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How to Be Your Own Hero When Faced With a Hopeless Challenge

Superhero

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

Can you remember a time when you felt completely helpless?

I do. It was the day my daughter was diagnosed with a serious digestive illness. The doctor told us in the hospital chapel, and he acted like it was a death sentence. His one and only solution was to hand us sets of harsh prescriptions.

I was in shock, and I knew deep down that something just didn’t add up. Her symptoms hadn’t even been that severe, although she had lost a significant amount of weight. What was happening to my little girl?

I turned to some of the most highly respected specialists, hoping to stumble upon one who was willing and able to think outside the prescription pad. Instead, the best any of them could do was offer a pill of a different color.

At that point, doctors seemed more like villains than the heroes I was hoping for. So, I took matters into my own hands.

The journey was long, and we had many ups and downs. With every step forward, we had to take a step back. I became concerned that my daughter would never lead a normal life, but we kept going and never gave up.

Then, something amazing happened. After four long years, we finally found the missing piece of her complicated health puzzle. Not only did our persistence and determination pay off, but my daughter got her life back! Her digestive system had healed, and the future was bright once again.

It was a true miracle.

After that experience, I realized that I could overcome almost any obstacle, as long as I set my mind to it. Now I know that no matter how unbearable or hopeless a situation may initially seem, I have the power to do something about it.

You do, too.

Here’s how to unleash your inner superhero, if and when you’re faced with a serious challenge of your own.

1. Act like a sea star, not a wounded bird.

While a wounded bird usually can’t heal on its own, a sea star regenerates its own limbs. It doesn’t have to wait for another sea star, or a human, to come to the rescue.

Doctors backed me into a corner when they implied there was no alternative to their short sighted, one-size-fits-all solution. One even accused me of being a bad mom. That’s when I knew that I had to empower myself to help my daughter as best I could.

The bottom line:

You don’t always need someone or something else to help you overcome your obstacle. Yes, outside help can be beneficial. But you have the power within you to seek and potentially find solutions to your problem. First, you must acknowledge that you have tremendous power within. Then, and only then, can you take steps to unleash it.

2. Remember: the world is your oyster.

Did you know that oysters form pearls as a way to protect themselves from foreign substances, such as sand? Well, you could say that you have “pearls of wisdom” that give you the power to protect yourself and your loved ones.

It all starts with trusting your gut instincts. If I had ignored mine early on, then I would have missed an important clue that doctors’ advice could be more harmful than helpful to my daughter. And I would not have given myself a chance to connect the many dots that ultimately set her health free.

The bottom line:

Listen to your inner voice. Not only is it there to protect you, but it can guide you toward people, places, information, and ideas that can transform your life.

3. Dive deep into the research.

Just think about how many expert opinions, and stories of real and imaginary people who have walked in similar shoes, are available in books and online resources. But the best ones are not always easy to find.

I can’t tell you how many books and articles I’ve read ever since my daughter was diagnosed. Some were helpful; others were not. But there was one book that truly changed, and quite possibly even saved, my daughter’s life. And countless others as well.

The bottom line:

To become your own hero, go above and beyond surface level information. Reading the right book or article can not only relieve stress, but also provide you with valuable guidance that you probably won’t find anywhere else.

4. Avoid becoming overwhelmed.

On the other hand, so much information is available these days that exposing yourself to too much of it can actually work against you. Confusion can lead to indecision, which can easily prevent you from moving forward.

I caught myself going down the rabbit hole many times during those four years. Eventually, I learned to nip it in the bud, using simple stress-reduction techniques. I would practice deep breathing, go for a walk, listen to music, cook, or write. The time away allowed me to see things with a fresh perspective.

The bottom line:

Stress relief is crucial during challenging times, and especially when negative thinking patterns set in. Try different techniques, and set aside time for them every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. The mental break will do you good, so don’t feel guilty taking it.

5. Learn from your mistakes. (We all make them!)

While every decision and action may seem like a monumental task, in reality, you will likely go through a lot of trial and error before you find a complete solution. Be patient with yourself.

During our four-year journey, I made decisions based upon the limited information I had at the time. Nothing was ever clear-cut. I moved forward, knowing I’d make mistakes. And in the end, those mistakes allowed me to connect important dots and make the necessary adjustments.

The bottom line:

Do not strive for perfection. Learn from mistakes and move on. Fully immerse yourself in the journey, without allowing fear to paralyze you along the way.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Sometimes, life can get so challenging that we isolate ourselves. And while a certain amount of alone time can be transformative, you should find a source of emotional support as well.

This was a tough one for me since most of my friends and family members just didn’t understand what I was going through, and seeing my daughter experience the same thing at such an awkward age was heartbreaking. But I got a lot of support from a handful of people, including some forward-thinking health care providers. I couldn’t have gotten through those four years without their help.

The bottom line:

Do what you need to do on your own, but don’t be afraid to ask for personal and/or professional support. Seek out people who lift you up, rather than pull you down.

7. Make gratitude a daily habit.

When you stop and think about everything you have to be thankful for, the situation seems a lot less bleak. A little gratitude can go a long way. And true hero power cannot be unleashed without it!

It was my gratitude for having been blessed with such a wonderful family that fueled my every action during our four-year journey. I was reminded of it every day, when I looked at my two beautiful children. At times, I felt like a lion protecting her cub. Love motivated me from the core of my soul, each and every day.

The bottom line:

Every day, count on one hand five good things that are happening in your life. May they remind you of the five arms of a sea star. Jot them down in a journal, so you can revisit them anytime.

Do you believe you can become your own hero?

It’s not as hard as you might think.

And you don’t have to risk your life to do so.

Looking back on my experience with my daughter, it wasn’t any one grand, heroic gesture that turned her life around. It was small, consistent actions taken by both of us that ultimately got us where we needed to go.

It was our faith in a positive outcome, even when the path was unclear.

So, if and when life ever throws you a hopeless challenge, know that you can face it head on and make it through to the other side.

All you have to do is have faith in yourself, and make the decision to try.

Because no matter how difficult a situation may be and how helpless you may initially feel, there’s always hope. Even if you’ve hit rock bottom and have lost all faith in many of the people around you, the one person you can always count on is you.

As a true American hero, Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

If you believe in yourself, there’s nothing you can’t do!

Superhero image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of Dawn Riccardi Morris

About Dawn Riccardi Morris

Dawn Riccardi Morris offers highly personalized, certified health coaching for food sensitive families. She is on a mission to prove that clean, allergen free eating can be simple, yet delicious! Subscribe to her blog, at www.TransformedByFood.com, and receive her free quick start guide: 10 Delicious Gluten/Dairy/Sugar Free Snacks With NO Nasty Food Additives.

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  • Moorkan Ettadi

    I liked your post.
    I would like to tell you about my situation and ask about some guidance.
    I am a boy from India. 21 years of age. I love a girl. Its my first love. Its hers too. We are of the same age. Problem is she is of a different religion and my mother doesn’t like that. We are on a break as of now. When my mom came to know about this, she said, don’t start this relationship again. Already my elder bro is married to a girl from another religion and my mom is sad about that. My girl too has the same problem. She too doesn’t want to hurt her mom.
    What should I do? I am confused. I know, both of us are not mature enough even to think of marriage. But still my gut feeling say that if I let her go, I will regret in the future. I believe in living a life with as less regrets as possible.
    At the same time, the same gut feeling says that if I hold on to my girl, I would be hurting my mom, which I don’t want to. What should I do? This seems like the biggest and the most confusing problem I have ever come through in my life. How can I be a hero in this challenge?

  • Rashmi Ajay

    Inspiring article. Kudos to you as a wonderful mother who supported her daughter without any fear.Indeed anything in this world requires courage & ability to do so. Keep writing such inspirational tips.

  • mvk2307

    I felt truly inspired to the core after reading your story. I salute human spirit that has the power to overcome any obstacle, no matter how big or small it is. We all are miracles in our own way.
    I wish you and your family the best of health, wealth and happiness throughout life.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Thank you so much, MVK! You are so right – we all are miracles.

    I wish you and your family all the best, as well. Great things are going to happen in 2016!

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Thank you very much for the kind words, Rashmi! Yes, we all have times in our lives when we have to summon our courage. It’s natural to have fear, but if we really want something, we have the power to overcome it.

    You reminded me of a great quote by Nelson Mandela:

    “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

    Words can be powerful, so I will absolutely keep writing! Thanks for the encouragement. Peace, joy, and sunshine to you.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Thank you, Moorkan, for commenting and so openly sharing your difficult situation. First loves can definitely bring out very strong emotions, and I can’t imagine there being a person out there who can’t relate to your words in some way.

    I am certainly not an expert on this topic, but as a mom who’s youngest child is about to go off to college, I can understand what you and your mom are feeling. So I’ll share my perspective, but keep in mind that our cultures and religions might be different. And since we don’t know each other personally, it’s hard for me to give specific advice.

    With that said, here’s my take:

    You love your mom, and you love this girl. I can see how stressful it must be to feel like you are going to disappoint one or the other, and not be able to enjoy time with both, without feeling some sort of guilt.

    I’m sure your mom wants you to be happy, but things might be changing too fast for her to process right now. When children become adults and start to go off on their own, and make their own traditions, it’s definitely a big adjustment for parents as well.

    Is she willing to talk about all this? Are you able to tell her how you feel? If she’s not ready yet, is there anyone else you can reach out to for support, like your brother?

    It might really help to write your thoughts down in a journal. It will help you sort things out, and focus on finding a solution. It may not feel like it now, but you really do have the answers within you. If you write down your most pressing questions, you’ll be surprised at how the answers might flow out of you.

    Please make sure you find some way to relieve this stress. You may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, but know that you will get through this. If you take a step away from the situation, you’ll be able to see things with a fresh perspective.

    I have no doubt you will find your way. You have a bright future ahead!

    Thank you again for sharing such a personal challenge.

  • Mel

    Do you think you could share the title of that one book you mention, the one that helped the most? I always go to books for help, I’ve found a few through this site!
    You tell a good story, I’m so glad your daughter is ok now. It’s hard being sick like that at any age, but it’s somehow worse as a kid.
    Thanks.

  • rt

    Your daughter Dawn was blessed to have such a wonderful, determined mother who never stopped looking. I too am a strong believer in always looking for answers. That just because a medical practitioner or top specialist gives you a prognosis it doesn’t mean you have to live with it ,accept their way is right or there aren’t other options.
    Speaking from personal experience as mother and wife I endured many health issues which I was given dead ends to. But being the person I was and still am, I always believed that there must be more answers out there from people who know more or do things differently. And there was.
    Today I have my health back and prevented surgery for my children because I never gave up looking for answers. I did everything by myself. I found wonderful practitioners who were there to support and guide me which gave me hope and strength that things would get better. And they did.
    When we believe in ourselves and know there are always answers out there, we never give up because anything is possible.Good luck!

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Thank you very much, Mel. Of course I will share the book. At the time, I was buying organic, and thought I was doing everything I possibly could to keep my children healthy. But boy was I forced to re-think everything I believed about what it meant to eat healthfully. It was actually real food that most people think of as healthy that I believe made her sick.

    Anyway, soon after her diagnosis, I found the book. it was written by a mom like me, who went to even greater lengths to empower her own daughter to recover from ulcerative colitis, which was similar to what mine had been diagnosed with (although now we believe she was actually misdiagnosed). By reading it, I learned that digestive health really is the foundation of overall wellness. Almost every chronic illness is affected by (and many even caused by) how well -or not well – we are able to digest and absorb our food.

    Ever since then, which is about 8 years ago now, there has been tons of gut research going on, that essentially confirms what this author wrote in her book, but also goes above and beyond it. So there are numerous books now where you can find similar information.

    Keep in mind, though, that as powerful as dietary changes can be, they are often just one piece of a complex health puzzle. For my daughter, it was a major piece, but not the only piece.

    Enough said. The name of the book is Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, and it was written by Elaine Gottschall. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is one of many gut healing protocols these days, and to be honest, it’s not easy to implement properly. We made a lot of mistakes with it, but it still reversed many of her symptoms. Now she’s transitioned to a similar, but less restrictive diet.

    If you’d like other book suggestions, let me know! Thanks again for your comment.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Thank you for your very kind words, RT! And your children are very lucky to have you, as well. I am so glad that you – and they – have recovered and are feeling better. It’s kind of like climbing a tall mountain, and wondering if you’ll make it to the top, and finally getting there and seeing what a stunning view it is, isn’t it?

    We parents are very powerful, indeed! Especially now that the answers are very often right at our fingertips.

    I wish you and your family much peace, joy, sunshine, and optimal wellness. I really appreciate your taking time out to write such a thoughtful comment.

  • rt

    Your welcome Dawn and thank you. Though I must say your article made me become aware of just how much I have done and gotten through, on my own. And to see what I am capable of and how strong I am because of it. I guess I’ve just kept on going and doing to get through the challenges in my life. So I am very grateful to people like yourself Dawn who share their wonderful stories so people like myself can see I too am this strong, determined person,no matter what! Thank you for this blessing. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    You are a true sea star, RT! I couldn’t agree more. You absolutely should be very proud of all that you are and all that you have accomplished. You are so strong, and I am so glad to have reminded you of that. Deep down, I know you already knew it to be true, but sometimes, we get so immersed in the journey that we forget to stop and celebrate once in a while. So please do that for yourself now! Do a happy dance, sing a favorite song at the top of your lungs. Enjoy this moment, and carry it with you always. I am so happy for you, and wish many blessings to you and your family as well. May 2016 be your best year yet!

  • rt

    Thank you Dawn, I will! And also for you and your family!

  • Mel

    Thanks! I’ve ordered it from the library. It sounds similar to the anti-inflammatory diet I did a while ago. That one was pretty good, I still follow some of it but I’ve allowed just enough sugar back in to enable me to eat chocolate!
    It’s nice to know your daughter’s diet isn’t quite as restrictive now, sometimes these books make me feel like it’s this diet and only this diet forever. It can be discouraging. You, however, are quite encouraging!

  • Back in 2005 The doctors told me that my liver was shutting down and I had about 10 months to live. My only Son had passed away from an accident with a DUI driver. I have 2 Beautiful Daughters and my wife of 36 yrs. It seemed like a bad dream to me. My inner-self told me to stay calm and study until I found an answer that would heal me. After spending 3 months looking I finally found The Healer that referred me to another Healer and for 18 grueling months my Liver began to Heal. This is when my Life took a 180 degree turn, I started to Meditate and I refined my Diet even more, since I have been a vegetarian since the late 60’s. With Love and Self-forgiveness anything is possible, once the door to Total Awareness is open You are Free, and You become a Multidimensional Being having a Human experience. So as far as Health is concerned … Dr. Heal-thy-self … Namaste /

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    You’re welcome, Mel. It’s one of many gut healing diets, which are usually temporary. Some can work wonders, but as I said above, food sometimes isn’t the only problem you need to fix. But it’s a great place to start! Unfortunately, when you eliminate so many foods, it’s often easy to eat too many of the approved foods, which can work against you as well. So it you work with someone who is familiar with those pitfalls, the chances of success are much greater, and the learning curve is greatly reduced.

    With all that said, yes, my daughter is on a less restrictive diet, and is able to eat out again, but she still doesn’t each much processed food at all. Once you get used to it, you don’t want the junk anymore. Your taste buds no longer like the excessively strong, fake flavors that most packaged foods have. It takes time, but it really works!

    Thanks for the conversation and I wish you well. Have a great night!

  • Jennifer Hawkins

    Thanks so much for writing this. I’m facing a different kind of “impossible situation” right now and just need to get back to equanimity.

    Anyways, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way (as some kind of attack), but your article makes it seem like you were against your daughter taking any medication for any reason. I’m glad that she’s better and that you found doctors to really help you, but as someone who has to take medication for anxiety, I just wanted to say that not all medication is automatically bad. Sometimes doctors over-prescribe or prescribe instead of investing proper time into your care, but sometimes medication really can help. I just know that sometimes people with illnesses like depression read these things and turn down medications that really can help, so I wanted to just encourage anyone like that who is reading that not all medication is wrong or bad. I’ve been there. In combination with therapy and meditation, medication really can help. Don’t be afraid to try it.

    Just an aside because of my own experience. Again, great article. Thank you so much for sharing and I really am happy your daughter is better. <3

  • Moorkan Ettadi

    Thank you for your advice.
    Actually I have already started writing a journal everyday, and it has indeed helped me to organize my thoughts.

    Actually, I need to share one more thing about my problem. The thing is my brother has already married a girl of a different religion. My mother is still sad about it, although she is trying to cope with it. It is only to me that she shares all her problems and worries, and I know how much she is hurt.
    The case with my girl is that she has been brought by her mother only. Her father had passed away when she was young. Besides, she has two elder sisters. I don’t know how it is outside India, but here it is a huge task for a woman to deal with such a situation. There are every chances that people would be talking nasty things about her behind her back. Just imagine, 3 girls and a widowed woman, you get the drift right?

    But her mom had taken a huge effort to bring up those 3 girls. It is evident from the love she has towards her mother. I can see her side clearly.

    Right now, I am kind of confused.

    Anyways, thanks for your advice. It felt really good to read your comment.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Moorkan, you are wise well beyond your years. And you have a lot more empathy than most people do. I am so impressed with your level of maturity, and respect for both your mom and your girlfriend’s mom.

    You are clearly trying to do the right thing for everyone involved here, so I can see how you are struggling with this. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. Actually, it’s very rare that you can please everyone! And if you keep trying to all your life, you end up sacrificing your own happiness.

    It seems that like me, you are challenging the status quo. The old generation is stuck on its old ways, and you are one of the people who is going to change minds and hearts. But that path is never easy. You are an extraordinary person and I can tell that if you really want something, you will find a way to make it happen. Remind yourself of how strong you are.

    It’s great that you are writing. The next step might he to spend some time out in nature. Just be alone in your thoughts and enjoy the beauty of what’s around you. Ask yourself how you might help your mom to act more like a sea star, as you are. How might you continue to make her feel loved, appreciated, and supported, while making the choices that will enable you to lead your happiest life? What can you say to help her understand that you are an adult now, and need to make your own choices?

    I know it can be really hard laying it all out on the table and opening the lines of communication, but consider how you might feel years from now if you don’t so so now. Your mom wants you to be happy, so if you tell her how you feel, you might be surprised by her change of heart. At the same time, you also should listen closely to her concerns, because she probably thinks she’s doing what’s best for you. Take it seriously, and then explain why you don’t agree.

    Deep down, I think you know what you want to do. You have the strength and the power to get through this!

    And on that note, I will end with yet another great Theodore Roosevelt quote:

    “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

    Best of luck to you!

    One more suggestion: join the Tiny Buddha forum, because you might find people who have been through a similar situation who can give you some great advice.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    That is the worst kind of loss, Jojo. I am so sorry. Stress absolutely has a powerful effect on the body. I have witnessed it firsthand, as well.

    What a perfect example of following your inner wisdom. In doing so, you made your own miracle! What an amazing story. You took control of your health and reclaimed it. What an amazing feeling that must be. I am very happy for you.

    I am sure that your son is so proud of you. He wants you and your family to enjoy this time you have on this Earth. And you beat the odds to do just that. Have you ever thought of writing a book to share your story? I’m sure others would love to read about it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story. Namaste.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    HI Jennifer. Thank you for your thought provoking comment. I am sorry your are having a hard time.

    It’s not like I am against all medication, but I can see why you thought that based upon what I wrote. Sometimes, it is needed and it saves lives. I do not judge anyone for making that decision. We all have our own battles to fight.

    But they should not be forced on anyone, either. And someone shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for choosing not to take them. They are not the only choice.

    In my daughter’s case, and many other times, the only solution has been to give medication. That’s unacceptable to me, especially when a patient asks for a more natural solution. There should be plenty of other tools in any doctor’s health toolbox. Clearly, medical schools are not covering all of the bases, and things need to change. The Institute for Functional Medicine (check out Dr. Mark Hyman) is changing things – but only if medical students seek out their more comprehensive training.

    I believe that drugs should be used as a last resort, not a first line of defense. Because drugs don’t cure – they only mask symptoms, and they don’t come without side effects. Patients often don’t understand the risks of taking them, so how can they really make an informed choice?

    If someone doesn’t figure out the root cause of an illness, then they will not be able to heal. And that is the problem I have with prescription based medicine. Patients need lifestyle based medicine. Not quick and temporary fixes.

    That’s my take.

    Again, I certainly do not judge anyone who takes medication. But if someone comes to me, wanting to make lifestyle changes so they can reduce or possibly even eliminate it, then that’s a wonderful thing. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, either.

    And you should know that the brain/gut connection is strong. Nutrition and mental health go hand-in-hand. There’s more and more gut research going on every single day that is confirming that over and over again. What we eat significantly affects how we think, feel, and behave. Patients have a right to know about this revolutionary research, don’t you think?

    The bottom line is that I believe that we all have not only a right, but an obligation to make informed health choices. We have a right to ask doctors as many questions as we want.

    That all goes along with the original quote:

    “You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

    I hope you feel better, Jennifer! Thanks again for your comment.

  • Moorkan Ettadi

    Thank you Dawn Riccardi Morris for your advice. It truly feels really good to read your comment about my problem. I have joined the Tiny Buddha forum. Thanks for helping me with your words. I will surely let you know what happens in my life in the future.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    You’re very welcome. Please do let us know how it goes.
    .

  • Jennifer Hawkins

    Oh no. I’m actually doing much better in general now that I’m in a proper treatment program (talk therapy, meditation, and medication in combination, lol).

    I 100% agree that there’s a lot of doctors who just prescribe something instead of trying to really get at the root of the problem. That’s not an effective way to deal with any illness. It’s just that with mental illness in particular, there can be too much hesitation to try medication. For some people, they can exercise more and eat more vegetables and do talk therapy and get great results. But for a lot of people, such treatments just aren’t effective enough without medication added in.

    It was just something that struck me in particular as I read. I just thought, “I don’t want someone who really needs medication to read this and be like, “Yeah.”” Like, I’m in favor of getting thorough treatment, but I just wanted to kind of leave something here for people with mental illness who are overly weary of medication. Something like, “I’ve been there. Sometimes medication is the right choice. If you’re reading this, make sure you go to a good doctor who actually talks to you and works on the roots of your issues and encourages lifestyle changes – but for a lot of people, medication really has to be part of the program.”

    Anyways, it wasn’t to rain on your parade or anything. I was just… thinking of my own experiences. Thanks for taking the time to reply. You keep going strong~!

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    No worries, Jennifer. I’m so glad you are feeling better!

    I totally understand what you’re saying, and thank you for taking time to leave comments. I am glad you shared your point of view. This is a controversial topic, and one that should be given serious thought. So I really appreciate that you started this conversation!

    The main purpose of my article was to raise awareness that we all have the right to ask our doctors questions, do our own research, and make informed health choices. People need to know that there are multiple options out there, and that the chances of any one doctor being familiar with them all is pretty slim. We all have to take personal responsibility for our own health care and connect our own dots. Leaving that up to someone else – who doesn’t know our bodies like we do – can work against us. But some people out there are afraid to challenge what a doctor says, especially if s/he is well known and highly respected. And that can be problematic, if there’s a serious health issue.

    From what I’ve seen (evidenced by the many television and magazine ads for all kinds of drugs), there are far more people who are willing to take drugs than consider food and lifestyle changes. And many have no idea how powerful the latter can be, or that they don’t necessarily have to choose one over another. People can do both! But all too many just pop the pill, and they do themselves a huge disservice if they don’t open themselves up to making some kind of food and lifestyle changes. Because even if it doesn’t allow them to eliminate meds completely, they might eventually be able to reduce the dose, which can make a big difference as well.

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, nutrition has a powerful effect on mental and physical health. Food is the most powerful medicine there is. Forward thinking, functional doctors are now treating everything from depression to autism to Alzheimer’s disease with gut healing diets. So, food should be the first thing any health care provider looks at, whether or not medicine is prescribed. That’s not just my opinion, but countless other integrative health care professionals are practicing that way. But again, the conventional medical system is decades behind, so that’s why it’s so important that this information gets out there.

    Thank you again for taking time out to comment on this and have your voice heard. I wish you much health and happiness and a wonderful 2016!

  • Dear Dawn, Thank You so much for your kind words. Today the VA has finally approved the Hepatitis C 6 month treatment for me, I can’t tell you how happy my wife and two daughters are , my youngest was going to give me some of her liver if it came down to that. I know that my son Nicolas is smiling down on me, I miss him so much .. Dawn, I send you much Love, Light, Joy and Peace … all my Love .. Joe Taylor /

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    I’m so very happy for you, Joe! Your son is certainly smiling down at you.

    Thank you so much for coming back here and giving that update. It’s amazing how the written word can connect people. Grief is a really hard thing to let go of, but talking about it can really help, and I’ve heard that transcendental meditation can work wonders, so you might want to check it out.

    There’s a reason you beat the odds the doctors gave you. You are a very special person and have important work to do in this world. Your son’s love will empower you to do so. You know he’s always with you.

    Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring others. You’re a perfect example of someone taking control of their own health and life. Even through the darkest of times, you heard the wake up call, and took action. Not everyone is willing or able to do so.

    I wish you much peace, love, joy, and sunshine throughout your recovery, and a wonderful life. Sending much love and a great, big virtual hug!

  • Moorkan Ettadi

    Hello there, Dawn Riccardi Morris. It’s been so long. How are you?
    I want to say about some developments that took place in my relationship. My girl’s second sister, that is, the middle one got married to a guy outside her religion. It created a lot of uproar at her home. The guy’s parents were okay with the marriage, but her parents were not. My girl, her eldest sister and her husband, and her mother did not attend the marriage function. Only the relatives went. When there was uproar at her home, she stopped talking to me. Two or three weeks after the marriage everything kind of settled at her home. Then only she started talking to me again.

    Few days before I went to see her after a long time. She said that her mother is kind of willing to call the elder one back to home. Most probably the guy will also be allowed to come to her home. My girl feels that it is only the eldest sister and husband who are going to be angry with the married one for a very long time.
    I had asked my girl if she would be ready for our marriage in the future. Then she told that if the middle one gains entry into the home, then she is ready to go forward. But, I think she won’t be ready. She won’t be having the strength to see her mom cry again.

    Besides, she and me, both of us won’t be getting any kind of support from our elder sister and elder brother respectively. That is for sure. My brother, he came to know about my relationship a few months before. He straight away said to me that this thing won’t happen. He said that as this girl has grown up without a father, she is sure to have some kind of flaws in her behavior and character. My mom and brother’s sister too were advising me. Actually my brother spoke to me in a threatening manner. He said that it is a must that I stop this relationship at once. If not he may do something bad to me, that’s what he told. I just kept quiet. Only because my mom was there when he told this and I didn’t want her to see me arguing with him. Actually I hate him nowadays. Almost similar is the case with her sister. Once when someone asked her if she would support her younger sister if she had come up with a relationship like this, then she replied no.

    I don’t know what will happen in the future. Let’s wait and see. I feel very good when talking to you and reading your replies. Thanking you.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Hi Moorkan. It’s good to hear from you.

    I’m so sorry you are still going through such a difficult time. It is clear how much you love this girl. I wish your family could see that and support you.

    You are in a tough situation. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be threatened by your own family members. Please stay safe. It’s stressful enough to suffer from verbal abuse, and I certainly hope they would not go as far as to hurt you physically too.

    You have tough choices to make, but please make your physical and emotional safety a priority. You are a special person and don’t deserve to be treated like this.

    Stay strong. We are all wishing you the best. I hope this quote by AA Milne will guide and encourage you going forward:

    “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

    I’m sending a huge hug, and lots of warm thoughts your way. I will be thinking of and praying for you this holiday season and beyond.

  • Moorkan Ettadi

    Thanks a lot.
    Actually, my brother was not THAT threatening. I’ll explain. The three of them (mom, brother and his wife) were all sitting there and advising me. At first he told me that this is something very common and most people would be feeling something like this. Then they said that they have not taken my relationship as something very bad or anything and that I am always welcome if I wanted to talk more about it to them. They were advising me to stop talking to this girl and if she approaches me again I should not entertain her. They were like telling me that I could always talk to them if I wanted to know how to stop entertaining her if she approaches me again. I was like, ‘Why? Both of us are very open to each other.” We never hide anything.
    At last he was like saying once again that it is okay that I had a relationship. It was almost like he was forgiving me. Then he was like beating a rhythm on his lap with his hand and said to me that if he ever finds out in the future that I am talking to this girl, then he would make sure that I don’t talk to her. It was his body language and his way of talking which I found offensive.
    The situation at my home is not THAT bad, even though my words in the last reply may have seemd so.
    Once again, thanks a lot for replying to me. Your replies make me feel good. That quote by A A Milne really made my day.

  • Dawn Riccardi Morris

    Good to hear, Moorkan. Glad to be a bit of help.

    Lots can get lost in translation when writing comments, as opposed to having a conversation with someone. You know your brother, and I’m sure his tone of voice and gestures said a lot more than just the words. So I’m glad he wasn’t truly threatening you the way it came across in your initial update.

    Glad you talked it out. Communication can make a big difference, and help us avoid misunderstandings. So I hope it continues in the future.

    You are very brave to speak up for what you believe in, and what matters most to you. And you’ve been very patient. Your girl is very lucky to have you care so much about her.

    Take care of yourself. Stay strong. I hope 2017 is a great year for you!

  • Moorkan Ettadi

    You are very true. His tone of voice and gestures said a lot more than just the words. I often feel submissive around him. When he was asking me about this girl, I was kind of embarrassed and submissive. As a result, I didn’t talk to him much about this girl. Even though he is my brother, sometimes I dislike him for his attitude. At my home, my father passed away an year ago. He was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. His death was not a shock to me. He was someone who does not invest emotionally in anyone. He always kept a distance with everyone. So his disease and death was not a shock to me. Anyways, that is another story. The thing is, after his death, my brother was taking control of the home. He forces his likes and dislikes on us (mother and me). My mother, even though she is 57, feels she is much older and is not interested in taking control of the home. She has given it away to my brother.

    My brother is very much dominating at home. It may be because he is having a decent job, his wife is not yet employed, mother is going to get retire within two years and she has given away the leadership of home to him. When my brother’s marriage was happening, he didn’t even have a job. That marriage was possible only because my mother gave the consent and took all the initiatives to get it done. My father was ill at the time of the marriage. When my brother first said about his love at the home, my father was not yet diagnosed with cancer. He had said it clearly to my brother that this marriage won’t happen. Just within one or two months, father was diagnosed with cancer and he started concentrating only about his illness. He was not at all concerned with my brother’s marriage. My father was kind of a selfish person. It was my mother alone who took the initiative to get the marriage done. And only because our side was ready for the marriage did the other side (brother’s wife’s side) got ready for the marriage.

    The point I wish to say is that even people around my brother supported him so much, he is not showing any gratitude towards them now. He picks verbal fights with my mother for even the smallest reasons.

    I sometimes think like, if I were in his shoes and I came to know about my younger brother having a relationship, then maybe I would be talking to him calmly and alone, not in the presence of my mother. Like, talking like brothers. Or maybe as a friend. I don’t know why my brother is dominating me. Maybe I am letting him. It may be because I have not yet started earning and is still dependent on the family. Whatever, I’ll try to improve myself.

    I’ll keep you updated about the happenings. Once again, thanks a lot for listening to me. And I too wish you a very happy new year.