The Sip That Saved My Life

Four months ago, I was in a very dark, medically-compromised state. I was fragile both physically and mentally, yet persistently placed one foot in front of the other as I denied the appropriate support and help that I knew I needed. I convinced myself on a daily basis, I’m fine! I’m twenty-one years old, I need to get a handle on this myself. After telling myself this for weeks, I actually grew to believe it. Little did I understand that with each passing day, I was straying further and further away from the truth: I needed to make a necessary lifestyle change, and quick. I couldn’t keep engulfing myself in my school work in an effort to distract myself from how I was feeling; I couldn’t keep lacing up my sneakers and running in an effort to alleviate the anxiety, stress, and lack of control I felt; I couldn’t keep falsely reassuring myself and others that I was fine, that I had things under control, that it was just a slight slip that I could effortlessly pick myself up from.

After an emotionally-charged, mentally draining series of doctors appointments, I had to face an unsettling, sacrificial decision: Getting help. This meant taking a step back from the busyness that defined my days, silencing my innate drive to always be productive, taking time off from college, leaving my current job, taking a break from running, and disrupting all of the other practices I was engaging in in an effort to avoid the reality that I wasn’t ready to face.

I spent two and a half weeks in one of the worst, most uncomfortable positions I’ve ever experienced in my twenty-one years of living–and this was only the beginning. On that cold January day, I swore to myself that I would hold fast to the motto: “One day, one moment at a time.” To this day, I still recite this motto to myself on a frequent basis–sometimes multiple times a day. It serves as a reminder as to how far I’ve come since that dark January day, and how important it is to remain as present as possible at any given moment in our lives.

As various nurses came in to check on me and assist me in whatever way necessary, I became more and more overwhelmed, angry, and resentful, which led me to essentially shut down emotionally. I grew increasingly defensive and stubborn–not exactly the easiest patient to care for. In those two and a half weeks, I struggled greatly in terms of doing what I knew I had to do–feed, care for, and support my body as it began the process of healing. Negative, anxiety-driven, irrational thoughts filled my head with reasons as to why I shouldn’t put this effort in; that I should adhere to a “perfect patient” exterior in order to get out of that uncomfortable setting and back to the life I was living, before I grabbed onto the life-vest that was tossed my way. That mentality carried over into my overall compliance, which greatly impacted my ability to adequately feed my body. (Remember, I was in an angry, resentful, uncomfortable, dark, all-or-nothing mindset at this time, so it’s only natural that I was noncompliant and stubborn.)

Enter in the product that helped me take the first sip toward healing: Orgain. A ready-to-drink, organic, gluten free, high-protein nutritional shake. I had used this supplement before in my recovery efforts, but it had been a very long while since I needed to rely heavily on it. In those two and a half uncomfortable, stubborn-mindset weeks, this liquid nutrition kept me alive–and I don’t mean that lightly. I would like to note that I’m not writing this post in an effort to advertise or promote Orgain or their company. I’m writing it to express my appreciation and gratitude for the live-saving nourishment that their product provided me when I couldn’t get it else wise.

 

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This very supplement gave my body the nourishment it desperately needed during that dark, uncomfortable time. It comprised about 85-90% of my daily intake, translating to a mostly liquid diet. At that time in my life–in my recovery–this is what I needed, and I look back on that difficult time with a heart full of gratitude, appreciation, and self-compassion. When it comes to recovery, no two journeys will ever appear identical–and that’s okay. What works for one individual may not work for the next. As for me, this is what helped me–this is what worked, and what still works to this very day. And I have nothing but gratitude for discovering something that could help me in a time where I felt powerless in my effort to help myself.

To this day, I still use these shakes when I’m not able to consume a full, complete, balanced meal. I’m actually sipping on two right now as I type out this post (I needed the brain power)! They’re great for on the go and make an excellent fill-in for the nutritional gaps that inevitably come up from time to time in my recovery. I would recommend these to anyone, as they are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and feel-good ingredients that help nourish one’s entire body. There’s an original nutrition shake in addition to the vegan nutrition shake pictured above. I prefer the original version, as it has a better taste and comes in other flavors, such as Sweet Vanilla Bean (my absolute favorite), Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Iced Mocha, and Strawberries and Cream. However, the vegan version was on sale most recently at the Whole Foods I shopped at for groceries. I typically order the original by the case from Amazon, as that’s where I’ve found the best prices.

Again, my intent for this post wasn’t to advertise, promote, or convince you to go out and purchase a dozen cases of Orgain. I simply wanted to share a tool that is in my own recovery, health, and wellness toolbox that could potentially help others in their own wellness journeys as well. No two journeys will appear the same, and that’s a basic fact that I understand, respect, and value. If there’s something that helps me continue forward in my own personal journey toward recovery, health, and wellness that could potentially help others, I want nothing more than to share it. Please take with this post what you will.

In conclusion, I want to restate my current life motto: “One day, one moment at a time.” One day, one moment at a time, I will continue to make choices that support my recovery, my health, and my wellbeing–both physically and mentally. Some days, those choices are harder to distinguish, as they are camouflaged by thoughts and urges to revert back to ineffective, familiar, “comfortable” behaviors and practices. On those days, I adjust my motto ever-so slightly: “One day, one moment, one sip at a time.” Because sometimes–especially on those very difficult, ambivalent days–a sip is the first step toward helping myself make a wellness-focused decision, knowing that deep in my heart I value being the healthiest me I can possibly be.

 

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