The New York Optimist
January 2009
Jillian Ann: Editorial
I am going to start this with a story, I grew up in Georgia the land  
of deep friend chicken biscuits and French fries. As a child I ate  
pretty healthy lots of apples and whole foods we had a garden my  
mother made all our food at home. I wasn't a vegan some was organic  
but it wasn't junk food, then my Grandmother got cancer and my
mother  
had four children and a dying mother so more fast food showed up for  
a bit, frozen pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, sliced meat and cheese and  
bread. Never white bread, always wheat, but the diet declined a bit  
justifiably so after my grandmother my great aunt moved in and  
shortly after she was told she had brain cancer she had been sick for  
sometime but the doctors didn't realize it and one night she was  
acting crazy and I said, there is something in her head take her back  
to the doctor she had a tumor she died rapidly. I watched them both  
die smoking and eating junk food on the way out, I watch hair fall  
out and them lose there energy till they didn't wake up anymore.
I was traumatized and felt like there was something wrong, how do you  
miss a brain tumor? Why do you get cancer? Why do we lose our
energy?  
Why do we grow old? Why are we sick?

These things have burned in my heart and soul my whole life and have  
driven me to try to unravel that why and find the reason, of course  
we will all die, but I want to live and die well. I hit my teens and  
all of the sudden everything seemed to go wrong, I gained weight, got  
lots of zits, had mood swings, depression, and overall felt like I  
was half alive. It didn't make sense as a kid I had all this energy  
never was fat never had weight issues so what happened it had to be  
more then puberty. I wanted to grow up and be a singer and a model  
and I knew I had to figure out Why I was falling apart inside out. I  
started on this journey then seeking to find out why I was fat, why I  
felt bad, and what was causing it for I believe if we have a symptom  
covering it up is not going to help it, if I am depressed I want to  
know why, if I am fat I want to know why, if my skin looks like a war  
zone I want to know why.
I was a smart kid and being home-schooled allowed me ample time to  
research health, diet, healing and so I started fifteen years or so  
ago, I am a skeptic always have been one I won't can't believe it  
till I try it and it either works or fails. I am scientific and  
esoteric when it comes to healing and health I firmly believe in both  
the scientific approach as well as the esoteric and using them  
together. I read everything in every magazine every book I could get  
my hands on and I tried diet after diet after diet, I tried them all  
and eventually will go into my experience with all of them but will  
save that for later. I would often see results for a week or so, but  
it wouldn't last, I would gain weight, I would break out, I would  
feel fatigued depressed and moody. At 15 I started to model with  
agencies and of course as they always do I was told to lose five  
pounds and I wanted to model and sing and get out of my small town
so  I made a vow to do whatever it took.

All of the sudden being beautiful and thin was more important then  
being healthy, and what I did was the worst thing you can ever do, I  
starved, I was bulimic, I used drugs, pills, things to make my hunger  
go away, I ran for an hour a day, I was obsessive and completely  
unhealthy. I would eat but sometimes I felt I ate too much so I would  
either run for hours or go visit the gods in the bathroom either way  
I was completely messing up my body and I was skinny but my head
my  face and I was a mess. I ran away from home at 17 and was on
my own,  
I was modeling and promoting to eat so I went to castings during the  
day or did shoots then was out all night in the scene. By the time I  
was 17 I was on my own my own home, car, and was out every
night, but  
I was lonely scared and insecure and so I used drugs as a way to  
escape, to connect, to expand. At a photo shoot I was drugged and  
raped along with another model, this spent me spinning deeper into  
the dark, I couldn't talk about it, I was afraid to talk about it and  
so I buried it with the help of even more drugs and drinking. I was  
smart and continued to model and work even while under the
influence  
of heavy drugs in mass amounts. I was burning the candle at both
ends  and was bent on destruction. I had more then a few traumas and
was a  kid in a adult world with adult toys.
It got really bad, so bad my best friend stopped talking to me, then I isolated and realized all my friends at the clubs in the industry didn't seem to care or miss me, then I
felt I was even more alone. I  escaped into the rave scene, left the fashion one, spent all night on  LSD and E, along with whatever else I could get which was anything. I  
stayed up for days, not eating, partying, drinking, life became  fragmented blurred but yet I was still alive. Then I wanted out and  so I started doing drugs attempting to
snap the wire, I took so many  drugs Heroin, LSD, Ghb, K, Coke, etc and one night I made my deadly  mixture, more then two dozen hits of E, GHB, K, and Heroin and I
took  it all, at once.

There is a drug called DMT it is the chemical released in your brain  when your born, die and or have near death experiences. Now I  understand what happened, I was
one a crazy trip and then all of the  sudden the walls melted reality shifted and then I was gone. I  remember leaving and coming back and the in between was like a
waiting  room, I was only given one message... " you're not done yet" I woke up two days later I am alive because one of my friends came to see me  
and found me not breathing, not moving, well you know dead. He was an  
ER and was able to get my heart beating and me breathing, but then I  
was in a coma for two days. I was underage and no one wanted to  
explain anything so no one took me to the hospital. When I opened my  
eyes I didn't know who I was or where I was I couldn't feel my body  
then I felt something pierce the top of my head and energy came back  
like something was breathing life back into me. It took awhile to  
remember me, but it eventually came back, I knew I wasn't going to  
die and the experience was enough to change my perspective on reality  
on life on death on everything.

Afterwards I had trouble I had taken accutane which it says do not  
take with drugs or alcohol I had ignored it I woke up one day soon  
after covered in bruises even though I had cut my drugs and drinking  
back, I went home and asked my mother to take me to the doctor I was  
afraid. They told me my liver was severely damaged and that it could  
heal but it would take time and I had to stop. So I moved deleted my  
number and went back to focusing on music and modeling at this time I  
was 18 I could leave for New York so I set a new goal. Move to New  
York, I knew going there would require me to be alive and kicking so  
I returned to focusing on trying to be healthy and heal myself, even  
if my death wish wasn't gone yet completely I decided if I am going  
to be here I may as well make the use of it.

I read tons of books, started using herbs to help with my brain and  
body to help it recover from what I did to it, I didn't have health  
insurance and I was alone and so I became my own doctor which is the  
best thing you can ever do. I started working with my energy,  
meditation, herbs, and food as medicine. I became a vegetarian first  
mainly because once I was rewired I discovered I was just super  
sensitive and many of my walls came from living in a way which was  
not natural for me.

When in Miami working with an agency someone gave me the book "Fit  
For Life", which opened my eyes even more and I started following it  
and found myself feeling much better and healthier.
Then in Milan I  remained a vegan I lived off fruit veggies and spirutien and tofu, I  was the typical new vegan lots and lots of soy and tofu in Milan I  got
really skinny mainly because all of the sudden I was healthy and  I walked all day everyday and the food is so much better in Europe.  Then when I returned I
started noticing these people who looked  amazing and were old and I started asking and found out they were raw  foods so then I started studying and
became a raw foodist.I did that for years sometimes I would alter my diet slightly because  
someone said I should so I would try it always returning to being a  
raw food vegan because it made me feel good. I started working with  
food, herbs, and plants to heal my mind body and soul, as well as  
meditation, yoga, earth, air and movement. I have healed my mind, my  
liver is as good as new, I am never fat but stay at a healthy weight,  
my skin is flawless, I have tons of energy, lots of creativity, a  
healthy sex drive, and now am working on fine tuning the details. I  
have helped others over the years and although raw food works amazing  
for me I am not religious about it, if I am in third world country  
where its hard to get raw food I may eat slightly steamed veggies, I  
eat miso soup ( not cooked but warm ) etc I eat warm food, but its  
still raw in other words its not dead its still alive.

Maybe I should call myself a living foodist, I try to eat food which  
is as fresh, pure, organic, free of chemicals, unprocessed etc, I use  
herbs in liquid or dry form, I use all natural products on my hair, skin and home
and moving towards wearing and sleeping in all natural  
fabrics.
Many people say being raw is not natural, the problem is our  world is no longer natural and one of the reasons so many of us are  sick, fat, depressed, don't
feel good and have bad skin is because  the world is not natural, what we eat is not natural, we breathe in  toxins, we drink toxins, we think toxic, and then if
we wear and eat  toxins eventually your body will breakdown like mine did. My body  breakdown because it couldn't handle it and what happened to me was
extreme fast and hard but it no different then what happens to many  of us over years. We keep filling ourselves with toxins, jet fuel,  chemicals, hormones,
prescriptions, and eventually our bodies can't  take it and we breakdown on a cellular level, we get cancer, we get  sick, we get fat, obese, diseased, diabetes.

I don't want to live like that and so I have spent lots and lots of  time trying to figure out how to counteract the side effects of  living in a completely world
we have been trashing for a long time  forgetting the worlds water is our drinking water the worlds earth is  where we get our food and the worlds lungs are
ours. So next time your going to flush the toilet full of chemicals, next time your going to use chemicals to clean the kitchen remember your going to drink
that because our government doesn't have the time or money or capacity to remove everything from our water so what we put out we are taking back into
our bodies. We all have a choice we can fight for our lives and live well and help heal ourselves each other and through that the world or we can just try to
cover up the symptoms and put Band-Aids on our wounds which can't heal unless we give them what they need to heal.

We were not made to run of waste, chemicals, pollution, drugs, chemicals, dyes, sugar and fat, even if your not going vegan, animals 2,000 years ago were
eating grass from soil which still had minerals in it, not locked in a cage pumped full of hormones feed soy from china and then slaughtered. In order to heal
and recover we must start with understanding what's going on, for many of us never even read a label much less go to a farmers market and ask the farmers
questions. We just shove it in our mouths and then when we are 40-50 and breaking down we wonder why and what went wrong. Our bodies and the plant
have alot in common and in order to understand one we must understand the other. Nature has a perfect balance, and when we are in balance with nature we
will be balanced but we have forgotten about nature, about balance, about ourselves and have become digital icons with our digital lives in our virtual world.

Most of us spend  most of our free time on a box looking at boxes and so I hope I can  
reach you through this box for the box has a purpose just don't let it eat you alive. I am the healthiest person I know, I wasn't before, and I am still learning
and growing, but I want to share what I have learned I have to for I don't believe we have to let it all breakdown, and I believe deep inside we all want to be
happy, at peace, and live on a planet without mass killing, starvation, war and sadness. I feel if we want to see a better world we must start making the
changes each day with every choice.

I feel guilty now when I use a cup, when I can't recycle something, when I forget my cloth bags, when I am not eating local, but thats a good thing, its
good to be aware of how we are helping or healing ourselves and our world. I am going to share what I learned and what I am learning that is all  
I can do, and I hope today you will think about two things, the first  is your connection between you and your own body, its easy to be disconnected from
our bodies and not to be in tune with it bodies talk you just have to listen. Illness usually comes from not  
listening to what our bodies need. Become your own doctor, your own healer, and then as you heal yourself you will be able to extend that  
outward into the world into your loved ones into your dreams. Seek the truth, not the advertisers, they will lie to you to sell things, know your sources,
know whats inside what your cleaning, eating, and putting on your body. Investing in your body and your health is the wisest investment you could make
these days.
Next time I write I will write about transitions how to get started transitioning, or shifting, how to get your life back. Its yours for  
the taking, and if I can heal myself well there is hope for us all because I was beyond broken and gone. This isn't just about being raw its about living and
being alive, its about living the best life possible, its about being aware . I have always had a fascination with healing and even considered being a  doctor
when I was younger, now I would say I can relate more to a  medicine man or witch doctor or the others that you hear tales of who recommend one part
this plant with one part sunshine. For I believe now all of our cures can be found in nature its just a matter or looking and using them.
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