Monday, January 30, 2012

healing thoughts & gratitude

I know the word gratitude gets thrown around alot & it's something I've wanted to cultivate more for myself, but it's always felt somewhat forced for a naturally cynical person like me. Throughout my healing journey, I've read alot about body/mind connection & thoughts manifesting physically within the body...and I believe in it. I see it working in the negative in my life, so I'm finally...finally...willing to put it to work in the positive.

I'm going to attempt a daily journal's been help get whatever thoughts out of my head, but also to begin transferring the negative, fearful thoughts into positive, healing, grateful thoughts.

I was introduced to Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life" long before I was officially "sick." And to be honest, I've struggled to grasp the concept of affirmations. It really does feel awkward (OK, downright silly even) at first, but if you sort of fake it, eventually it starts to feel authentic. The one thing I immediately identified with when I pulled the book out again early in my dealings with CFS, was The List. The list contains physical ailments, accompanied by the thought pattern creating it & the new thought pattern to reverse it. Here are my big ones:

Fatigue: resistance, boredom, lack of love for what one does (ummm hello, to-the-letter)
Adrenal Problems: defeatism, no longer caring for the self, anxiety (defeatism is often my middle name)
Bowel: fear of letting go of the old & no longer needed (I totally hold onto thing well passed their prime).

So along with my daily journaling, I'm going to focus on the "new thought pattern" for each to release the previous thoughts behind my specific health issues. We'll see how that works. I know that even after just one morning of finding some honest to goodness gratitude, the journaling likely helped me get through today by making some better choices for myself (like taking a 10 minute walk outside mid-afternoon instead of grabbing candy and/or a hot chocolate when I was feeling run down). And because it was so successful, I'm going to begin incorporating it into my daily schedule! Baby steps.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

seeking serenity

I sure have been quiet around here. I moved my blog to a new URL to try to limit my stalker's access (part of why I've been so absent is not wanting him to see what I'm up to). I've had alot I've wanted to say...comment on my Goals List from 2011, announce my intention word for 2012, chronicle some of the ups & downs from the end of the year...and these things will come, just not today.

Since my last post in (gasp) September 2011, when I made a premature cry of hope, I have been on the slippery slope of feeling OK then downright bad again. I was doing pretty good between Thanksgiving & Christmas. I managed to get off sugar again for about 3 weeks prior to Christmas & was starting to feel human again. I took an online photo class which was fun & got me out of the house more than usual. I borrowed a friends bicycle which also got me out of the house & put a smile on my face & some joy in my heart (despite taking up a ridiculously large amount of space in my living room).

BUT as Christmas has a tendency to do (especially when you give in & agree to do celebrating with family), I got sucked into the lure of Christmas cuisine. Followed by the high/low of a New Year beginning. And quite frankly, I feel like I'm still suffering from all of that almost a month later. I am especially struggling with getting back on the wagon with my food.

This is nothing new with me...I've struggled with food issues even outside of this recent health crisis. It used to be I struggled with food from a weight perspective, but now, with this illness, I struggle with it from a health perspective. You'd think feeling like crap day in/day out would motivate one to avoid foods that hurt them & stay clean with good foods that heal them. But food issues run deeper than rational thinking, they run deeper than feeling poorly everyday, they are basically at the core of who I am...or more specifically who I let myself believe I am. They are deep, they are real, and they will trump everything else if I'm not in a stable place emotionally to wrangle them.

I have a history with food, recovery from food, avoidance of foods, succumbing to food, dictating food & being dictated by food. One of the most balanced times in my life was when I was in Overeaters Anonymous (OA) beginning in late 1998...and more specifically, following the Grey Sheet plan of recovery to the letter for 3 solid years. It was hard, but I had a sponsor, I had a support network, and most importantly, I had a willingness to do it one-day-at-a-time. Little did I know at the time that the Grey Sheet plan was EXACTLY the food plan that I would later come to understand was the best way for me to eat: no sugar, no flour/grains, no alcohol, no high carb fruits/veggies, with weighed/measured meals to prevent over-consumption. I struggled to find a new support system within OA when I moved from Austin to Houston in 2002...I attended meetings for awhile, but didn't find the level of recovery from the members like those I'd relied on in Austin. So slowly, I fell away, and slowly the recovery did too.

I will write at another time about my specific experience with OA. For now, as I struggle to maintain a healthy way of eating now for my healing, I keep going back to those times & those lessons, hoping to reclaim some of my willingness from those days of balance & vitality, remember the mantra: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the willingness to know the difference.