Emotional Baggage & Healing with Author Amy Scher

Amy Scher Image

Emotional Baggage – Release It and Free Yourself Of Pain 

If you still are not getting better, have you dealt with your emotional baggage? Many are afraid to address the emotional battle they face every day but releasing the emotional baggage allows you to remove the pain. This week’s guest Amy Scher is an award-winning author and Lyme warrior whose work has helped thousands of people overcome chronic illness through emotional healing and release. Amy Scher believes the healing journey has to be focused on the internal struggle to heal from chronic disease.

Amy’s Lyme J0urney and Memoir

Mimi MacLean:
Amy, thank you so much for coming on. I am excited to talk to you because I have been following you for several years now because of Dr. DeSilva. You have some exciting news. You launched your fourth book yesterday. So I would love to just dive in with that and talk about your new book.

Amy Scher:
Thank you so much. So my memoir that came out with Simon & Schuster is called This Is How I Save My Life. It just came out in paperback yesterday, which is exciting because it is just another chance to reach more people who might need a hopeful story about healing from Lyme, chronic illness, autoimmune diseases. Moreover, as we know, when we are scrolling through the internet, we do not only see the hopeful stories; we see the ones that terrify us. So it is exciting.

Amy Scher MemoirMimi MacLean:
Congratulations. That is great. Can you start by just telling us a bit about your Lyme journey? That is why I was intrigued by you because you had Lyme, and you healed yourself, and you did it in a way that I think for me… It took me, now I am six years into my journey, and probably towards the end, the five, six years is when I realized I need to start addressing the emotional part of it. Furthermore, many people do not talk about the emotional aspect of healing, which you specialize in. So I would love for you to talk about that.

Amy Scher:
Sure. It is so interesting. So I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2007, and then it was a different world than I remember. I had one doctor, one doctor, out of all the doctors I saw, that asked me, “What is going on at home? Are you happy in your relationship? Do you feel like you are joyful?” And I was so defensive and annoyed and dismissive of him asking because I was like, what does that have to do with Lyme disease? This tick bit me. I have all this nerve damage; I had brain lesions. I had all these autoimmune conditions. You know how it goes, right?

I had all this stuff in my body going on. I was like, why is this jerk asking me about my emotional state? He was an incredible doctor. It wasn’t anything like that. I was just so defensive. Like you were saying, and you’re just getting to that stage. I, too, came to the realization many years later, late in the game a little bit, I guess that you could say, or toward the end of my journey, that it isn’t just all about your body. And so, I struggled with Lyme disease for many, many years. My entire healing journey was about a decade.

I went all over the world for medical treatments, including many people who know that I went to India for an experimental stem cell transplant. My doctor was like, “This could kill you. We have no idea what’s going to happen.” And I felt like I was at such a place after exhausting all possible treatments in the United States, hyperbaric oxygen, antibiotics. I did almost 100 hyperbaric oxygen treatments; I did antibiotics; I did all the alternatives things. Everyone who’s listening probably relates to this story.

I decided to go to India to try this experimental stem cell transplant, making a massive difference. I went there essentially traveling in a wheelchair through the airport because it was too far to walk, and I was in too much pain. I came home by myself without my family because they had already left and I felt like I had my life back.

I ran through the airport because I almost missed my flight, and I was pulling suitcases and carrying things. And when I came home, I thought, oh my gosh. Thank God I’m over this. Lyme is over. It’s done. And I intentionally swiftly moved on with my life. What happened about a year later as I started to relapse, and I began to have my tests come back weird again, and strange things were happening in my body again. And it was at that point and I realized I had an epiphany that if you address the physical in all the ways you need to, and your physical body isn’t healed.

The cause of the physical condition isn’t only about what’s going on with your chemicals and the bacteria. It has to be more. And that’s when I started to discover and study how our emotional landscape, emotions, and stress affect our physical body. And that was my jackpot in my healing journey when I was out of money and out of doctors. What do you do when you’ve already gone halfway across the world for a cure? You stay home and figure it out because that’s all there is to do.

I realized that that was a part of myself that I had neglected. And that sliver, even though I had addressed everything else under the sun, very well, I might add, that sliver was enough to keep me stuck. And when I fully accepted that there could have been a part of me, not my fault, but just by default of being human, that was contributing to the illness experience, it wasn’t until then that I was able to heal permanently and entirely by doing the deep emotional work.

Deep Emotional Work – It Changed Everything

Mimi MacLean:
Now, when you decided you needed to do that, did you do it by yourself? Did you pick up a book? Did you see a psychiatrist? How did you know where to start?

Amy Scher:
I had already, throughout my lifetime, seen therapists and had already done the traditional therapy route because I had anxiety, as many of us do. And actually, through my healing journey, obviously, anxiety got worse, depression got worse, everything was a mess. So I had already done that, and I felt like I had already had a good understanding of what was going on inside of me. I was a perfectionist. I was a people pleaser. I couldn’t handle when people were upset with me or when somebody was upset in my life.

So I was a fixer. And those things were the things that I needed to work on. I’d always had a really positive attitude, so I don’t think of thinking positively or looking on the bright side of things; I innately have that ability, and I think we all do in some sense. But I definitely tend toward it, but that wasn’t enough.

Amy Scher:
What changed my perspective was that I did start reading about how emotional patterns and how stuck emotions in your body affect you. And for me, I was very aware that I bottled my emotions. I was a perfectionist in such a way that I didn’t want anybody to see any imperfections. And I was also the person in my life that everybody ran to when something went wrong, which meant I was the rock. I never cracked. I was very attached to that role in my life.

Eventually, the body erupts under that pressure, which I believe happens to many people and what I believe happened to me. Of course, now, many years later, there’s so much science and studies to show us that stress affects the nervous system. Stress, which is the same as emotional baggage, affects the immune system. When I was first discovering it, there wasn’t a ton on it. Now it’s so well known. Most Lyme patients have heard of the idea that they should address their emotions in some way. In my era of being treated for Lyme and my friend, we’d never heard of it. That wasn’t something anybody ever talked about.

Amy Scher ImageMimi MacLean:
So I know you have started an online program. So can you talk about that and what you’ve learned and how you’ve implemented it to help other people share?

Amy Scher:
Sure. So I essentially worked with my emotions through energetic healing and releasing energetic and emotional blocks in the body, so stuck emotions, patterns. I basically went on to write books and teach people through my online programs and classes about how they can release emotional baggage. It’s all self-application techniques; it’s all tapping or reading scripts. Some of the techniques are ones that I learned on my own healing journey, and then some of them are ones I actually created to target that emotional-energetic baggage that we carry, those emotions that we’ve been stuffing for years.

The beliefs like I’m not good enough or I’ll never heal ended up holding us back. And so I have a whole series of books, How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can, and then in addition for anxiety, in addition for depression. And through that work and my online programs, I teach people how to do some of this for themselves.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. And they can also work with you one on one as well?

Amy Scher:
I actually no longer do anyone on one sessions. Still, I have an amazing assistant practitioner who actually sends my own friends and family to whom I trust so much. But really, you don’t need to work with a practitioner to start. If you want to, and I have that available, the important thing is that you learn some of this stuff for yourself because one of the things that’s stressful for the body is feeling out of control or without control.

And that’s what so many of us who have experienced chronic illness feel, is that we’re waiting for a doctor or we’re waiting for them to call back when we don’t feel good. We’re waiting for something to help us feel better. And by learning the techniques yourself, you actually instigate your self-healing and relaxation response by empowering yourself to have something to do and heal yourself with while you’re waiting for all the other stuff to work.

Comparing Emotional Baggage and Spiritual Work

Mimi MacLean:
Can you talk to me about it… Because you hear a lot about emotional and spiritual. Where does that intersect? What’s really the difference? I am always confused by that, so I figured I’d ask you since you’re an expert.

Amy Scher:
Thank you. So I think emotional is just the thing that we all experience: our emotions and how they drive us and how they dictate so much of our lives. And then spiritual, I think, is more of a connection around purpose and meaning and what’s happening.

So the emotions are just the raw I’m sad, I’m angry, I feel shitty, I feel frustrated, whatever it is. And the emotional side is how you make meaning of that emotional journey. I may not go as far as to say everything happens for a reason. I think now, in hindsight, I believe that for my own life. Not everybody believes that for theirs. It’s also easier to believe in hindsight because now I see how everything worked out for me.

Amy Scher Quote 2

But essentially, I think that it’s important, whether you believe everything happens for a reason or you’re finding a reason at that moment, to make whatever’s happening to feel a little better; you’re finding purpose in what’s happening. It doesn’t have to be a reason, but purpose in the cards that have been dealt for you. I feel like that’s spirituality.

It’s a way of connecting to some reasoning that’s beyond what makes sense to you. And for me, that was a huge piece of my survival because I don’t think it’s easy to survive when you’re just dealing with reality as it is. I think we need, as human beings, to try to make sense of what’s happening and have a narrative around the idea that we don’t know all there is to know, and maybe that’s why it feels so bad.

And so for me, I always thought, I don’t know why this is happening, but I was able to trust that it was happening for some reason that I wasn’t aware of. I wasn’t totally bought into, oh, I’m sure this will work out, and every piece is a piece of my journey. That’s hard to get to. But I was able to acknowledge that I might not be able to see the bigger picture. And that helped me, I think, let go just a tiny bit and surrender to, now I’ve got to make it mine. Let’s hope that this means something greater. But today, what can I take from this so that I use this experience instead of it using me?

Mimi MacLean:
I love this. Because you know what? I think both of us have gone through Lyme; people who are listening and have gone through it are in a very dark place, right? Because no one understands what they’re going through. It’s financially exhausting. It is exhausting on your mind, your body, spirit because nobody believes you. And so you get to a dark place that I didn’t think is possible. I’ve talked to many people at a stage where they’re angry; they’re giving up hope. They’re depressed. They’re just like, why is this happening? And then they’re almost mad. And I’m like, you’re not going to get better with that.

You have to get to a place where you think of this as a journey. It’s trying to teach you something. It’s trying to get you to a place where you’re going to be better off once you get through it. And that’s where I like what you were saying because it’s supposed to be a journey. It’s teaching you. There’s a reason why you got sick. And so what is that? And figuring that out.

Amy Scher:
Yeah. And I also think in hindsight; I was always so mad at my body. I was like, why is my body so dysfunctional? Why do I hear of people who had an autoimmune disease, and then they discovered vitamin B12, and now they’re cured? I was like, why am I not that person who started juicing and then got better? Or whatever. At first, I was asking the why me question. Why is this happening to me? And then I flipped it, and I was like, why not me? Why not? It’s happening to so many people? Why not me? And for me, I used to always be so mad at my body for dysfunctioning.

And then, I realized that my body’s “dysfunction” was the communication system. It was trying to tell me something was wrong. It wasn’t doing it out of rebellion, and it was doing it out of trying to get my freaking attention because I ignored everything else before that.

Releasing The Self Judgement and Hate

Amy Scher:
I wouldn’t deal with stuff I needed to deal with. I was in a toxic relationship that I refused to tell myself the truth about. What else was my body supposed to do to try to get me to realize that the way I was living my life wasn’t working for me? When I realized that the body’s symptoms are communication, I talk about it in all of my books, and I give a whole list of what the body could be saying to you via various symptoms. Back pain and migraines, and digestive issues. But what else was my body supposed to do after I had been ignoring so many things for so much of my life?

Mimi MacLean:
It’s so true. You also have a book about depression, and that’s for somebody who doesn’t have an autoimmune but is either depressed or knows somebody who’s depressed. Your system can also work for that as well.

Amy Scher:
Yes. And it’s a perfect book that just came out in February, right as we sort hopefully start to come out of the pandemic and this crisis because it’s been a hard year plus. And so many of us were having a hard time before that. So I really feel like the depressive, heavy energy comes before an illness experience. I think it’s beneficial for anybody to look at the energy of depression.

Amy Scher Quote
Amy Scher:
So for me, depression happens on a spectrum. It’s not just what we think of as can’t get out of bed clinically depressed. It happens on a spectrum. And depression, from an energetic standpoint, is the suppression or the depression, the pushing down, of your true self, which is essentially so tied into what chronic illness is about. But when we repress or push down our true selves, we become disconnected from our core, and we don’t have the vital life energy and the flow required for wellbeing and joy.

Sometimes we suppress and repress our true selves because we’re scared because we’re afraid other people won’t like us, whatever it is. But sometimes, it happens because we get buried by life. Because life is so big and overwhelming sometimes and we just can’t catch up. And so sometimes, it’s all the stresses and stuff that just gets piled up on top of you that ends up getting you into this depression energy or this depression state that then starts to cause these disconnections in your body.

I really believe that much of chronic illness… Of course, there’s no design. A tick bites us, or we contracted a virus or whatever it may be. But beyond that, the body has to be in such a state, in such a stressed state, for that actually to take hold. And sometimes, we don’t know what that stressful state is. We’re not doing anything wrong; we’re just holding onto stuff we didn’t realize. And so, I think it’s all-important to look at whatever heavy energy might be holding us back because that does really tie into the physical body.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. Is there anything that we have not covered today that you think would be important to tell our listeners?

Amy Scher:
I don’t think so. I think we covered it all. I always trust that whatever needs to come up comes up. And I think you’ve asked me different questions than other podcast hosts, so I really appreciate that too.

Mimi MacLean:
Oh, good. Because I really enjoyed your book and your course. And I’m glad that Dr. De Silva had told me about you. I don’t know how many years ago it’s been now, three or four years ago. And you’re doing such amazing things, especially like we just talked about with what’s going on in the world right now, that I don’t think it’s being brought up and talked about enough, the mental piece of this whole COVID pandemic that we’ve been going through. And just realizing that everyone’s on some, as you said, the spectrum of this mental depression stressed out.

So anyone who’s listening, going on and getting your books, and getting your course and sharing this with people so that we can all get to a place that we’re all feeling better about ourselves and what’s going on around us.

Amy Scher:
I think the more we talk about it, the more we help each other. Because again, when I was first diagnosed with Lyme, no one was talking about it. And I was diagnosed with many other things before Lyme. Autoimmune conditions and neuropathies and stuff. Nobody was talking about it then. Now the community is getting it. But I think the more we all talk about our own stories, the more we normalize that physical illness, that there are things we can do for physical illness beyond the physical remedy or cure. And I think that’s so important.

Mimi MacLean:
That’s great. Amy, thank you so much for everything. Good luck with your new book, and thank you for everything that you do for the community.

Amy Scher:
Thank you. Same to you.

Mimi MacLean:
Each week, I will bring you different voices from the wellness community to share how they help their clients heal. You will come away with tips and strategies to help you get your life back. Thank you so much for coming on, and I’m so happy you are here. Subscribe now and tune in next week.

Mimi MacLean:
If you want to learn how I detox and want to check out my detox for Lyme checklist, go to lyme360.com/detoxchecklist. You can also join our community at Lyme 360 Warriors on Facebook. Let’s heal together. 

Find Amy at:

Her Website AmyScher.com

Her Instagram @AmyScher

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