My Story

My name is Gemma, welcome! Everyday I recover even further from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Leaky Gut Syndrome, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth), Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Anxiety, and Depression.  The most brilliant gift that these chronic illnesses have brought me is clarity to my highest passions.  Sharing this space is one of them.

The name @mandatorymindfulness is derived from the ironic health circumstances I came to find myself within progressively over 10 years, but most intensively in May 2015. It took crippling unforgiving chronic health issues for me to be stopped in my overachieving, perfectionist, ‘strong and independent even if it kills me’ tracks.  I had no choice but to learn how to sit still and live in the present moment, ask tough questions about the way I had been leading my life, and to make decisions that put my precious self before any other.  I needed to disconnect from the Gemma who was a figment of a destination in the future, surrounded by accurately measured success and material items.  The one who no matter how hard I worked to shape and create could never reach the moving goal posts.

To discover the amazing person who is me, my body put me in a position where I had no choice but to stop and be present.  To be still and mindful and reassess my beliefs and values, and critically evaluate how they hadn’t transpired from paper to reality.  It was time to de-clutter and quit the crap that had kept me “too busy”.  It was mandatory that I became mindful.

The ‘self’ whom I have discovered and grown to love unconditionally is the version of me who can let things be.  This person can balance perceptions and knows that failing to perfect or improve everything that crosses my path doesn’t make me less brilliant.  In fact, it makes me quite successful.  This new self is where happiness and self-love aren’t destinations to arrive at in the future in exchange for pushing my mind and body through excruciating pain to achieve enormous goals that aren’t true to my heart’s fabric. The self-love and happiness is here in the now and it’s here to stay!

In suffering with these illnesses and reaching diagnosis I have been exposed to 18 medical professions and visited multiple practitioners in nearly all 18 fields.  I’ve learnt a tremendous amount about myself and others, acquired privileged empathy and empowering skills, and formed a deep respect for natural treatment therapies.  I have personally found the greatest success in recovery through yoga, meditation, a diet of fresh organic and nutrient-dense wholefoods, Chiropractic, probiotics, life coaching and therapy, traditional Chinese Medicine, and quality time outdoors soaking in biophilia.

You’ll find me at my happiest amongst the awe of mother nature, cruising the aisles at the fresh produce markets, chanting an ‘om’ from my yoga mat, baking singing and shaking my booty in the kitchen, indulging in some retail therapy, traveling new sights, using my creative brain, and connecting with genuine down to earth souls.

It has been an extremely long journey to the stage of recovery I find myself at today.  I’m extremely grateful that my lifestyle choices and values mean I no longer suffer with Depression or Anxiety. Currently my biggest health hurdles are treating my Leaky Gut Syndrome and SIBO, and carefully managing my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome alongside that to full recovery.

My hope is that this collection of my intimate open and honest learnings will help support others who may in anyway relate.

Gemma

X

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Clo says:

    This is awesome Gem! You have so much to be proud of! Love you endlessly x x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fay says:

    Hey Gemma, you are amazing! Your honesty and insight is inspiring. Thank you for sharing this. Love Fay

    Like

  3. Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden says:

    Hi Gemma,
    Your Insta and website are great 🙂 I am friends with asnoozielife, and stumbled on your posts through her. I am also struggling w CFS, and I think have leaky gut- thpugh undiagnosed. I developed CFS over 18mths ago, after having a stomach parasite for a year, and my guts have never fully recovered. I am now at the stage of wanting to really focus on diet, as I believe that improving my gut health is the key to my recovery. Id love to hear about what sort of diet and protocol you follow, as I’m doing some research, and it’s very confusing! I’ve been on a moderate fodmap diet for over a year now.. Any tips would he greatly appreciated 🙂
    Cheers,
    Caity

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Caitlin, thanks for reaching out!! Like you I also came to the conclusion that healing my gut was integral to healing my CFS. I didn’t play into formal diagnosis at the start too much as I found the best suited remedies and treatments for me were all natural and would improve the health of anyone at any level – even seemingly ‘healthy’ people haha. I found it extremely challenging to get my hands on the information that I needed especially as the market is flooded with ‘quick fix heal your gut’ programs. I started with GAPS and then moved onto a highly specific treatment protocol with an initial 6 month timeline which I’m currently 3 months into! More than happy to chat to you about it if you want to send me your email or add me on Facebook 🙂 xxx

    Like

  5. Halee says:

    Oh how I can relate to so much of this and I wanna say thank you, thank you for putting yourself out there thank you for allowing me to read this and feel hope. Hope something I’m trying to cling onto something you have given me and for that I’m so very grateful xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure Halee! Where you are now is where I once was too, and a major reason I started this blog was so that others can feel hope and solidarity. Sending love xxx

      Like

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