Zen of Ataxia

Funny, how my Guides leave out all the details. When I agreed to “take one for the team” by living a life that wouldn’t be “as fun” as human lives usually are, no one mentioned anything about a degenerative neurological disorder. Apparently, they have spin doctors on the other side.

As I walk down the concourse pulling my flight case behind me, I stumble, yet again, on nothing in particular. I think to myself: Shit. I have to think about every step or else I trip. It has to be obsessive-compulsive disorder. I’m as crazy as Howard Hughes. Both my Mom and Grandma had mental breakdowns in their 20’s, so at 28, I had good reason to question my mental health.

At the time, I was working as an airline pilot, and keeping the required medical certification meant visits to my aviation doctor every six months. These medical screenings are pretty thorough, and completely unforgiving of mental illness. It took me several months to get up the courage to see someone about the issue, and when I did they said, “Probably a brain tumor. We’ll set up an MRI.” What? Who says that? A least a brain tumor seemed more bearable than insanity. I’ve always been rather fond of my mental function.

After six months of poking and prodding, I was given a genetic test that confirmed the diagnosis of Friedreich’s Ataxia. I got to keep my mental function, and be fully cognitive of my slow physical degeneration. Nice. Needless to say, that was the end of my brief flying career, and the beginning of a complete redirection of my life. I wouldn’t recommend the disorder, but having it has afforded me the luxury of an entirely new relationship with myself, body and soul.

As usual, I had a little forewarning, which I completely misinterpreted. During the three months prior to going to that first doctor, my guides kept repeating “walk away”. I would always respond with what seemed to me to be reasonable arguments: I have invested too much time and energy into flying to just walk away from it, I can do whatever you need AND my career, it’s my life and I want to be a pilot, and finally ending with a simple ‘no’. Refusing to walk away and then losing my ability to walk seemed like a cruel and unusual punishment, but definitely a punishment. I felt such a deep betrayal, from both God and my own body. I didn’t speak to my guides for almost two years after that.

I have decided that Hell is actually that willful disconnection from a Higher Power. They never left me, I left Them. I would cry and curse and throw tantrums about how unfair this was, and They would just be there, silently holding the space, waiting for me to return. During that time, my physical condition deteriorated rapidly, as I was actively blocking Source energy. Once I realized this, and burned out most of the anger, I opened up to Them again. I still cry thinking of that contact, so loving and tender.

Shortly after that I decided my efforts were best spent exploring alternative healing. During one of my first quests, I went to see a woman for some energy work, and ended up also getting a reading. Apparently, my guides were pretty insistent on getting me a message. They said this condition wasn’t a punishment, I had done nothing wrong, and it was going to happen no matter what. The message to “walk away” was to try to make the transition less painful, it wasn’t an ultimatum.

This was possibly the greatest healing I have ever received, because it was the beginning of healing the deep betrayal I felt, healing my relationship to both my body and soul. I’ve come to realize that is the fundamental healing we are all searching for. No matter what the situation, we didn’t do anything wrong, we aren’t being punished, and we just want to be whole.

For the next decade I learned several types of energy work, experimented with innumerable alternative healing modalities, and studied countless spiritual texts. Know Thyself was my insatiable mission. Yoga retreats, Merkaba training, I was even ordained as an Interfaith Minister after two years of seminary. More spiritual adventures than I can count.

About now you would expect me to say ‘I just never gave up’, but that isn’t how I work. I gave up on a regular basis, I just didn’t stay there. I always managed to pull myself back up and keep going. If I’m anything it’s resilient, because I gave up a lot. I just don’t see exhaustion as failure, so I could crash, let it pass, and move on. It isn’t pretty, but it works for me.

About a decade in, I got the clear message I needed to clear my family bloodlines, and after about two years of that, I got that I was helping to clear all bloodlines. Well, that would have been some nice information to have at the beginning of all this! My Guide’s response: Really? It would have been better to tell you the next 15 years of physical degeneration and suffering are just part of the plan, and there’s nothing you can do to help yourself. Have fun with that. Well, yes, I see your point. At least I kept myself busy learning new and useful things.

Then in May of 2013 I felt my DNA change. Don’t ask me to explain that one, I’ve just always had a very open relationship with my body. I’ve had whole conversations with my liver. It makes sense in my world. Since then, I’ve shown slow but steady improvement. Suddenly, new healers and alternative technologies started popping up around me, all proving quite beneficial.

As of March 2015, the changes are impressive. The latest thing I’ve learned is that spontaneous remission is a lot of work. Rebuilding muscle and relearning to walk is more painful than you would think and takes enormous amounts of energy and concentration. No wonder toddlers spend most of their time crying and sleeping… Now, instead of giving up, I just take a nap.

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