― Steve Maraboli
Spring Forward. What does that mean to you? Losing an hour of precious sleep in the morning? Gaining an hour of light to play at night? Your interpretation (be it simple or deep) may depend on who you are. This year, I am taking it a step further and looking at the season as a time of growth, a good excuse to make some changes and move forward.
Backtrack: January and February were difficult months for me, physically and emotionally. Getting a central line placed brought on a lot of fear and anxiety, which any of you who have gone through life dependent procedures can relate to. I was so afraid of what might happen that the fear rained down on all aspects of my life. Wikipedia describes fear as "an emotion induced by a threat...which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior...". You may or may not have experienced such feelings but some may feel it as anxiety and/or depression. To summarize a bit about my experience I began to shy away socially, make a meal only to be afraid of it, cry often, and even felt angry at the people in my life who didn't "get it." To make matters worse, I read more and more health/diet related articles, in which every one seems to contradict the other! Of course we all know what negative emotions can do to the body, like the above states on fear, cause a change in organ function. So, as this vicious cycle works, the fear was creating more pain and the pain creating more fear.
Luckily I have been blessed to have incredible friends/family who were able to see what was going on, when I clearly did not. My immediate response was a defensive one, "it's not MY FAULT!" I cried. While this is absolutely true, it was not a blame game (as I realized by the end of the night), rather friends who truly wanted to help, whatever it took.
Something that evening clicked in my head (literally, I could almost hear the shift!), it was time to move on. A process that will take time, perhaps even therapy, understanding the GP may or may not go away. However, there is so much life that can be lived outside of it. And a good attitude can make all the difference in the world.
Sure I have difficult days, who doesn't? But I'm back to embracing the foods I can eat, becoming more intuitive with what my body needs. I'm pushing myself outside the comfort zone by going out to see music, dinner (even if I have to bring my own food), date nights like movies or art, and even travel. The morning I woke up to fly to CA for a visit with family, I nearly canceled when I felt sick. A friend's advice rang in my head, "if you are going to be home and not feel good wouldn't it be better to be somewhere sunny with loved ones despite not feeling good?" So I went with it, and you know what? It felt great, even when I had to spend an afternoon taking a nap or skip some of the activities. Sometimes pushing ourselves may be the best medicine, as long as we take it with stride. Plus, I had the chance to finally meet a dear friend whom I met through this very blog 2 years ago! We had never actually talked but kept in contact via FB and email. What a treat it was to spend time with her and her husband, walking through the beautiful Mediation Gardens in Encinitas. If you are in anywhere around southern CA, I highly recommend this peaceful walk.
So on that note, my time is being spent a little differently these days, hence the blog hiatus. I'm finding places to volunteer for an hour or two each week, reading books that have nothing to do with health but are intriguing and inspiring, knitting, sewing, planning the summer garden, going for walks, dates with friends and husband NOT involving food, art and so on. Guess what? Surprise, I actually feel better! Less pain, more freedom. If I have an off day or energy is low I take a nap (or two). Instead of spending hours on the internet I cuddle with my dog and listen to an audio book or call a friend. I have even applied for a part-time job that will work with my needs (more on that later if it works out).
If I disappear for periods of time lets assume it's because I'm out living as much as I possibly can, whether it be nose deep in a mystery novel or dancing in the sunshine. When I come across a fabulous recipe or something big happens in my life (or maybe find out there is a magical cure for GP!) you might find an update. If the walk comes to life then you will for sure find an update. Otherwise, I hope we can all find more time for the little joys that life has to offer. Talk to a good friend, pick up a paint brush, go for a walk in nature or sit next to a pond, ask for more hugs. If they don't find you then make sure you you seek them out, because trust me, no matter how dark the day may seem, if you dig deep, reach out, or perhaps just see what is blindly in front of you, you will find it.
With love and gratitude for all of my readers, friends and family,