point, I couldn't do anything except be strong and patient, remind myself constantly that this was temporary and I was gonna make it to the other side of this challenge, and work on healing myself. I was unable to work at all, and I've always been a loner, but I did have a few friends at the time that I could no longer hang out with. I vaped cannabis in the bathtub constantly to alleviate my pain (as amazing as cannabis is, it didn't take away enough of it, that's for sure!). I went without meals for weeks because everything I ate made the pain worse and worse, but my husband would force me to eat at least a few small handfuls of raw broccoli and/or raw cauliflower every day. I could no longer have sex with my husband, and we abstained for eight months while I went through the worst of this (what a trooper he is!). I found myself crying (horrible wretching, helpless sobbing), screaming, and convulsing (bucking my pelvis) for literal months. I couldn't poop on the toilet because I contracted hemorrhoids and needed the shower's hot water to be beating against me while I did! I would scratch my vagina so compulsively that it would puff up to four times its size and bleed all over; this got to the point where I couldn't even touch my vagina because that would lead to compulsive scratching from the pain and itchiness, so my beautiful, wonderful best friend hero of a husband would apply organic coconut oil to the area countless times a day. I even lost a particular register in my voice that I'd always had perfectly well because of all my screaming!
It was like a reset button in my body had been switched on, and now I found myself in the pits of my own personal version of "Hell", fighting and being attacked and struggling to claw my way up and out. It was a multi-dimensional, multi-fractal fight that I fought from all angles and aspects. On average, I was sleeping about twenty minutes every single night from the beginning of January to the beginning of May, 2014. Sometimes I would pass out in the bathtub because I was so exhausted and my body just couldn't take it anymore, but I would be awake again in twenty minutes when the water got too cold! So then I would refill with blazing hot water (besides cannabis, the only thing that brought even a modicum of pain relief), and it would all begin again.
I never once turned to a doctor or a medical "professional" because I knew what the answers would be - "take this pill", "take this antibiotic", "we don't know what's wrong with you, but let's run a buncha tests that will NEVER get us to the root problem of what you're dealing with", etc. Instead, I had my laptop in the bathroom with me and read countless other people's experiences through my screams and tears. I learned that what was being created by me ('cause nothing ever just happens - we are actually ridiculously powerful, which is why the system targets us) was called the "Herxheimer reaction", something you go through when the candida overgrowth in your gut flora is being killed off. And while no one else that I read about had had such a traumatic experience as I had, I knew that this was the die-off of 32 years of mistreating my wonderful body.
This was the exact time when I realised I had almost always had a candida overgrowth - I could trace it back to when I was seven years old and I had gone to the hospital with pinworm.
Finally, the time came when we needed to go out west. At the beginning of May, I was still daily soaking in Epsom salts and tea tree and applying coconut oil, but I was finally able to go out of the house for small increments of time. Which was great because it was the only way I would be able to say goodbye to my father, my sister, and especially my mother, who I knew I'd be saying goodbye to for the last time in this life and in these bodies. I was without a bathtub on the journey (except for our nighly hotel room stays), but I was so very happily relieved to find that the vibrations of our truck helped to numb my vaginal pain. When I peed on the road, I would pat my vagina with toilet paper SO GENTLY because I was fully aware of what a harder pat could do. I vaped cannabis from the bathtub in our hotel rooms and was finally having attacks fewer and farther apart from each other.
My clothes were falling off of me, and it was obvious to everyone I had dropped a crazy amount of weight in that time - most of them of course didn't know the pain I had to go through and the personal strength I had to unearth in order to get to that point. The first thing I did when we got to our island was use the scale at my husband's sister's house.
185 pounds. I had lost 135 pounds in the fucking bathtub.
How was that even possible?!
The pain would last off and on for the next two years (I couldn't even go back to Ontario for my mother's own wake because there was no freakin' way I could've put my legs together during a flight for six hours, not to mention all the other aches and pains I still had from my experience), but I would find myself finally LIVING for the first time! I felt free for the first time. For 22 years, I loathed myself because of how I looked. I was so ashamed of myself! I avoided people or even leaving the house because I was so afraid of what people would think of me. What a waste of my life!!!
Let's fast-forward to now. November nineteenth, 2018. I've dropped even more weight, and it continues to drop. My bra is now a double-D, and I don't have to buy it from a "fat" clothing store. My pants are size ten to fourteen. I'm wearing medium - and sometimes even small - shirts and sweaters! I don't use mainstream hair products, and my hair is healthier and shinier than ever (albeit definitely a lioness' mane, like my mother's used to be). My skin is soft for the first time ever, and it still gets the tiniest amount of dry when the autumn and winter rains come in, but the pain has diminished almost 100%, and I don't deal with skin that bleeds or secretes poison anymore - and in the summertime, my skin looks golden and AMAZING. I have no more swelling of my ankles, feet, and hands, and in fact, my shoe size dropped a size and a half! There is no longer a bump under my armpit, and I no longer have terrible body odour. I released the eczema from my hand during my time in the bathtub, and my cuticles untucked themselves and flattened out properly. Having dealt with a slow thyroid for most of my teen years and beyond thanks to candida overgrowth (which explains at least part of the deep depression, great exhaustion, and not being able to drop any weight), suddenly this is no longer an issue - when I go for a walk, I notice the weight release from said walk within a couple of days! The suicidal thoughts are completely gone and, while I have my own reservations about this realm and that I definitely do not belong here (a topic for another time), I no longer plan to kill myself or hurt myself in any way. Any food addictions I had for the 22 years prior to living in the bathtub are GONE, and I have zero fear about going out in public or socialising now (though my personal shyness from all that programming throughout the years has been a very tough one to break!).
Now, I loooooooove climbing mountains and going for hikes - this is actually a weekly (or more) adventure my husband and I do together, and I wouldn't trade it for anything! Now I live for us getting suited up (especially when we're wearing three layers of clothing in the winter!) and climbing a mountain here on the island, and we even choose on purpose the more challenging hikes with more inclines and difficulties. I create healing-food meals for us daily, some of it coming from our own thirty-by-forty foot organic garden. We even have forty beautiful chickens who give us healthy organic eggs every day! (At some point in this blog, I'll definitely be doing a telling of what it is we eat in a week/month because I know many would benefit from it - myself included. After all, observation is powerful!) We love and embrace this life wherein we strive for BALANCE and healing in all endeavours.
Now we get to why I'm creating this blog and why I feel it's important for me specifically to do so. There are so many good people from my old life (pre-SSI) who I see are still toiling with their health - obesity, food addiction, lack of self-worth, living in self-denial, diagnoses that definitely do not get to the root of the issue . . . My husband and I have a mission in this life, and it's to break programming - to shake off all the layers of deceit and illusion, to stop harmful cycles in their tracks and reverse the trajectory. For the last four and a half years, while living in this amazing place, we have worked diligently towards this, and I know that we both have some important things to say that could inspire and/or inform others. I now in most cases can tell just by looking who is dealing with a candida overgrowth, and I wish to reach out to those people with love and kindness to inform them of what they could do to change the situation. And to remind them very adamantly that YOU ARE VALUABLE, and your body does not define you. It manifests to show you what you're lacking or having too much of, but I guarantee it does not define you. If I could go back to the pre-SSI Holly (and I plan to), I would let her know this and let her see what she can become.
Because nobody needs to go through what I went through. Now I find myself having those moments where, like my mother, I wonder if I went through such a horrific experience so that I could spare the same or similar for others. There's probably no way I'll ever know (though there are ways to find out), but in truth, I'd much rather connect with others and inspire them and hear from them that I've made a difference - and get to see the fruits of their endeavours!
Always being a spiritual (not religious) optimist and a believer and experiencer of all possibility, I'd always known conceptually myself to be powerful and divine. But until I went through the pain and struggle of The Bathtub™, I had never experienced it. And I can tell you that there is nothing like being in the pits of your own proverbial hell dimension, fighting until you're feeling as though you're about to die every moment for months, and then finally clawing your way up and out - covered in blood and gore from the demons you've battled and killed, swathed in new scars from the many times you took a blow, and suddenly filled with so much deep self-love, self-awareness, and gnosis - all of which cannot be broken or lost once you've found it. I have experienced how powerful and divine I am, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything because it made me a completely different person. I love more and fight less, I flow more and push less, I give more and take less, I lean on the side of kindness and a willingness to understand and connect, and I appreciate more deeply and more wholeheartedly than I ever knew was possible. My level of gratitude and self-love could not ever be fully understood by another - unless they've done similar to what I have done.
Sugar, and the candida it creates, are murderers. It's behind almost every dis-ease you can think of. Cancer. Heart dis-ease. Diabetes. MS and Parkinson's. Candida overgrowth has connections to Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, Addison's, depression. Even stress, skin breakouts, cysts and boils, and "common" colds and flus! Dis-ease isn't "genetic" the way doctors program you to believe (and are programmed themselves to believe). Candida is most present naturally upon body death, as it helps the body to break down and decompose (which, when you think about it, means that with all that candida in my body before, I was decomposing while alive). Sugar ignites the same pleasure centers of the brain as cocaine; it is addictive, and the candida that it breeds literally controls your mind. Do you know how many times I used to take a two-block walk only for the purpose of buying a dozen doughnuts - and then going home and eating half a dozen in rapid succession to help that fucking bacteria multiply?! Have you experienced that? If so, you need to get sugar out of your life. It is in sauces, condiments, dressings, et al, but all you need to do is start making your own sauces, condiments, and dressings. Give up the Dr. Pepper and Snickers bars (my old "loves") and finally allow yourself to LIVE!
The reality is, you don't need to change everything. Change one thing; everything changes. It really is more simple than I used to tell myself. But at the time, I had this very persuasive bacteria group (nanotechnology, as far as I'm concerned) controlling my decisions and swaying my opinions. And now it's gone. I tell ya, nothing is as relieving and relaxing as having that voice in your head for 22 years, and then one day it's just disappeared. How exhilarating!
I have learned from the mistakes I've made. I have grown and improved and blossomed as a being of possibility and love and divinity, and I know that I'm not the only one who can do it. I don't struggle with weight anymore, nor do I strive to be "thinner" or "more beautiful" ('cause that has nothing to do with weight anyway). Now I live in the moment, live consciously, make self-aware decisions and choices aimed towards my own personal growth and betterment. We need to heal ourselves of the infection, and sugar is a horrendously huge part to all of the discord we are seeing today. I see now how the rest of my family has toiled with this issue and are still addicted, and how ultimately, sugar and candida overgrowth killed my mother in the end. (The last couple of years of her life, she was dealing with thrush in the mouth - one of the surefire ways of knowing your gut has been overtaken by this bacteria.)
Balance must be made, and I implore every last one of you reading this now to take a look at what you're eating, REALLY look at it, and make at least one little change - perhaps the one that you've been thinking about for a while. We must kill off the infections that have blocked us from a high-quality life filled with health and personal power! We must work individually to grow and improve and be open to our own expansion - and when we do, all of that radiates out and helps to shift the world into a much higher frequency in all aspects, in all ways.
If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to comment down below or contact me through my webhub, http://hollylindinspire.net . I wish for only the greatest of possibilities, the deepest of love, and the most holistic quality of living for all of us. I am wholeheartedly grateful to you for reading and coming along with me on what turned out to be one of the biggest, most important parts of my journey. In the future, I'll be talking about other aspects of my journey, and I would love to hear all of yours.
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I recently was asked a question from a friend who's looking to eliminate sugar (and gluten) from her life, asking what I would recommend or advise to someone starting out on this cleanse. So I thought I would write a blog entry to give any recommendations or tips on this subject because I know that sugar is in EVERYTHING that most people are buying (even things seemingly innocuous like dressings, condiments, salsas, etc.), and that can make people feel like it'd be difficult to quit sugar (it's not - there's always an alternative :)). Plus, this is a multi-dimensional subject that actually spans so much more than just what you're eating, but also how you're thinking, how you regard "activities" or "working out", your relationship with yourself and food, etc. (but we'll get into that - maybe not in this blog entry so much, but definitely soon).
When we moved out west after my six months in The Bathtub™, my husband's sister had gone …
When we moved out west after my six months in The Bathtub™, my husband's sister had gone …