I sat in front of the doctor in tears: “I don’t understand. How did I get this disease? I really can’t handle anything else wrong with my body.” In addition to this new Hashimoto’s diagnosis, I had been recovering from serious physical injuries to my body from an auto accident with a semi-truck. I really didn’t think I could handle any more bad news. We had just finished a long legal battle with the truck company to pay for my medical bills. Within a three-month span, my dear grandmother had passed, as well as two of my friends (both of whom were way too young.) I was under enormous pressure and in the thick of deep sadness. And now this.
My caring doctor looked at me and explained all the medical reasons as to why I had gotten this disease. “But,” he said, “there is a spiritual component as well.” What he went on to explain made perfect sense to me. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped organ located in your throat, your 5th chakra. The 5th chakra is linked to your ability to communicate and be heard. It is also correlated to faith and understanding. I had been through a 5-year long legal battle with this truck company. Had my voice been heard? No. Did I have to squash so many negative and angry feelings just to survive this period? Yes. Was I in a period of faith and understanding? NO. I had just lost two people in my life, who were under the age of 40, for reasons I couldn’t comprehend. I had little faith or understanding of why they had to leave this world.
What the doctor was saying struck a chord deep in my soul. He explained that when you don’t communicate your feelings, when you squash what’s inside, your body reacts in ways to make you notice and put you back in balance. When you have Hashimoto’s/autoimmune thryroiditis, your body is literally attacking itself. You are attacking your thyroid, the seat of communication. My body was literally crying out, “Pay attention to your voice. Be heard. It’s time to speak.”
When I thought back, I hadn’t been myself for years. Once a brazen, loud-mouthed, jovial type who sang and laughed often, I found myself turned inward, never speaking my true thoughts. I always had a knot in my throat. I often kept my mouth shut when I really had so much to say. The doctor said, “You really have to find your voice again. This is the way you’re going to heal.”
“But how?,” I wondered. I can barely eek out a coherent thought or express a feeling even at its most passionate. How can I start communicating now? Everything is stuck. The vice grip on my voice seemed impenetrable. “I don’t know how to do this,” I whispered, my head in my hands. My doctor suggested I start a journal.
A journal? Ugh. That sounded awful. I have never been friends with words. How was I ever going to put them to paper? My verbal ability far outreached my ability to write and that wasn’t saying much. I would sound like a fool. Nothing would come forth, I thought. “Uhm, is there anything else I can do?,” I asked. “Well,” he said, “do you like to sing?”
And there it was, the perfect solution for me. I’ve always fancied myself a singer. I loved to sing in high school musicals and choir. It was a long forgotten art for me so I found a local voice coach and got started. Not only that, on a physical level, singing made sense to me. When you sing, the vocal cords vibrate. This brings healing energy to the throat and basically gives your thyroid a nice little massage. It was certainly worth a try!
Showing up at her door, butterflies arose from my belly. I was nervous. I hadn’t heard my singing voice in years. The door opens. A leathered lady appears. Her makeup is dramatic. She’s reminiscent of an aged Hollywood legend.
She sits down at the piano and starts playing scales. Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. Repeat; a chord higher. Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. I start choking out the syllables. Cobwebs emerge from my throat. More dusty coughing and then a miracle happens … air actually begins to move fully through my throat. I begin to sing with clarity, with power, with joy … granted, it’s all out of tune but it’s shockingly BEAUTIFUL.
From that moment forward, I knew I had a chance. The butterfly was no longer captive. My voice would be heard.
For the next couple of posts, I’m going to share with you the techniques I’ve learned to better communicate with myself and with others. Do you believe there is a spiritual component to thyroid disease? What are your thoughts? Join the discussion!