A Season Of Adapting…
I am incredibly grateful for two special drinks as I ventured through the week. My daughter and I had packed our lunches for our day in the city. Between activities, we stopped to eat lunch and I treated us to iced chai tea lattes with almond milk from one of our favourite local coffee places. After I dropped Bek off for her next appointment, I drove to the local produce market (I’ve got to get in a couple more trips there before they close for the season in mid October). I thoroughly enjoyed purchasing locally grown, organic goods for our family. Then, off to Starbucks (one of my “offices”) and was so delighted to see they’re now offering coconut milk as an option to add to your drink. You may be curious as to why these little details have put such a big smile on my face…
Have you ever just hit a wall and shouted (either in your mind or out loud) that you’ve just had ENOUGH? That “enough” could be a blank filled in by countless situations or descriptive words. My enough is not feeling physically well for more than a few days at a time (and that’s a long stretch) for many years and feeling as though I’ve tried absolutely everything under the sun to be well.
I often struggle with sharing about my physical well-being (or lack of); feeling guilty because I don’t have a terminal illness and over the past few years have lost several friends to such diseases. In the process of attempting not to over dramatize my situation or allow myself to get into an ugly funk of self-pity, I haven’t truly held space for BEING and acknowledging exactly how my current wellness condition is. So, I am entering a new season of giving myself permission to be incredibly real about my wellness journey (to myself and others) without turning into a negative, grumbling ogre.
A few years ago I tried a specific diet that was very restrictive. It targeted healthy bacteria and healing my leaky gut. Indeed, I did feel better for a season. However, I started modifying the regime far too prematurely because our family was preparing for a trip to serve in Kolkata, India. I knew I had to acclimate to grains and even gluten, again.
Since our return, I’ve been gluten free (for the most part) and have learned a lot more about paleo cooking. However, I continued to modify the paleo diet. Evidently, what I’ve been doing hasn’t been completely right for my body. Over the past couple of years I’ve felt like I’m on a roller coaster. I’ve had some seasons where my health plummeted to the lowest lows (chronic fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, hardly able to get out of bed, and more) and seasons where I’ve come just above the feeling of treading water.
I’m the sort of person who is determined to a fault. I haven’t wanted to let “this” get me down. I wasn’t about to lose myself to this lack of wellness (I’ve lost my spirit a couple of times in my life and I refuse to go back there). In the past five years: my mom died, I became my sister’s guardian (she has intellectual disability), had her move in with us, attempted immigrating her to Canada but was denied, moved her back to the states as close to us as possible, started home schooling our youngest child, started and am in my third year of my master’s degree, and am starting a consulting business. All of these events have been stressful whether positive or negative. I am grateful for my determination and I acknowledge I need this season of focused self care to rediscover and claim a higher quality of well-being.
I decided to take this term off from my master’s program and will evaluate how I am doing come winter quarter. In addition, I started a 21 day clean eating (completely paleo) eating plan and exercise program to kick start this journey of exploration. I am also starting a new, more restrictive protocol in the near future to really listen to my body. I desire to identify what my triggers are even more than what I already know. I am attempting to enter this season of adapting with a positive attitude, new eyes, and deep listening (rather than falling into a “been there, done that” mentality which is hard to overcome somedays).
I listened to a webinar the other day by a couple of men who have overcome very similar issues as mine. Much of what they shared was not new to me. However, the golden nugget I took away from that session was they both said “when I WAS sick” several times! That has stuck with me. I am on now on a mission to to speak those words with renewed confidence without fearing relapse!
Now, let’s take a moment to refer back to what your ENOUGH is. I encourage you to pause and take some time to reflect. What walls have you hit? Are you discouraged? What obstacles do you need to overcome? Also, what are your VICTORIES? You may want to journal, do some research, attend a seminar to start or continue your journey to wellness. It is important for you to have at least one cheerleader who knows the intimate details of your “enough.” He/she will offer loving accountability and encouragement along the way (I know mine is a rock in my life)! Remember, well-being includes the mind, body, and spirit. If any of those areas are out of balance, you can take steps toward complete wellness! You can do this!!! Keep on keeping on…