But then what I noticed was that they didn’t stay better until they addressed the imbalances in their lives. I noticed, for instance, the most severe cases of PMS I ever saw were all, without exception, in adult children of alcoholics. These people had grown up where their home was a war zone, where the alcoholic controls everybody, and they grow up being rescuers, hiding dad or mom's bottle, dragging mom or dad into the house. So they become adults at a very early age because they’re expected to take on adult responsibility for an adult who is not taking responsibility but is instead turning it over to a bottle. I saw the effect of that on people's biology and only when they addressed that did they get better permanently. It's almost as though the things that we holistic doctors recommend, the lifestyle changes, will only work up to a point and then one must address the fear, the grief, the resentment, the parts of your life that are shoved under the carpet. You know, Bernie Siegel really puts it succinctly and directly when he says, "The problem that most patients face is the inability to love themselves." It all gets down to there being a part of you that you don’t feel is acceptable or lovable. A kind of bottom line, when you begin to shine a light on the parts of you that you feel are unlovable, and you start to accept them and eventually love them. Then you can heal just about anything.
REDWOOD: In your writing, you often use your own personal experiences to introduce or clarify key issues. One example was the story of how you developed uterine fibroids at a key transition point in your life. Could you tell that story and explain what it meant to you?
NORTHRUP: Yes. I had often said in my practice, when I was in my 30s, that fibroids were creativity that had not yet been birthed. And I, of course, had seen hundreds and hundreds of women with fibroids and diagnosed them over and over again. I was horrified at the age of 42 to have my annual exam and have a fibroid the size of a tennis ball. So thus began my own journey into what was the creativity that I hadn't yet birthed. The other thing that fibroids can represent is pouring energy into a creative endeavor that is, in fact, a dead end. Despite acupuncture, despite the right diet, despite doing everything, the fibroid continued to grow, and one time I gave a lecture in New York City, got on the stage, and blurted out, "I have a fibroid the size of my husband’s head." Sometimes we say these things that are the truth. Then I got tired of dressing around the fibroid so I had a myomectomy where the fibroid was removed, when I was, I think, 47.
When I went under anesthesia, I asked the anesthesiologist to repeat to me the phrase, "and when I awaken, the pattern that created this will be gone." Two years later I was divorced. And I've never had the problem come back. It was one single fibroid that grew to the size of a soccer ball. The process of taking Synerel, a GnRH [gonadotropin releasing factor] agonist, to shrink the fibroid, put me into a temporary and premature menopause, where all of the stuff I had been putting under the rug in my own relationship kind of came up and hit me between the eyeballs. I found that the relationship that I had, which I thought would last my entire life, had come to the end of its viability. So my own experience with the fibroid was that I had indeed been trying to make a dead-end relationship work. My health improved very rapidly after that. So, you know, it was another case of "Physician, heal thyself," take your own medicine.