Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Underneath it all

My last post was a cheeky little affair, all about my recent indulgent behaviours when it comes to food. I knew that my fun may meet with trouble soon in the form of a naturopath. I knew that once I told her what I was getting up to that she would probably remind me of the issues around eating croissants and pies regularly for lunch.

When she asked about my 'diet' I quite cheekily shared about my lunch time indulgences and she seemed a little shocked. I explained that I believed that habit stemmed from a lack of appetite at lunch time, which meant I had to coax myself into eating via tantalising the taste buds. I was also dealing with a secondary issue of 'can't be bothered, too exhausted to prepare healthy food'. We both knew that things needed to change a little, my regular lunch time antics would have to be replaced with more nutritious options and the not so healthy options would need to reduced to a weekly occurrence.

I expected this to come up while at the Naturopath. However I got a little more than I'd bargained for during my appointment, I got confronted. The food was a non-issue, I've been seeing naturopaths for many years and the required dietary adaptations no longer scare me, so I didn't go in prepared to be challenged.

The difficulty started with me having to explain my current situation to the Naturopath. I had to back track and explain that I'd become seriously ill last year with hyperthyroidism and that the cause was dangerously high levels of iodine in a soy milk I was drinking. I went on to explain the symptoms I'd experienced- nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, extreme weakness and fatigue, anxiety...(the list goes on). I explained how I had to leave my job because I wasn't getting better and that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and did not find the true cause of my condition until I'd been chronically ill for 6 months. Yes, it's an awful story (and for this reason I don't like telling it).

She was amazed and told me it was interesting to meet an actual 'case' from this disastrous soy milk debacle. She went on to ask if I'd had anger come up and listed a whole lot of reasons why I would- loss of income, loss of prime years of life, loss of good health, not being where I could have been career wise....

I felt myself struggling to hear what she was saying, it was almost as if she was telling me those things were going to happen in the future, I felt a disconnect from it being my reality. I became annoyed and upset at hearing her speak the words out loud; I knew them to be true, but did she have to say it OUT LOUD? It was an interesting reaction to have to hearing someone else speak about my reality. I spend so much time trying to focus on the every day issues of just living and getting on with things as best I can that I don't dwell on the awfulness of what I've experienced. I try to pretend that I am ok with where I am at and what's happened; because if I wasn't I might have to feel angry, hurt or some other kind of emotional pain. I might feel sorry for myself, I don't feel entitled to do so, because there are so many worse off than me.

Something else happened last night, I spoke with my sister about her upcoming wedding, it's 12 months away, but I was honoured to be invited to be her maid of honour six months ago. When she asked me I had hoped I'd be well soon, unfortunately that hasn't been the case and I have been pretty much unable to do anything to help. I haven't been well enough to travel and go shopping for her dress or the bridesmaid dresses. I haven't had the energy to offer much to anyone else, to get excited for others or offer guidance or advice. All of my energy right now goes into getting out of bed, feeding myself and putting one foot in front of the other. I hate to admit it, because it feels like a weakness, but it's true.

Thinking about my maid of honour duties are something I have been blocking out, in order to do so I pretty much had to pretend that my sister wasn't preparing for a wedding...and in order to do that I put up a wall between her and I. It only came down yesterday when I realised why the wall had been put up; to protect me from the painful reality that I'm not the maid of honour I would love to be for my sister. I am someone who is struggling with her own stuff, trying to get her health back on track, experiencing chronic fatigue on many days and living the rollercoaster life of someone recovering from long term chronic illness. It hurts, it makes me sad, but only when something forces me to look at it. Yesterday my eyes were opened to how much I practice denial or blocking out of things to try and 'keep going' each day, to survive.

As I once wrote here before, there comes a time when the pain of denial becomes greater than the pain of acknowledging the truth. Yesterday the tables turned and I was faced with the painful reality that everything is not ok, I am not 'just fine' with what's happened to me and it's not 'no biggy'; I often feel frustrated but can't pin point why. I guess it's for some of the reasons my naturopath pointed out and because I am physically a shadow of my former self, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I am different and I am constantly faced with challenges on every level of my Self, alot is required of me to recover, rehabilitate from this illness. It's true, there are many aspects of the whole thing that are shit. It's not very often I let myself think that, let alone say it, but I am allowing it today. On the up side, I am glad I've realised the blocking tactics that I was using to try and keep myself self from difficult emotions. The blocking was getting mighty uncomfortable...and in the long run it's not healthy.


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  2. brave, brave, brave, brave beautiful post. So much to say on this one!

    I too may have been made more ill by soya. I spent quite a lot of money over about 18 months before I was diagnosed hypothyroid, tryng to sort out my fatigue and general wobbly health "the natural way". I was seeing a naturopath who turned out not to be qualified (lesson there, check credentials then check again) and never once suggested my thyroid might be causing my problems, when my doctor diagnosed it her response was to suggest some iodine and glandular filled supplements that she clearly did not know very much about at all (only because of my own research did I know that iodine can be not good for autoimmune hypothyroidism!!!) Anyway for 18 months I was following her advice to drink soya rather than dairy. did that make me more ill than I might have been otherwise? Well I'll never know will I!!

    Like you I tend not to express anger at the situation. I have a sunny disposition, I prefer to look on the bright side and celebrate what I've got, which is a lot.

    I'm doing a lot of work right now on self love and forgiveness, I didn't think I needed to, I've always liked myself and thought I'd forgiven everyone I needed to for past issues. But looking at all that stuff again I'm finding it (I THINK) more healing than getting wound up about the situation. If I sit with myself and consider what I need to forgive myself for, being too trusting in the above situation is one, being a failure in my career because of my physical frailty is another. I have forgiven the naturopath because while she was making good money and maybe on a bit of an ego trip, I actually believe she was doing her best and motivated to heal.

    but uncovering where we have lurking resentments, towards ourselves and others (and realising that they can creep back and sit there v. quietly even when we think they're dealt with...so doing this regularly....might just be a productive exercise!

    Anyway, that's where my focus is right now. So lovely to be connected with and share with you.

    Your sister will have a wonderful day and you will be an important part of it, I have no doubt. Love yourself this day. :)


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