Over the last few weeks, I have seen several people who are regular readers of this blog. With knowing eyes, each has asked, “How are you?” By that I knew they meant,
How are you feeling about your studio closing and Annie’s death?
To each of them—and now to you all—I say, “I am great.” I feel like my old determined, passionate, adventurous, energetic self. Once again, I’m doing all the things that bring me joy—cooking, exercising, running, coloring, writing, and yoga, for starters. I’m dreaming and making plans for my future. I have goals I want to achieve in the next few months and new places I want to travel in the next year. I honestly feel much better.
The improvements started a little more than a month ago. One Friday at the end of July, I took the 7:15 Megabus from DC to Philly. As I sat in my window seat, I noticed how down I was feeling. I had brought along my computer to do a little work, and found a seat at one of the two tables on the bus. I pulled out the computer and some work I wanted to get done during the three-hour trip. But I had no interest in either. I gazed out the window watching the miles fly by. Eventually I fell asleep, and woke shortly before we arrived in Philly.
That evening, I took the bus back to DC. Then I walked a few blocks to meet up a group of Black women who love to travel as much as I do. As I walked down H Street NE, I noticed there was a pep in my step. My mood was buoyant. I was happy. The heavy burden that had been crippling me for most of the summer was lifted. For the first time in months, I felt content, joyful, light.
Fortunately, the good feelings only got better the next week when I went to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation. Despite traveling alone, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a wonderful time. I relaxed on the beach for hours, reading a thriller partially set on the Island. I ate lots and lots and lots of delicious seafood. I explored the Island on the bicycle that I rented for the week. I attended several screening during the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. It was a week free of stress and worry, and filled with peace and joy.
To what do I attribute my sharp turnaround? I think the biggest contributing factor was acupuncture—not necessarily that one session. It was the third of three sessions I had in three weeks. Acupuncture sometimes has a cumulative effect, and I think that third session was able to “move the needle” so to speak. I have felt better and better ever since.
Once the acupuncture treatments helped to alleviate all those blah feelings, I was able to contribute to my emotional healing. I started a bible study on grief to process the feelings that were plaguing me. I also began to exercise more consistently and eat better. That involved cooking and preparing some of the fruits and veggies I had been getting in my weekly farmshare. I also spoke with my psychiatrist, and we adjusted my medication levels. All of these helped me to sleep better at night, which makes everything better.
The needles, however, were the catalyst behind my emotional, physical and spiritual improvements. I have been getting acupuncture long enough to have a small idea of how it works. I have been told there are meridians—channels in which energy flows—throughout my body. Apparently when the meridians get blocked, dis-ease follows. Thus, the acupuncture needles are inserted into those blocked channels, and I lay in quiet stillness for 20-45 minutes, allowing the meridians to clear. But all of this is invisible. You can’t see or touch or feel the meridians—at least, I can’t. So, I always feel a bit of wonder at this ancient Chinese practice. But I am eternally grateful for the relief it brought me this summer, and the ways in which it has helped me manage the symptoms of my lupus for the last decade.
Thanks for reading and sharing this blog with your networks. Thanks for the likes and comments. But most of all, thanks for welcoming me into your lives with open arms. I feel the love, support, and encouragement across the miles. I hope you stay tuned for more episodes from my wellness quest.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.