My story is more of a personal one. It’s more about all the things I didn’t get right. It’s more about how many times I failed. It’s also about self-discovery and learning about what I had been doing wrong all of my life. No, I am not a health professional by trade, I am someone who has been trying to understand what life means to me. If you are reading this article and looking for some medical advice, then I would suggest you read something else. However, if you are like me and have been trying to figure out how to live a life with more meaning and purpose then maybe parts of this article will be of use to you.
2011: When my whole life came tumbling down
Back in 2011 I was not happy in my marriage; I was smoking a pack a day and eating fast food practically every day. I had a business, but it was going nowhere and to be quite honest failing miserably. Back then I had bought into the idea of opening my own business and trying to make that work. I didn’t get the memo that explained that I needed a plan to make my business work. I wasn’t lazy, it was just that I lacked focus. Of course without a plan of how I was going to make my business successful my then wife at the time decided to take our son and leave. During this period, I also happened to gain forty pounds and was pretty much a hot mess. The result was I closed my business, my car was repossessed, and my house was foreclosed. I was sick, broke and depressed.
I was close to forty and was going to move into my parents’ house in the Chicagoland area. I felt sick and empty with what my life had become. What was wrong with me? My dad who had been a high performer his whole life simply couldn’t understand what I was going through. After a few ugly arguments with my father, I was off to the Quad Cities to live with my sister for a while. I had no plans of making Iowa my home; this was just where I was going to get back on my feet.
I had no car, no friends, and no job and after a lot of introspection, I began to have some clarity as to what was wrong with me. My whole life I had been living a life focusing on the needs of others and attempting to make others happy. I had done this with my then wife; I had done this with my ex-bosses, and I had been like this with my parents as well. The result was that I was miserable, and no one was happy with me. Why? I had spent so much time agreeing with everyone and attempting to manage everyone’s feelings that my needs were never being addressed. The bottom-line: I wasn’t true to myself or anyone around me. I don’t know if people knew this or could see that I didn’t value or respect myself, but it did show up everywhere in my life.
Overcoming my biggest enemy: My False Self
This was truly the hardest period in my life. It was filled with a lot of stress and fear of the unknown. The funny thing was when I finally started to live my life my way, a lot of the harmful addictions like eating fast food and smoking faded away. It was almost like I had been punishing myself with destructive habits all this time for not living the way I wanted to live. I know I am making it sound easier than it was, but to be totally honest, I always wanted to quit smoking and overcome my addiction to fast food and I had never been able to do so until I began to live life the way I wanted.
I Felt alive again and with practice, I learned how to manage my demons.
During this time, I was meditating almost 2-3 hours a day and exercising regularly. It was nice to have all that time because it gave me the opportunity to find out about myself once again and realize that there was still time to make something of myself and my life. It was during this period I began to research more about what integrative medicine was and how I would be able to manage my life but also to learn to take care of my body.
Accepting my life with Demons
I wish I could say here that I have been able to live happily ever after and that I have figured out the key to happiness and eternal youth. The truth is the second I began to think I had it all figured out was when I started regress, and things began to go wrong in my life again. What I have learned from my life is that I have and will continue to make mistakes. How I decide to overcome those mistakes and manage the stress that comes with dealing with my goofs is how I can stay ahead of my demons. When I decided to live life my way and stopped worrying about the risks was when I found myself.
The Result: The Real Me
I am not going to say that I have figured it all out because I still haven’t. With that said, I am going into my third year of managing an Integrative Medicine Clinic, I am now happily remarried, and we are expecting our first child together. What I can say is that I am much happier and am pleased to share my story, and I hope this can inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle. What brought me out of that dark place? Getting rid of toxic relationships, taking better care of my body and my mind. I feel that I am blessed to have found a lifestyle and a business that I can feel passionate about and challenges me every day.
Farrakh Khawaja is Co-founder and Director of Mandala Integrative Medicine. If you are interested in learning more about how to effectively manage your health and lifestyle follow our blog: mimqc.com