Her office was in the back of the store front. We walked through an aisle of bottles full of pills made of crushed herbs and minerals. Everything was bright, clean, organized. Merchandise promising an answer that doctors couldn’t give.
Her office was small but tidy. Certificates hung on the wall framed and official. This place was a lot different than the dingy homes we had been going to. Homes that always had the curtains drawn and carpets embedded with cat fur that my mother was allergic to. Homes with the Lord’s Prayer hanging on the wall. Homes with florcent lights buzzing in the kitchen while a homeopath couple tested my muscles before preparing twelve tiny bottles of liquid for me to drop under my tounge daily.
The drops tasted like lemon juice.
Homes that taught my mother to tap different parts of the body to stop an “allergy” attack. Homes that claimed that placing folded coloured wire in the shape of a capital “G” under our plate of food would “neutralize” allergies.
These wire “G”s became as ordinary as forks when setting the table for dinner. A “G” under every plate.
This new place seemed legitimate. She still used muscle testing to determine my herb dosage but she also took picture of my irises. She showed me the map of my eye and how she could tell certain areas of my body were out of harmony because of a gold fleck here or enlarged pupils there.
I started taking a handful of herbal pills everyday. Some so large I choked trying to swallow them.
- two Alfalfa
- two kelp
- one calcium
- one magnesium
- three zinc
- one ounce shot of liquid chloraphyll
- A glass of water with echinacea drops
- Chewable vitamin C
At 12 years old I was perscribed ten day cleanse diets. I stood in front of the microwave waiting for my plain popcorn hoping that I at least lose weight from this even if it didn’t take away my lack of energy, and excruciating menstral pain.
I never told my mother or the people she took me to about how some of my physical issues were there because I did them to myself. She just thought doctors didn’t have an answer about her daughter. I’d sit alone shaking, crying, sad, lonely, empty, praying to God to help me stop. The anxiety wouldn’t go away. The darkness never left.
If she could just find the right combination of herbs and diet, the. I would be cured. I just needed to be stronger than any of my problems and I would be cured. I needed to choose to be happy because someone always has it worse.
I’ve stopped looking for cures.
When I began studying psychology and mental health my mother bitterly told me, “physician, heal thy self.” Mental illness is nothing more than weakness of character and a lack of trust in God.
Now I take pills that actually do something. Pills with purpose. They aren’t a cure but they let in the light.
I know this isn’t about cures anymore, though I sometimes wish it was.