At the WAPF conference, I met someone I’ll call Joe. (I remember his real name, but wish to honour his privacy.) His story was spellbinding:
As a young child, Joe experienced the horrible symptom of blood exiting his body with every stool. He had Crohn’s. For the longest time, including in his teens, his weight hovered at around 65 pounds. The boy’s body was absolutely devastated.
As a young adult, Joe learned about Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s raw omnivorous program. He committed to consuming raw meat and raw milk with some raw vegetables. For two years, his hell continued. For two years, every single day he sweated and vomited and had diarrhea.
And then he didn’t.
Somewhere in the midst of his healing horror, Joe saw his first increase in his weight. Today Joe is a solid, stocky 190 pounds. He is also an alert, bright, energetic fellow. Even though he is being threatened with jail (something to do with raw milk), he seems happy and is very definitely positive. The same proactivity that had him recover himself continues to show in his commitment to access of real food.
There are a host of things that stand out to me about Joe’s story, but the one I want to share right now is his commitment through the healing crisis. What made Joe believe? What made Joe believe he could be well? What made Joe believe that a healing crisis persisting for two full years would, in the end, prove worth it?
Our mutual friend, Millie, said, “This is what people need to know. This is what we need to tell them! This is what people need to understand!”
Millie’s own son did (and does) GAPS. When he started, they did not know about intro so of course they could not do it. Millie’s son’s recovery, then, involved a full year of constant die-off, before they started to see glimmers of recovery. A good minute here, five minutes of relief there…
Her boy is very well today. What made Millie believe? What made Millie believe her son could be well? What made Millie believe that a healing crisis with no let up within the first year would, in the end, prove worth it?
I don’t know.
But Joe did believe, and Millie did believe. And they stuck it out. And the lives of two young men are living testimony that it is worth it.
In the GAPS community today we have so much more information than Millie had. There are books and support groups that did not exist when Millie started recovering her son, making it up as she went along, tweaking, finding solutions.
Today in the GAPS community, we know about die-off, about how it cycles, about how to manage it. We know we can’t always manage it 100%, but we have tools for keeping it lighter and coming through it faster. Thus, it is unlikely that anyone will need to go through what Joe or Millie’s son had to. But their stories can well serve as excellent encouragement while we go through whatever degree of die-off we need to.