Read an Excerpt
I Healed My Crohn's ColitisFree The Mind, The Body Will Follow
By Robert A. Stickles
Balboa PressCopyright © 2011 Robert A. Stickles
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJust for the Record
When I began writing and started with Just for the Record, I was beginning to reach out to people like you, who want to heal and believe they can change their thoughts and be healthy. I felt I needed to share my story with the readers I was trying to attract. I didn't fully know or understand why I was writing my blog, which has become this book, but something inside of me just kept pushing me to write.
About the same time my editor was encouraging me to share my story and I will say she is a big part of why this all happened. Being dyslexic, writing was my downfall. I could never express myself on paper. Even a simple note was tough to handle. I wasted so much energy trying to hide my disability that I just gave up on writing. In my 30s I built some confidence through meditation and taking private lessons with the Wilson Reading Program but my writing was still something that I was ashamed about.
Writing for my blog and now this book was a big undertaking but it's another way that I have changed my thoughts. With my editor's help writing, her success healing herself, and her wonderful encouragement, she helped me build up confidence that I had something to say that was important. I persevered and have been writing two posts a week on my blog ever since I began this project. With each post I have been getting better at writing and have even noticed I'm not ashamed of my gift called dyslexia.
Now back to Just for the Record. I believe in a shock and awe approach to writing. We all have the right to be healthy but we have to climb over the thoughts that are holding us back. So when I wrote Just for the Record I wanted to show you where I came from. I was one sick puppy. I wanted you to see how far I've come and that you too can heal yourself with your mind. I wrote this to challenge your thoughts and peak interest so readers would return to my blog, but more important, return to the thought that healing is possible.
You will see as you move through the chapters of this book that I'm headstrong and I have no problem moving my mind forward with a new thought. This is something you have to teach yourself and which this book will help you do. I had so many people (and information stacked up against me) telling me that my ideas were nuts. But I had nothing to lose by trying. In a way, as I think back, it was like I was rebelling. I was really sick of everyone telling me what to do. I was sick of being sick. So, it didn't scare me to try something new. I really felt like I was doomed anyway but it felt great telling people to shove it where the sun don't shine. So I said to myself, "Why not go for healing?" I had nothing to lose.
When I posted my first entry on my blog I didn't know where it was going to take me. I was hoping it was going to take me down a path where I could help people with their Crohn's Colitis. I was hoping it was going to change the way people look at their illness, their dis-ease. With this book I'm hoping it helps you bring healing into your life.
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I was at a local restaurant with my wife, where the owner and some of the wait staff know us. They knew about my story with Crohn's Colitis. The owner asked me to tell my story to her waitress who has Colitis because the waitress had been very sick and had just been released from the hospital after a month's stay. So the waitress looked at me square in the eye and said to her manager, "Tell her there is no cure for Colitis."
I looked at her and said, "You're asking the wrong person."
Then in a polite manner she asked, "So you healed yourself?" and followed with "So you must not have been that sick."
My wife spoke up saying, "He has been symptom free for over 20 years and takes no medicines, but his intestines still have some ulcers."
The waitress waited for me to answer her question. As I looked at her I could see her eyes saying "Well I'm waiting."
I don't like to talk about my sickness much but I needed to explain to her how sick I was so she would understand where I had been and how far I've come. And that she can too.
To start out I am 6'3" and now weigh 245 lbs.
1. When I was sick I weighed 145 lbs.
2. I worked four days a week, 12 hours a day, doing manual labor.
3. I lived on TPN a couple of times to give my body a rest.
4. I was on an assortment of drugs: Azulfidine, Prednisone, Immuran, and Methotrexate.
5. I was hospitalized twice due to Crohn's Disease.
6. Most of the time after I ate I would either vomit or have diarrhea.
7. I was told as a last resort I was going to receive an Ostomy. I said no.
I have a belief about Crohn's and/or Colitis. I believe we all have weak spots in our bodies and mine is my intestines. Now I'm just speaking for myself here, and I believe when I deal with my stress instead of swallowing it, my intestines feel great. This leads me to outline how I got control of my life and health.
1. I taught myself meditation to deal with stress.
2. Through meditation I moved my mind forward from being sick to living health.
3. Looking back I can see Crohn's Colitis became the center of my life. I took my life back.
4. Twenty years later Crohn's Colitis does not get any thought unless in trying to help others, I talk about it.
5. The few ulcers that might be hanging around are a beautiful reminder to stay on track in my life, and I have a great life.
6. I don't take any medicines and I meditate and I live like my beautiful wife put it: symptom free.
7. I say, "I don't have time for being sick."
Chapter TwoSymptom Free
When I wrote Symptom Free I was getting familiar with how much information would be the right amount to put out in a blog entry. I didn't want to overdo it. I figured I had no more than 500 words to influence you, the reader, before you got a G H imprint in your forehead. The G H reference is a joke between me and my editor about how if a post on the blog is too long the reader will fall asleep and their head will fall onto the center buttons of their keyboard.
In balance, information is fine but too much detail can overwhelm you. I read a lot about my illness. I read how it worked and how it attacked my body and I am big into visual aids. I used the information that I gathered back in the days when I was sick to create my battle plan for my mind. Once I decided and declared that my mind created my disease, healing was about searching my mind to find the shut-off button to my disease.
Symptom Free is about quality of life. It is about learning to move from living your sickness to living your life. It is realizing there is going to be a day you will die. It is fighting for the best quality of life between the day you're born to the day you die. It is about understanding that you can change your thought. It is about understanding that all of us have the potential to be sick at anytime. There are thousands of germs and illnesses that float around inside of your body but it is only when you give them the opportunity to manifest that they do.
Symptom Free is about you deciding what your status is instead of letting someone else tell you.
Thoughts of healing yourself have to be reinforced everyday, each time you remember, during your day-to-day life. It is about sitting down and making time to reinforce your belief. This is when the body starts aligning itself with what you create with your thoughts. Ask yourself, how long did it take you to get sick and which thoughts were you repeating?
* * *
Here are the definitions of "symptom" and "cure" from The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary By Philip D. Morehead, Loy Morehead. "Symptom free" is my own definition based on these definitions and my experience.
Symptom: (simp'tom) n. a sign or indication, esp. of a particular disease.
Symptom free: no sign or indication of a particular disease.
Cure (kyur) n 1, restoration to health. 2, a method of treatment. 3, a remedy. -v.t. 1, heal; make well. 2, remedy (an evil) 3, preserve by drying or salting.
I wrote down the definitions of symptom and cure for a reason. In my mind I have cured myself of Crohn's Colitis. I live a very normal life. I eat what I want, I have one solid bowel movement a day. I have no cramping or anything that's even close to abdominal discomfort associated with my digestive tract. I have a good appetite and plenty of energy and I don't take any medicine at all for Crohn's Colitis. I have been this way for the last twenty years.
I am telling you this because I was told in a colonoscopy that I had a few ulcers on my intestines. This is where some people get confused. If I have a few ulcers on my intestines but I have no symptoms of the illness, does that mean I am sick?
Did you know that we all have cancer moving freely through our bodies? We do. But not until that cancer creates a symptom do we think we are sick. So cancer cells are moving around our bodies not causing any trouble and have not created any symptoms. Are we healthy or are we sick?
I believe in my heart that our bodies are all perfect. I believe my intestines are perfect because no one else has my DNA or genes or you could say, my finger print. So, how can you compare my intestines to anyone else's? That's like comparing oranges and apples and it's not fair to either one. I believe my intestines are all right with a few ulcers. I believe that they are doing their job of keeping me healthy and most of all, on the right path.
In my late teens and early twenties my intestines screamed and yelled and that got my attention. They made me take stock in my life and made me live up to my full potential. I owe a great deal to my intestines. They have made me who I am. Crohn's Colitis saved my life and then gave me one.
What are your intestines saying to you? What is your body saying to you?
Chapter ThreeSome of My Beliefs and Crohn's Colitis
When I wrote Some of My Beliefs and Crohn's Colitis I needed to be clear, and share a clear idea of my beliefs that brought me to where I am now. These thoughts did not show up in my life all at once. These beliefs toward healing were crafted over time but now they are all here for you as you begin to heal.
I'm not going to argue with what you believe to be true. I'm not going to argue with you at all. There is no real truth or no real lie. All there is, is what you believe. If you believe these beliefs I am sharing to be worthless, then they are. If you believe that they are a nice idea but do not put any energy behind them, you receive what you give.
However, if you decide to put your energy into believing and implementing these simple ideas then you will receive a life that you have never lived before. These beliefs will help you create a fertile thought process to bring healing to your body.
These beliefs will change after you have healed yourself because you will need to create your life to support your health. Always remember that sickness is only a small part of your life and you will have to move on from the story of your sickness so you can create the story of health. Then you will move to the story of your life.
* * *
I'd like to share some beliefs that I live by with you:
1. The brain controls the body. The brain controls every part of your body: your breath, heartbeat, hair growing, hair falling out ... you name it, the brain controls it.
2. The mind does not know the difference between what we consider truth and what we consider imagination. When I say truth, I am talking about what we notice with our senses/ what happens outside of our bodies. And imagination is what we create and imagine inside of our brains.
3. I believe we can override the automatic programming of the mind. The mind is usually running on automatic pilot but it does not have to be. There are people who can lower their heart rate, blood pressure, and fat burning just by flipping the switch from automatic to manual and adjusting whatever they want to adjust in their body.
4. I believe when you have a sickness or dis-ease that is the signal to you that the automatic programming is out of alignment with healthy living. Sometimes without knowing it, we could have thrown the program out of whack with our eating, stressing, bad living conditions, etc.
5. I believe when the mind creates a sickness in the body it is not trying to hurt or kill its host (body), it is actually trying to fix the problem. It is creating a signal for the brain to help change the program.
6. One last thing. I believe you have to change the situation(s) that is (are) causing the illness before you can heal. Change the situation and create a healthy lifestyle. At the same time flip your mind to manual and create a new image of your life and where you are going. I believe if you readjust you will start to create health in the body.
Question for you to answer: If you also took these beliefs to be true, do you believe that you can reverse your illness by changing and using your own mind to bring you back to a healthy state?
Chapter FourFrom Illness to Fearless
To write the back story on From Illness to Fearless I had to read it twice and I felt I had a lot to add. When I left the doctor's office that day, after getting the news that my only option was surgery, I felt hopeless. My wife pretty much made up her mind that I was getting the surgery and I was leaning toward it myself. Later, I talked to my father and brother, and they both said, "Don't do it." I am not sure who said it but one of them told me, "If they remove it, it can't be put back. You're stuck."
When I went back to the doctor to tell him I was not going to have surgery, the universe was blessing me. My motivation was to make my father and brother happy by toughening up and trying to live with disease like they did. On the other hand I figured if I got worse I would get the surgery and then my wife would be relieved. I really had no power back then, I gave it all away. I was tired and sick and that was all I knew.
I am not going to say I was fearless when I decided to try for healing in the beginning, I was more reckless. It was really weird, I didn't care anymore. I ate what I wanted, I did what I wanted and it was the first time in a long time that I felt like I was human. But I did have to try to keep my weight on and stay out of the hospital and wean myself off the drugs that were killing me.
There was so much going against me, most of all my own thoughts. If it was not my own thoughts, it was things others would say or medical facts or statistics. Sometimes it felt like the messages I was getting all said I was going to be sick for the rest of my life. I couldn't find one person or piece of evidence telling me any different.
I sometimes think back and ponder how I got through the first 6 months until I had my first solid bowel movement in five years. But, once that happened, it was easy. I believed my faith had paid off and from that day on it was just about moving forward and building on health. I grabbed my power back at that moment. I took the power from the doctor, my family, and my wife and started to strengthen my mind and cultivate the thoughts that I share with you in this book. I became fearless. I was human again, I was not a sickness. Remember, you are not alone. And most of all, you can heal.
* * *
I have people ask me a lot of questions about when I was sick and how I healed, and I have helped a few too. It comes down to this for me: there is a faith that comes with healing yourself, a belief, a strength, a power. That power is that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.
I joke with my students and friends about how everyone needs a good disease. If you dig deep down inside yourself and do the work (really do the work) and your effort and sweat pay off, you have such a reward and a hero's story to tell.
I look back now at how I just made a decision and said no to surgery when doctors wanted to give me a colostomy bag. I had no master plan. I had no ideas about what I was going to do. I had the thought that if I got much worse I would just get the surgery but at least I could say I tried everything else first.
Excerpted from I Healed My Crohn's Colitis by Robert A. Stickles Copyright © 2011 by Robert A. Stickles. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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