I have always had a love/hate relationship with my body. I was the girl who never liked what I saw in the mirror, so I would self-sabotage any chance I got. I would purposely suppress any emotions my body would try to bring to the surface because I felt it was easier than dealing with reality. I would abuse my body through food and alcohol because at the time it was easier to handle, and honestly I had no self-worth. I was miserable and I knew the life I was leading wasn't serving me or allowing me to live to my highest potential, but I didn't carry the confidence to make a change.
Ironically, it wasn't until I was staring down a life with chronic illness that I would finally start to see my self-worth.
I never thought that I would be faced with chronic illness, or become an autoimmune disease advocate helping women all over the world reconnect with their bodies and live a life free from disease, but I've learned that the universe ultimately has a bigger plan. I'm grateful for my disease every day because it allowed me to have a deeper understanding of my body—to finally love and embrace it, along with the life I've been given.
Illness has a way of changing us from the inside out, allowing us to see the blockages that occur in our lives. Here are five life lessons that my disease has taught me and, hopefully, can help you whether you're living with an autoimmune disease or not.