Single and Suffering: How One Woman’s Physical Battles While Single Changed Her Life
Posted On August 16, 2017
In our season of singleness God can do a deep work in us, if we allow Him to. Rachel Deitrick is an accountability coach at Married and Young. Prior to this, Rachel experienced the trial of her life when she developed an autoimmune disease. Rachel’s body would trigger false allergic reactions whenever she ate food. After losing an immense amount of weight and feeling that things were never going to change, Rachel contemplated suicide. However, this illness allowed Rachel to strengthen her relationship with God, gain a passion for a writing and become a source of encouragement for those desiring Godly relationships !
Habiba Abudu (HA) : What was life like prior to your stomach illness ?
Rachel Deitrick (RD) : It was Spring 2013 and I just transferred to Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Human Development. I was working full time and dating my boyfriend of seven years.
HA : When did you start to notice that you had health issues ?
RD : One day I had a severe allergic reaction to food that I’ve eaten. My allergic reaction offset the pH balance in my stomach which caused me to have acid reflux. The acid reflux became severe over time and caused ear infections. Ear problems can happen if the stomach is not producing the right amount of acid. The reflux was addressed with over the counter medications and the ear infections were addressed with antibiotics. The combination of over the counter medications with prescription antibiotics was too much for my body to handle at once. This resulted in my digestive system being destroyed.
HA : How did your illness affect your life ?
RD : My body could not properly digest food. This was because my stomach and intestinal lining was eaten away from acid reflux, medications and antibiotics. Starving myself was not an option, so I tried to eat small amounts of food. My body began to think that food was a threat. I developed an autoimmune disease known as leaky gut and my body would attack itself every time I ate or drank anything. I would get a false allergic reaction to any food that I consumed. My throat would feel as though it was closing up whenever I put food in my mouth. The feeling of my throat closing up was terrifying. I didn’t understand what was happening and doctors didn’t either. I began to lose weight and developed an eating disorder. I was terrified of food. My doctors told me I was crazy and that I needed counseling. I became extremely depressed due to being sick, frustrated, and scared. Due to my illness, my body was completely deprived of the nutrition it needed in order to function properly.
HA : Can you discuss your period of depression and not wanting to live anymore ?
RD : My body was slowly shutting down and I did not want to live. I broke up with my boyfriend because I was so depressed. I also quit working and going to college. There were countless days where I laid in bed with no desire to get up. I was completely hopeless and thought my health would never improve. Since, I lost so much weight and looked anorexic, I began to struggle with a negative body image. I wanted to end my life.
HA : You started to write. What prompted you to write ?
RD : My depression. I was going crazy with all of these negative thoughts I had about myself and life in general. Writing became my therapy. Eventually, I started writing ideas for blog entries and planned to start my own blog.
Once I had experienced major improvements in my health, I was unexpectedly given the opportunity to write for a magazine. The blog entries that I had been working on turned into magazine articles. I began writing for Stellar Day Magazine in January 2016. My articles have been opportunities for me to share what God has been doing in my life. I am currently writing my first book that helps singles position themselves to be found.
HA : How were you able to make a comeback from your illness ? Did you make any changes to your lifestyle ?
RD : I asked God for His help. After my sickness, I had an epiphany. My sickness, although unbearable, was an invitation from God. Through my trial, He was inviting me to fix my gaze upon Him, to not be afraid, and to trust Him with every ounce of my being.
It was amazing how God revealed to me what exactly was wrong with my body when doctors couldn’t. For example, baseball player Kameron Loe helped me. I met Kameron through my step brother. Kameron allowed me to use his machine that cost thousands of dollars. The machine used electromagnetic waves that removed heavy metals and toxins. I did a couple of treatments with Kameron’s machine.
My healing took time because my body had to rebuild its digestive system. I made changes in my diet. I now eat a diet that follows Paleo and Whole30 food options. I also began to use supplements such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and essential oils.
HA : Finally, what advice would you give to those going through a difficult situation ?
RD : Never give up, even on your worst days. Ask God to help you through your situation. Before I made the decision to take my life, I decided to cry out to God one last time. God had to let me experience the pain so that my faith and dependence on Him would be strengthened. Through my depression, I developed my passion of writing. If you are experiencing a difficult situation, what if that difficulty has been sent to you as an invitation to trust the One that can help you through it ?
What work is God doing in your season of singleness ?