To the girl I once was
by Ankita Muwal
Holistic Health Practitioner Turned Coach - Nature Worshipper - MBA & BTech- Budding youtuber
28, Single, Chandigarh, India
To all the HS warriors:
The first thing I want you to know is that you are not alone. I felt really alone and helpless after being diagnosed. I was 17 or 18 years old when I started experiencing boils, but misguidance and misdiagnosis kept me in the dark for 7 years. I was diagnosed in 2017 when I reached stage 3. I could barely move my arms or legs which relentlessly affected day to day life. It took me a long time to accept my diagnosis; I never thought something incurable could happen to me.
I was given medications including antibiotics, steroids and painful injections without understanding why my skin behaved badly. I did not understand the repercussions of the medications I was given and trusted that my dermatologist would take care of me. These medications only suppressed the symptoms temporarily and the chemicals actually delayed my healing and caused serious side effects.
Research says that a mother experiences pain equivalent to breaking 200 bones during childbirth and HS is a condition which is more painful than that. I have lived with this pain for almost a decade so I can empathize. The biggest commonality amongst people fighting HS is that the painful experiences are the same, it doesn't matter from which part of the world one comes. Early diagnosis and right guidance can save someone from excruciating pain. I felt miserable seeing my wounds, but now that I have healed I am proud of them; these scars remind me of what I have survived.
This story is about a girl who...
once even thought of taking her life because she felt that she lost it all
has been through excruciating physical pain for almost a decade
begged, cried and pleaded to the dermatologist to heal her skin, but all they could do was prescribe new set of antibiotics
was told that it's a severe case and she would never heal
was asked if she has a medical insurance because the treatment involved injecting biologics and which was beyond what she could afford
left the hospital without uttering a single word after the dermatologist examining her said "This is so scary"
was depressed and stayed in her room for about 3 months and did not even speak to her own family because she could not accept herself (no phone, no technology, and each moment was no less than a nightmare )
was hopeless because not even a single person told her that one day she will be fine
did not tell anyone about this incurable disease because she feared how others would accept he ,e including her own family knowing they already had issues and how could she add on their pain
completed an MBA on an education loan and and had to leave her job because she was unable to carry out even daily chores
was unable to attend her MBA graduation ceremony for which she worked so hard day in and day out
had zero income and had bills to pay and never thought she’d be in a position of being a burden to her family even though her family was supportive
spent hard earned money on award winning dermatologists, Ayurvedic docs, homeopaths and more
silently approached Western medicine hoping they would have better medical facilities, but that was even worse
only friends in 2018 were Sun, Moon, Sky, and Trees because she feared being judged
used to pop 8-10 painkillers a day because that was the quick fix she could think of
was ready to do anything under the sun to just survive
was insecure and felt clueless as to what future held for her
practiced superstitions thinking maybe bad karma is responsible for her situation
spent sleepless nights all alone sitting and pondering “why me?”
forced herself to believe that she was healing even when everything she was doing was aggravating the pain and worsening the situation
got her hair straightened in November 2017 because she was unable to brush her own hair
wore ill fitted dark coloured clothes because all her clothes would get stained in pus and blood
was injected with painful steroids deep into wounds
She became invincible when she...
decided to take charge of her health and the universe heard her prayers
started believing that she was alive for a reason
started focusing on being grateful for every little thing in life
decided to educate herself on health in spite of having education and degrees in Science and management
decided to say no to everything that disturbed her peace
started praying for the ones who had wronged to her
began to understand that normal people don't hurt each other ;it was pain inside that person that caused them to lash out
stopped blaming others
chose empathy and thanked everyone who crossed her path
healed when she made herself a priority instead of giving excuses
healed when she decided to share her story without fear of being judged
healed when she chose compassion, respect and empathy for others and their lifestyle choices
Myths related to HS
Never believe when a dermatologist tells you that HS is because you are unhygienic.
Ayurveda, an Eastern way of life which focuses on lifestyle changes like mindful eating practices, maintaining sleep hygiene, physical activity, and most importantly, our mindset. According to Ancient Ayurveda, the power of your lifestyle is 99% and 1 % is herbs with medicinal benefits.
Based on the theory of Ayurveda, 96% of diseases start from the gut (not necessarily in all cases and not for all illnesses). Although a healthy gut is important, it is important to remember genetics and environmental factors also play a role. Hippocrates, Father of modern medicine, said the same. HS is related to high toxicity inside the body which is reflected on the outside of the body. High toxins in the blood reflect on the skin. Lifestyle disease responds to lifestyle modifications. For me, not even homeopathy or Ayurveda medicines worked, but I am not against them (they should be taken under supervision).
Excess body weight = Excess body waste
I lost around 30 kgs of stubborn excess weight, but those excess 30 kgs lost carried a lot more than just fat. It carried my past broken life, painful wounds, toxic relationships, and much more. My journey has not always been easy, but it has been necessary. My story has chapters which consist of triumphs as well as defeat, a lot of unspeakable joy, and yet some pages of unbearable pain. Taking all that into consideration you will never read in my story that I lost my faith. Many can't see the struggle or the endless hours of hard work behind my success and that's perfectly alright. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned throughout my journey is self belief. It has made me unstoppable no matter what others say. I started alone, but today I am surrounded by grateful souls who are undergoing transformation alongside me and under my guidance . Before I started self healing workshops I made a promise to myself to ensure that others regain their health faster than I did. I will never ask anyone to do something which I won’t do myself. don't do unlike most of the practitioners who hide the truth because they want you to keep coming back to them. During my healing Journey I have met people who misguided me so that I would revisit them for commercial interests. In my workshops, I share exactly what has benefited both me and my clients. My healing journey was not linear because there was no roadmap. This is why I do not want others to experiment or commit mistakes; all you have to do is follow SELF HEAL with faith, discipline and consistency.
Eating healthy is happiness
Eating healthy is not about living forever, rather it's about living disease free. I used to give myself the lame excuse “You only live once so eat anything”. This was simply to pacify my mind because I felt I could never become lean or fit like others. Mindless eating, socialising, drugs, and alcohol are poor coping mechanisms.
You have been given the gift of life; value and respect it. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still ahead of everyone who is not trying. Taking care of your health is not selfish. You can help so many apart from family and friends. There are people who love you and rely on you, so look after your health so that you can look after them. Being your best self is actually a way of giving back to society.
To the me I was then, I forgive you
I look at the past version of myself and I choose to forgive her for her choices and habits. At the same time, I am grateful to her for helping me discover this new version. I choose to be kind, compassionate, forgiving and empathetic towards her. I have been through the darkest scariest places alone, which is why it is so important to me to help lift others to the highest places.
Even I have felt hopeless, helpless and directionless
I was eating clean, but my condition still worsened. HS is an auto-inflammatory condition and treating it is definitely tricky; my suggestion would be to educate yourself about the dos and don’ts, which will empower you. Rather than giving diet plans, I spend my time and energy educating and empowering people, which makes them more aware and collectively receive the desired results.
My clients and I feel empowered because we have invested time in educating ourselves on the basics of the human body. It sounds cliché, but it isn’t, if I can do it then anyone can. It doesn't matter if there are thousands of odds against you, feed your mind with just one good reason to keep you going. Appreciate this precious gift of your body from Mother Nature. Respect it, value it, make time for it. Your body will always give you signals, so listen before it screams (I did not and paid dearly). I want others to learn from my mistakes. It's not about losing the weight, but rather about shedding the lifestyle & mindset that got you there.
Now I consider my HS as a blessing in disguise. I am grateful for the lessons it taught me as without it I would never have bothered to mend my ways. I never want anyone to go through the traumatic experience I have endured so I began educating people on a holistic lifestyle to help them transform into good health naturally. It took a lot of strength and courage for me to share my story with the world and the only intention behind this is to spread HOPE. I sincerely believe the efforts you make to heal yourself will be seen by the universe and it will reciprocate once you are truly ready and deserving. I once was an emotional, diseased, obese person with body image issues, perceived as lazy, who was depressed and had failed relationships. Today I feel mature, confident, healthy, happier and enjoy good relationships.
Everyone has a story to tell, and whether we whisper or yell, each one of us has lessons to teach. We are shaped by our experiences and life is a beautiful masterpiece bound together by our experiences. By opening up and sharing your story you may become an inspiration to others.
I have begun to share my story through instagram and youtube:
INSTAGRAM : u.selfheal
How far I’ve come...
-> Atheist to Nature worshipper
-> From being lonely to enjoying solitude
-> Empowered instead of feeling helpless and that's what I attempt to do through my work
-> Pessimist to Positive Influencer
-> Being grateful, even for the pain, because it helped me to discover my strength
-> Creating a new identity from scratch after quitting a decent corporate job
-> Being okay even when things don't work out instead of feeling miserable
-> Capitalising on failures and using them to improve instead of cursing myself
-> Building meaningful friendships instead of hollow selfish connections
-> Being empathetic instead of being judgmental
-> Rejoicing other people's prosperity instead of being jealous
-> From having no one to now having friends and clients who pray for my well-being
-> Being a compassionate listener instead of trying to prove myself
-> Fearless instead of vulnerable
-> From having no money to pay my education loan to gradually becoming financially independent
-> Mentally invincible instead of weak
-> Unable to wear clothes by myself to dancing to my favorite songs
-> Understanding that self-care isn't selfish
->Celebrating life instead of giving up on it just because it's difficult
-> Understanding it was never about losing the weight, but more about the losing mindset and lifestyle responsible for that weight
-> I owe everything to the nature for shaping me into this person and forever grateful even though the journey was extremely hard; reflection and introspection helps me to be grateful
Owning your story and loving yourself is the bravest thing that you’ll ever do. Fighting with your inner demons is the hardest fight you’ll face. Take care of health holistically, both physical & mental, as they go hand in hand.
What you do today will improve all your tomorrows. I give God all the glory. I love my past, present and future. Sincere gratitude not only protects you, but also transforms you. I consider this the beginning of my journey of building a brand new identity, transforming more lives, and building harmonious relationships.
If you feel lost, unworthy and helpless, just believe in yourself; I did and look what happened!
You all deserve all the good things in life.
Do it for you.
Wishing you abundance of health and happiness with lots of love,