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New Day Herald

Erika Winston

Return to Innocence: The Covid / Pneumonia Blessing

I never thought I would say this, but I am so grateful that I got severely sick. There were so many blessings and gifts from that experience and it has changed my life in extraordinary ways. I am not sure if I would have transformed so drastically if it wasn’t for a traumatic life and death situation. This is a story of mine that I would like to share.

I have always been one to take good care of myself by focusing on staying in shape with my body, eating well, attending to my mental well being and honoring my spiritual practice. I thought that I was handling my life in a responsible way and doing all the right things. However, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t taking care of myself in the most significant basic ways. I didn’t know how to truly give myself what I needed to be satisfied. I kept looking outside of myself towards others to help me feel better about myself. I think part of that is ok, as we need others, but I believe I was searching for the specific session or workshop or teaching or bodywork that would heal my feelings of unworthiness. I was distracting myself from me.

Before I got sick, I was extremely focused on my work and being of service. I would rush through breakfast and/or lunch so I could get to the office and help others. I would also attend to what others needed, which I experienced as a feeling of belonging and connection. I didn’t realized how I was dropping myself out of my life. Most of my life I felt as though I had this underlying longing and anxiety. What I realized was that I was taking on the responsibility to heal and make others happy before me. This of course was a delusion and over responsibility. I now realize that the person I was longing for was me.

When I got Covid, I was taking all the right supplements, stretching, resting, and I thought I was getting better after 4 days. Then, I started to go downhill, as I was coughing more and not breathing well. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I was trying to fight it while at home. Each day that passed was another sign that my body was not healing. After 10 days, my energy, attitude and will to fight lessened. I spoke to my friend Heather, on the phone, on the evening of that 10th day. She expressed that I didn’t sound good and asked me what was my oxygen level. I took the pulse oximeter and put it on my index finger. It read 78% for O2. She was alarmed and, at the time, I did not have the understanding of the severity and how I was in a dangerous situation. She asked if she could contact my landlord to call an ambulance. I agreed and within 10 minutes, the ambulance was here. I was in shock and scared as to what was happening to me.

The gentlemen from the ambulance were very kind and attentive. As we were driving away from my house, I prayed that I would be saved. It was so surreal and almost unbelievable that I was in this situation. I was not used to accepting other people’s help, as most of my life, the role that I took on was to be of service and give. This opportunity allowed me to choose to surrender and receive the care I needed. I remember that a doctor came in to the ER and told me that we needed to talk about DNR. I also gave them my sister’s phone number just in case something worse happened. As the hours passed, I experienced a consistent feeling of shock from this occurrence that landed me in the hospital. It was a wake up call that my life was about to change. What I didn’t know, was that it was for the better and my highest good.

After a few hours of testing and getting blood drawn, they took me up to a private room in the Covid unit. The next situation was again, so surreal. They informed me that in addition to the Covid, I had contracted bacterial pneumonia. This explained why I couldn’t breath well and coughed continuously. The nurses that took care of me were extremely professional and kind. I had the gift of knowing the doctor who took care of me for the rest of my stay. He was gentle with his words, supportive and very loving. I had everything I needed. I also listened to the Luxor, Body Balance meditation and Ani-Hu meditation most days while lying in the bed. I felt so blessed to be taken care of spiritually by J-R, John Morton and my MSIA family who were sending me the Light. My immediate family wanted to come out to see me, however, no one was allowed to visit. So, we just communicated by using FaceTime. My friends sent me many texts of concern and support. They were extremely loving and caring too. My stay in the hospital was for 8 days and then they released me. I was excited and nervous to go back home. I knew I was going to be alone, but things changed for me. A new beginning was emerging with my inner being.

When I arrived home, it was a mess and I knew I needed to have someone help me. One of my dear friends put me in touch with her house cleaner and she came the following day. The timing was just perfect. As they were cleaning, I sat outside and did 1.5 hours of Free-form writing, which felt like I was purging. After they finished, my house felt renewed, re-energized and spotless. This prepared me to start my recovery anew. One of my MSIA friends told me she was going to send an email to Heartfelt to inform others of my condition where they could sign up to bring meals. This act of kindness touched my heart. My MSIA family and some friends helped me by bringing meals and groceries. I was so touched and appreciative for everyone who wanted to support me.

However, I recognized that my energy was so low and depleted that I couldn’t handle too much coming in. Every day I was very aware of having to take things very slowly and detaching from the world. In the past, I was more frantic and wanting to get things done. This time, I was going to do things differently. A new feeling came upon me where I appreciated all the time I had with myself. I was very present minded and became reacquainted with the little, yet significant things in life. For example, sitting outside and feeling connected to the trees and feeling the breeze on my body. However, I couldn’t handle other people’s energy very well, so I had to speak up and set boundaries. I knew this was necessary for my healing and my people pleasing/fear of rejection seemed to slowly dissolve. My habitual patterns were changing. I was aware that the more time I allowed to care for myself and to receive what I needed from others, my self worth was growing.

I was paying attention to my body this time. I became devoted and disciplined inwardly. I would go outside my front door and walk for a few minutes on my property, enjoying the beautiful trees and garden. I also enjoyed being with the dogs on my landlord’s property. I spoke to my family and certain friends each day and I felt very loved. I guess in the past, I didn’t know how to receive love. This changed everything. I was now able to take in the loving energy. In addition, I was learning to speak up for myself and what I needed. I learned that most people responded well when I was clear about my needs.

I became hyper focused about learning who I am and wanted to live. It felt like I was a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. My healing was very incremental. The only two people that I saw for appointments were my Physical Therapist friend and my Chiropractor. My nervous system was on high alert and my body barely wanted to be touched. This was new for me.  I was learning how to truly contain my own energy, set boundaries and have peace within. I recognized that I used to break agreements with myself often and, with God’s help, I was going to change that pattern too. I was also learning how to be a parent to my basic self and how to love unconditionally. It has been a process.

It has been a little over three months now and my energy, sense of self, consciousness and life have been transformed. I feel this sense of freedom within and my wings are expanding. I can honestly now say that I like and love myself. I have rededicated myself to be devoted to God, J-R and enjoy my life. I am returning to my innocence.

I feel like I have been reintroduced to myself and here are the many Blessings/Gifts from this experience:

  1. I know how to take care of myself and do it consistently
  2. I pay attention to my body and listen to my intuition
  3. I have deeper relationships with family and friends
  4. I am expressing my needs and wants honestly
  5. I set and honor boundaries for myself and others
  6. I don’t need to explain myself
  7. I see beauty all around me
  8. My feelings matter
  9. I am worthy for just being me
  10. I have a closer connection to God and J-R
  11. I love to give AND receive
  12. I accept what is for the highest good and forgive myself when I judge myself or others
  13. I am open to receive the blessings that are meant for me
  14. I respect my truth and act responsibly
  15. I practice clear and direct communication

11 thoughts on “Return to Innocence: The Covid / Pneumonia Blessing”

  1. What a beautiful experience for you Erika and so lovely to read about your transformation.
    Thank you so much for sharing and it is wonderful that ou are now on the path to deeper insights into yourself.
    With much love Light and Blessings,
    Lalage

    1. Erika Winston

      Thank you for your feedback. It means a lot to me. Life is wonderful from the inside out.
      Many blessings and light to you.

      Erika

  2. Beautifully written and expressed Erika. I love your honesty and the lessons you learned. We can all learn from your healing. Sending love.

  3. I loved this, Erika. Another personal miracle of transformation and an example how we are always God’s and the Traveler’s beloveds. Thank you so much. Love & blessings!

  4. Kevin McMillan

    Thanks Erika. This is inspiring and makes me think on how I can increase my self-trust, honesty, and self care. So glad you’re feeling better, and in this amazing process
    Love, Kevin

  5. Susan Voorhees

    So happy that you have submitted your piece of writing to the New Day Herald, and have shared yourself moving story with all of us. Thank you.
    With loving,
    Susan

  6. Erika, Such a beautifully touching story of your Light-filled perseverance in taking care of yourself. Thank you so much for sharing. I know I’ve grown from reading of your experience.

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