“In life we all suffer, there is no escape. Through my experiences I have come to discover, you have to learn how to heal yourself…”
By Conor Devine
Around about 2011, I was five years into a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, my health was poorly, my marriage was in difficulty, I had just left a secured job so pretty much unemployed, and I had a young child to look after. It was easily the most difficult time in my life. Physically my body wasn’t working properly, with neurological pain almost everywhere, a constant pain and stress like sensation in my head, my walking was poor and my mental health deteriorating. At that time, I was on a disease modifying therapy which the medical community tell you is supposed to reduce relapses. I was also on other medication intermittently including steroids, anti-depressants and other drugs at times I had no idea why they were even being prescribed. However, like plenty of other people, I ran with it as I didn’t know what else to do. I was just over thirty years old, and the life I had dreamed off as a kid growing up in Tyrone was in my view at that time, going to come to an end. It was becoming too much for me – all of it.
Then one day I found a guy in the USA online, Montel Williams, who was living with MS, had a successful business, was exercising every day, and appeared to be enjoying life…he was even smiling. How could this be? This is not what I have been led to believe whilst trying to cope with this illness and this life I was living in Ireland.
Thirteen years into this, what I now refer to as my journey of healing and recovery, the good news is that I have been able to completely turn my life and my health around, which I am truly grateful for.
It has been an amazing journey for me on a very personal level, one which I never in a million years could have predicted under any circumstances, but I think for anyone reading this blog, you will probably agree with me that it seems the older we all get, the more difficult life can become. For me in my twenties I thought I could do anything, in my thirties I had to accept I couldn’t and in my forties I am now so grateful that I have a chance to go on and realise my potential despite all of the adversity that has come my way.
People often ask me now what my secret is, and how have I been able to get off the medication, take back control of my health, my mind and my life. The truth is that I only really started to make progress in this regard when I realised that nobody else was going to be in a position to heal or fix me. My GP, my mum, my family, a faith healer, nobody was going to be able to heal me. This was a hugely difficult fact and reality I had to learn to accept in itself. I am telling you now, no matter what it is might be holding you back in your life today, maybe an illness, a relationship, a financial matter, whatever it maybe, your recovery will only properly commence when you get the strength to accept the situation, take ownership of the problem, and then go on a very personal journey of recovery and healing, making decisions, that will change the direction of your health and your life.
I take the view that society is now completely broken, illness and sickness is rife, right across the world, and conventional doctors are taking the lead in terms of having the ultimate responsibility in helping us back to health and wellness. Unfortunately, it’s not working. Our hospitals are overcrowded, doctors and nurses overwhelmed and at the current rate of going, we simply don’t have enough hospital beds to cope with the amount of people who are sick.
In April 2016, I decided against the advice of my medical team to stop all kinds of conventional drugs and instead to take an alternative approach to try and get my health back. I had figured out that after 10 years of taking all kinds of drugs, my body was not repairing properly, and I felt, if there had been any kind of improvement over the previous years, it had now well and truly plateaued. This was a huge call for me, and not one I took lightly. To be honest it was nearly two whole years before I had the strength to make the switch, but thankfully and just over three years into my new plant-based lifestyle, my health has improved significantly, my body continues to repair and recover, and I have got my zest for life back. I would also like to say that I continue to work at my health every single day, and I do this by sticking to my plant-based diet, daily exercise program, commitment to personal development, and ensuring I get a good night’s sleep.
I made a deal with myself a few years ago, that my health was non-negotiable because the reality is if I am healthy, then I believe I can achieve anything in life if I put my mind to it. The really good news is, you can to.
“It is not what happens to you in life which is important, it’s how you react to what happens, which will determine your path in life”.
I knew If I wanted my life to get better, I needed to get better. I accepted that if I wanted my life to change, I needed to change.
Over the last number of years, I have had to change absolutely everything about my life, and at times some of the decisions I had to make were almost impossible and truly painful, more than you can imagine. But I got there and although I am not the finished article and my healing journey is ongoing, I am extremely proud of where I am today. If you are struggling in life right now, I hope I am that person who can give you hope and be a beacon of light that if you keep your mind open to the possibility that everything can improve, then that is the only thing you need to start your own journey of healing and recovery.
I wish you well. Please keep the faith.
Five Things That Changed My Life
Coming off all medication and pivoting to a plant-based diet
Personal development through reading, listening to podcasts and finding people who gave me hope
Walking away from all kinds of toxic and negative situations and people in my life
Mindset – I work on this every day. Your mind is like a muscle and the more you work it in a positive way, the stronger it gets. We are what we think we are, so be careful with your thoughts.
Instagram / Twitter / Facebook: @ConorDevineIM