Episode 15 – Lessons from Healing My Knee Pain

I share the latest on my months long knee pain, as well as the scientific and spiritual practices I’m trying out. Healing is spiritual AND physical, and I share how I’m trying out different modalities like mindset work, self reflection, family constellations, physical therapy, seeing an orthopedist, and fasting. Thank you to everyone who has checked in and shared what’s worked for them.

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Episode 15 – Lessons from Healing My Knee Pain

Podcast Transcript Below

Hello everybody. Welcome to the Unicorn Millionaire Podcast. I’m your host, Charly Stoever. I’m a non-binary Latinx money coach, helping my first gen clients become millionaires. I’m a formerly undocumented Mexican American and currently digital nomad traveling all over the world. Super excited to have you here along with me on my journey.

I talk about personal finance, money mindset, twerking, unicorns, rainbows, you name it. We’re here, we’re queer, and we are going to build wealth for ourselves and our communities.

Today on my podcast I wanted to give you a life update and talk about the shit storm of events that has happened since I started having random ass knee pain in May. So some background information I have always been a really athletic person as a kid, my dad made me work out, so I have always been athletic actually, you know, Hey Perla, how’s it going with me?

We’re gonna get right to the juicy shit and the good and the bad and the fail. So, um, yeah, as a kid I hated exercising and working out, but my dad made me run and yeah, I feel like I’m just deconstructing a lot of childhood shit as one does when one does the healing that is never ending. And I was like, okay, so I have to work out, I have to exercise, I have to run cuz then I’ll be good enough for my dad to accept me.

I have to exercise. And it didn’t help that in society we glorify athletes, Olympic athletes, NBA players like we definitely place more value on abled bodied humans, especially those that exert themselves and overexert themselves. So even after my dad left the country, I felt like I kept, uh, working out at 14 with the hope that maybe he would come back, that I would be loved enough.

Always this theme of I’ll be enough if I do this thing. And even when my dad had left the country and went back to Mexico, um, I was just starting to get my residency. I was still an athlete in middle school and I was told to, to do sports. There was not much to do growing up in my town. Moses, like Washington, either do meth or play sports, so I was gonna do sports, so I played tennis in high school.

Um, I remember basically like almost starving myself, not to the point of anorexia, but definitely had an eating disorder again because my dad was like your belly’s too big for a 12 year old. You need to lose weight. And so I had that inherent belief of like, oh, okay, I’m not good enough. I’ll be good enough if I do Nikki’s thing, which was to not eat a lot and work out thanks to the patriarchy.

I’m not the only victim of this belief that if you lose weight and be skinny enough, you’ll be good enough to be accepted in the capitalist patriarchal society. And I laugh because it’s absolutely ridiculous that this is even something that we have to deal with regardless of gender too. Um, and the laughter is also cuz I’m hell playful, but it’s also a coping mechanism.

I think it’s a very Latinx thing to laugh, laugh, cry, to deal with stuff that is ridiculous. Um, but yeah, I was like an athlete in school at this point. I loved to work out. Um, even when I didn’t have tennis practice or even after tennis practice, I remember going to the gym to work out extra. Or going running, even after tennis practice or even in the mornings waking up to exercise, I had this ingrained belief that, okay, I need to work out and exert myself and push myself so I can feel accomplished.

And I carried this belief with me throughout my twenties. I remember at Wellesley College waking up at 4:00 AM to row with the crew team at Wellesley cuz I wasn’t good enough to get on the tennis team. So I joined novice crew and I quit because it was not worth it to wake up that early, and I did not want my grades and my economics were really struggling and I didn’t need to be woken up at 4:00 AM.

In addition to dealing with, stepping into a really rigorous academic institution, had to hire writing tutor to help me fit into the system of how to, how the fuck do you write in academia? How are you good enough to fit into what White men regard as academic writing? Always that I’m not good enough. I have to change, I have to perform to be good enough.

Um, but I also just subconsciously was like, I like to run because it makes me feel good and I can also eat hella food. All these harmful beliefs of like, oh, if I do this thing, then I can enjoy life, then I can eat what I want to eat. But if I don’t exercise, then I can’t eat what I want to eat. So even though I thought it was a healthy relationship with food and my body, it really wasn’t.

So I’ve always been pretty active running every day. When I moved to Playa del Carmen, I was all about waking up before it got too hot and running on the beach, barefoot biking to the beach, swimming in the water, like a mini triathlon style. It wasn’t even a big deal. Like I never had a Fitbit. I wasn’t tracking my miles.

I would just literally run for 40 minutes until I got tired, and then I’d swim and then chill out the rest of the day. Um, until May happened, I went through a tough breakup. I decided to leave Mexico, um, my lease was ending and go back to the States. And like that month, everything came crashing down. When the first day, one day I could run just fine, and then the next day I couldn’t even get out of bed.

And I was, and still continue to live alone and I didn’t have anybody to help me. And I was just so scared and frustrated like, why me? Why is this happening to me? I eat mas or menos healthy. I work out. I take care of my body. I’m 31. Why is this happening to me? I’m not old. I was just so frustrated and confused that this was happening to me.

So I went from running every day, exercising every day, to not being able to barely get out of bed, and that was a huge mind fuck for me. Um, and I remember going to an orthopedist right away and a doctor, and they looked up the x-rays and they couldn’t really understand what was going on. My bones seemed fine, and then the orthopedist was just like, it’s because you’re running barefoot on the beach, that your ligaments are torn.

The uneven sand has torn your ligaments, so just stop running for six weeks. Especially, you cannot run in the sand anymore, only on hard surfaces, and you’ll be good after six weeks. Six weeks later, I can still like go dancing and I’m biking and wearing knee braces, but I try running again and it hurts too much the next day.

And this was in June? Yeah. Flash forward to August and especially this week, um, I was struggling to go up and down the stairs. Stairs again, freaked out because I thought I’d fix the problem that I just needed to rest. But it turns out that was not the problem. So I had to do a lot of self-reflection on like why this niche is so triggering for me and it’s because I was no longer able to psychologically prove myself to my dad or to my society that I’m good enough if I didn’t have that sense of like that I used to get every morning of like, cool, I worked out for an hour, did my job.

I’m a valuable member of society. I’m good enough. And it, that’s what I see it as a gift and a curse that the universe is like, yeah, we’re gonna fuck up your knees for a bit. So you deconstruct this limiting belief until you realize that no matter what you do, you’re still gonna be valuable as a person.

So my therapist has really helped me. See this not just as a physical issue, but as an emotional, spiritual issue that’s manifesting itself and it’s like a time capsule. Like my friend Aaron said, this is a time capsule that’s been placed and it was meant for me to happen now so that I could face my shit.

Even though I went to therapy and I’m all about healing, there was always another layer of healing to do and it’s just manifesting itself in a physical way, and I’m not saying that science is, is better or worse than spirituality. You can have both, which is a theme that has been emphasized in a recent Netflix show that I totally recommend y’all to watch.

It’s called Another Self, it’s Turkish, and my therapist had recommended it to me the other day after I was like bitching again about my knees and how frustrated I was. She was like, have you looked into Family Constellations in DC? And I, my Virgo self brushed it off and I was like, they’re barely understanding what mushrooms are out here.

They’re not gonna, nah, family constellations is not a thing here. And she’s like, okay, well just watch this series in Spanish.

I was like, okay, let me watch a show about it.  And I’d seen some talk about Family Constellations in the show, sex Love and Group. And so I was familiar with this form of therapy, which basically helps you understand generational family traumas that you were not even alive for yet, but your genes inherit trauma and that shit gets passed down and it’s manifested.

Your phobias, your fears, patterns that you repeat subconsciously without even being aware that you’re repeating them. And family constellations is a way for you to understand why your ancestor and family members went through and patterns that you don’t even know you’re repeating. You can actually address them by being aware that these patterns did not begin with you.

They’re inherited, but also knowing that things that don’t serve you don’t belong to you. And you have the power to reclaim yourself by deciding to not no longer carry emotional baggage. Family secrets a lot of things. So I, I was down with Family Constellations. I was like, I wanna do this. Eventually I wanna help others do this.

Cause I love helping others heal. Uh, as I help others heal, I’m healing myself. So eventually I could see myself being a family Constellation facilitator. So I watched this series. Um, which I have to say I don’t watch a lot of foreign language series or films on Netflix, and I’m really happy I decided to crush that series.

Um, it takes place in modern day Istanbul. It centers around three female characters, probably in their thirties, early forties, who you feel like they have their together. Ida is a surgeon. Uh, successful wins an award, but her friend Sege has cancer, um, and the surgeon is trying to fix her friend’s cancer with like chemo and drugs and is very, like I relate a lot with Ada cuz she’s very practical, uh, holds people accountable and gives major Virgo vibes.

I related the most to ADA and also very scientific. Um, And then you have the third friend, Layla, who I liked a lot. She is very bubbly and present, give me, gives me major Sagittarius vibes, very flirtatious, um, but is in an unhealthy relationship with a man, even though she’s in love with him. He’s like a fraudster and a criminal, and that manifests itself later on.

I’m not trying to spoil the whole show. On the first episode, Sege, the woman with cancer, decides to undergo the family constellations in a, a port town, a seaside town outside of his temple. And so her surgeon friends and Layla go with her, and the surgeon friends at, uh, is like, really not having it. She’s like, this is bull crap.

This spiritual stuff is not real. Um, but then the series and winds itself beautifully and shows that people are all on their own timeline, on their own healing timeline. And the way we are isn’t by chance the way we are, we inherit, inherit certain traits, whether they’re physical or emotional, from our ancestors and from our family members.

Um, but, and we don’t have to forgive what our family members did, whether it was like kill people. Horrible things that happen, but we can acknowledge them cuz forgiveness implies that we’re better than others. And that was a big takeaway that I got from that series. We don’t have to forgive everything, but we can definitely acknowledge and understanding that things happened, even if we don’t understand exactly how they happened.

Helps a lot on our healing journeys so we can let go of things and move on with our lives and live our own. So that series, like I was crying at the end because after just eight, eight episodes, you see the evolution of Ada, especially like being really down with the spiritual healings and realizing that you can do medicine, you can have the science, but also the spiritual and emotional can be co-mingled with the science. Cause I feel, I feel like now, especially with the whole thing, it’s very like no science or all science, this or that, but I’m more jammed with the intersection of spirituality and science. You can have both coexist with each other. I’m non-binary and my existence is here to remind you that it doesn’t have to be binary . You can have both intermingle. Spirituality and science can work together to help us heal ourselves and our lineages. So I totally recommend that show.

And then last night I had an amazing family constellation experience over Zoom where I got to talk about my great-grandparents and grandparents and answer tough questions like, are there family secrets?

Yes. Cause I feel like I’m the only queer, non-binary trans person in my family lineage, which I know is absolutely. But I’m probably the first that I know of that’s openly talking about it, especially on social media for randos to learn about. Um, but I know I’m not actually the first like me to exist, even though it feels like that.

And the family constellation experience is definitely not the only one I ever wanna do. I wanna do it in person. But I’m enjoying that modality because it helps you tap into subconscious things that you’re, you might not have otherwise thought about, like. Last night, um, the person performing it on me, I’m not performing, facilitating the experience, asked me if there’s been miscarriages in my family, and I was like, no, not that I know of.

But then this morning my subconscious was working on it and the first thought that popped in my head when I woke up was, yeah, your grandma that you never met had a miscarriage and your dad talked about this, like this did happen. So it’s interesting how your subconscious is still working on things even when you’re sleeping.

Um, and also she recommended that I look into fasting, which I also want to say was triggering for me because I’ve had eating disorder issues. When I was a teenager, I did fasting, not because I wanted to heal, but because I wanted to be skinnier and deprive myself and fit into the capitalist ideal. Um, But I’ve done some research and I’m not doing like a fucking 10 or 10, 14 day fast.

That one requires a lot more intentionality, strategy, and I think supervision medically. I’m just doing my first 24 hour fast because what I’ve heard from that research is that yeah back when we were cave men, we didn’t have refrigerators with food at the ready all the time. We got lucky once a month and maybe eight meats after a hunt, we would be able to go hours or days without eating food, and the human body is wired to withstand not eating.

Um, and so your body ends up spending a lot of energy simply consuming and digesting food. So when it’s not doing that after a certain amount of hours, your body will instead focus its energy on repairing shit. So that’s something that I’m willing to try out. That freaked me out at first because I had to let go of, this is no longer to fit into, to lose weight for the patriarchy.

This is to see if it will help your body in some way repair itself. But I’m not a doctor. I’m not recommending y’all to do this. I’m just sharing why I’m choosing to do this. Basically microdosing of fasting and seeing how it goes. Cuz I’m all about testing the waters, seeing what works. If it doesn’t, I can try something else.

Um, and I’m surprised. I thought I’d be losing my shit and super hangry and angry and pissed off, but I’m on hour 19 of the 24 hour fast. I’m starting to hear my stomach grumble, things like that, but it’s not as horrendous as I thought it would be, which makes me think of how even fasting can be anti-capitalist because I was taught to think that I had to consume and eat food and consume every three hours or I’d pass out.

I thought I’d be passed out by now. And with low blood sugar , I had the worst case scenario in my mind. But like I’m here and I’m just trying to keep myself busy to not fixate on the hunger, and I’ll eventually get to eat when I want to, and I have the control at any time to decide if I can eat something.

It’s not because I wanna lose weight, I’m just giving my body time to naturally repair itself. And I can always decide to do a 48 hour fast as well. But again, I’m just testing the waters and seeing how it feels. Uh, because I do have more control than I thought, but also less control than I thought as evidence do I, my knees going out for several months, but I’m willing to, to try new things and acknowledge the spiritual side effects that have manifested themselves.

So yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do. I still have a meeting with an orthopedist next week I decided to go, uh, back on US healthcare temporarily since I’m out here. But the US healthcare system sucks. Like this is one of the reasons why I decided to go to Mexico and be a digital nomad, cuz the US healthcare system makes people dependent on an employer for healthcare as a benefit when it should just be a basic human right to have free healthcare for everybody.

But America is all about privatizing everything. Uh, and profiting off the scarcity of resources and making them scarce in the first place. Um, but yeah, I’m gonna see a specialist because I’m not negating science either, but I’m also like, all right, I have several days because of the delays in our healthcare system.

What can I do to try to heal my body? And what can it already do innately for itself to heal itself And. Fasting has emerged as a possible solution for me to try out. Um, but yeah, my knees going out, have triggered the shit out of me and revealed a lot of healing that is yet to be done in different ways, and the healing is never ending.

So I just wanted to share with you that life is gonna keep throwing different, unique challenges along the way for you, and it’s all about how you respond to them, that say everything about you and how willing you are to respond to them instead of just dwelling. Cuz I would not have accomplished anything if I just kept being frustrated with myself, cuz the stress of not being able to run was just making me more stress.

But instead of dwelling and simmering in the victim mindset of the why me, it shouldn’t be me. I’m moving forward and sharing this journey with y’all because I know I’m not the only one who’s ever had any pain. Folks have DM me to encourage me to try different things, and I appreciate y’all for reaching out and saying, yes, you’ve also had knee pain too.

It’s, I’m not the only one. Um, just to reinforce that we’re never truly alone and that there’s power in community and reaching out and sharing your stories of healing, whether it’s emotional, physical, or both. So always something new out here in the Charly verse.

But I’ll keep you all posted on how the fasting situation goes, but I’ve been surprised at how not dramatic it’s been. And I remember that I have a bunch of Muslim friends too, who fast I believe for the month of Ramadan. Culturally it’s a thing too. Um, and I was always admiring my Muslim friends who were able to fast for such a long period of time.

Um, it’s a thing. It feels like I’m the first person in the world to ever do it, but now the more I talk about it, the more I realize that it’s a thing that people have been doing for thousands of years willingly and unwillingly. Um, so that’s, that’s what’s going on with me. I thank you, for everybody who’s reached out and checked in to see how the knee pain is doing, It’s a process, but if anything, this is teaching me that I don’t have to work out to be more valuable to myself or society.

I don’t have to do anything to be more valuable, and there’s a lot of unlearning about having to prove myself, and I’m the one. That’s stopping me from doing things, and I’m the one that’s being too hard on myself. But these thoughts were not just stemming from me. They were generational thoughts that I’m deciding to confront and handle and break.

And there’s definitely been a lot of tears. Last night I cried after the family constellation session and during it a lot. And this morning I was also crying a bit during my meditation. My eyes were watering. But that’s good because the composition of your tears when you’re sad versus when you’re happy are different.

So even when my clients cry, cuz money, money shit, be hella triggering and it’s frustrating, but also exhilarating. When my clients cry, I’m like, yes, cry it out. I wish I could be crying with you. Sometimes I will. It’s good to cry. And if people can’t handle you crying, then those are not your people, cuz that just means that they’re not able to deal with somebody else’s emotions and making it mean something about you when it’s not so, yeah.

And seeing the comments, Hey Wendy, I have to use knee support pad now every day. Especially to work out, don’t let it stop us. Take time to heal as we need as well, right? I’m wearing knee braces now every day. Um, and I felt some type of way putting them on. I thought it’d be temporary, but now I’m just like, yeah.

Support if I need it. And I’m also doing knee strengthening exercises as well because my cousin Cat said that she’s had knee issues cuz she was a runner too, that it might not even be the knee, it might be the muscles of the thigh. So I’ve been doing those exercises as well. To me it’s just a mind fuck that it’s like I was already a hella fit. How the fuck can my ligaments be weak? Like the math ain’t mathing.

But we can’t logic our way through life, obviously , we have to just heal. Um, yeah. And a lot of these exercises you can do sitting down. I do all of them in the bed, the leg lifts and all of that in bed. So yeah, being patient with ourselves is important. Um, I’m proud of you for, for being open about your healing.

That encourages me to be open about my healing as well. And yeah, I hope this has resonated with you. Okay. Have a fabulous rest of your day at the time of this recording, we’re a couple days into Virgo season. The best time of the year. All right, hugs and much love to everyone. Happy healing.

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