For years, I defined myself as high strung, anxious, non-emotional, perfectionist. That's how I felt all the time so that must be what I am, right? Wrong. I felt that way for a myriad of reasons that I discovered in phases and then recently, with the help of a medical and a homeopathic doctor, put it all together and realized these characteristics were symptoms of a major physical dysfunction (adrenal fatigue and inflammation) and not ME.
I have been in therapy for a year. It's awesome. I've worked through things I never thought I'd ever get past and now I go because I really enjoy my therapist and discussing the future in a positive, nurturing environment.
I haven't had ANY dairy, soy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol for 30 days. It's difficult. I can't eat out with friends, I can't drink a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, I can't eat pie on Thanksgiving, I can't enjoy a free catered in lunch at work, and my grocery bill has significantly increased because foods without these ingredients are freakishly expensive. However, I have learned something about myself this past month:
I am laid back. Seriously. My real personality is calm and cool. Not anxious, stifled, and explosive. I'm not a perfectionist in all areas of my life. When stressful situations come up, and I mean legitimate, crazy stressful situations, I hustle and problem solve, but I don't feel out of control. When little stressors come up, I'm able to laugh them off.
My boss asked me the other day, half kidding, if I had started smoking weed. He told me that I don't seem in "fight or flight" mode all the time. I told him, with a grin on my face, that I'm not in "fight or flight" mode all the time and that I am not smoking weed. :) (Just wanted to make that clear). So there's a problem? We'll figure it out. Something went wrong? We'll learn from it. I no longer have this intense pressure from within to be perfect, to be all things to all people, to solve every problem.
I don't have heart palpitations, migraines, muscle pain, joint pain. I don't randomly lose eyesight, feel panicked, or feel crazy fatigued and foggy. Symptoms from my supposed fibromyalgia and lupus are GONE. Completely gone. I find out Wednesday if I am officially out of the auto-immune disorder category! I might actually have an immune system?! The thought of that is so hard for me to fathom.
It turns out that adrenal fatigue and foods (listed above) that promote inflammation within the body made me high strung, anxious, angry, stressed, and impatient. It also caused me to have multiple strokes over the last ten years, to lose my depth perception in my left eye, and to become dyslexic. I felt trapped in my body for the majority of my life up until the last month of my life. I feel like I am meeting someone new, and that someone is ME!
So, I can tell you this: While it's difficult to give up everything that even contains a little dairy, soy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol I can guarantee you I will never go back to eating/drinking those things.
There are so many details to this awakening. This has been a 10 year journey with many ups and downs, with many cool discoveries and with many many frustrating elements that I can't share it all in one blog post. You have to start somewhere, though, right?
In restriction, I have found freedom and best of all, I have hope for the future. That is quite a long way from being the girl who couldn't imagine growing old.