dryadgrl: (Default)
Tonight I finally was able to discharge some of the intense depression and do something else. I went for a walk on my own up in the hills. I haven't been able to get myself outside for more than a walk to the car in a long time.

So I walked. And I felt better. I've been cooking for myself and mostly cleaning up the cooking. I managed to eat well all day the last 3 days and not die. I'm still not brave enough to do the all day fruit day or the soup day on the cleanse. I'm totally terrified that I'll get sick.

I can walk easily today for about 20 minutes before the pain hit and 5 more minutes before I had to sit down. But that's a huge improvement over Saturday when I barely made it to the car. I still have some pain, but it's normal, every day pain for me rather than the screeching halt pain. I had most of a year at least with almost no pain. I want to go back to that.

I signed up for the thyroid community on LJ, but it's very allopathic medicine focused. Which makes me sad. Not because that's what people want, but because so far there's no one that's said that they've even tried any other way. I know that I might have to do it that way, but I want to know what all the options are and what is and isn't effective. What I'm doing now has worked extraordinarily well all things considered.

I guess I want credit for all that work. And I don't want to get addicted to the pharma drugs. My research has said that taking t4 pharma meds means that your body will never increase t4 production basically sticking you with the meds forever. I don't know that it has to be that way. We've done something that's causing massive numbers of people to have these disorders and I think there should be a way back to health. Not just to addiction and dependence. Even if that dependence is on things that make us feel well.

It's like a trap as far as I can tell. For short-term, it makes sense - take something that helps you feel better so that you can make better decisions. Long term there has to be a solution. Just like to anti-depressants. Your lifestyle has to change, we have to stop working so many hours and start working together to be well and whole in relationship and community.

Anyway, I finally got some shit done and started the ball moving on feeling better. I'm hoping by next week I'll feel a lot better. All good wishes and good vibes welcome.
dryadgrl: (Default)
I had a really difficult day yesterday.

So this morning I started right in with inspiration including Brene Brown's TED talk. The second one where she talks about being daring.

I feel kinda of caught these days between staying safe and not wanting to huge stresses from when I was so totally struggling with money and emotional health and putting myself out there and trying again.

I want to go to grad school. I want my business to succeed. I want to teach what I've been learning.

But I'm sitting here in my apartment waiting. But I don't know what for. I'm sad, tired overwhelmed when I'm down and when I"m up I'm happy about relationships and connections, but I'm not doing things that fulfill me in my work and that's causing it to lag.

But i'm afraid. I'm afraid my work with money won't be valued because I don't make a million dollars and I'm afraid that my work in HAI won't be valued until I'm perfect and I'm afraid.... that people and communities that I've disconnected from won't talk to me again because of some bad thing I did when I was sick.
dryadgrl: (Default)
Ok so I'm taking my medication every day and I'm even managing to get in some of the ones that I am supposed to take between meals.

I'm sleeping a lot again. I think it's pretty easy to tip this upside down if I'm not careful. And by this I mean my life and energy are totally dependent on getting enough of the right food and getting enough rest and exercise. So I'm averaging about 12-15 hours a sleep a day again if I don't sleep at least 10 on my own consistently.

But here a more interesting thing: I have to deal with the emotions and restlessness that come up when I'm not eating.

What I mean is that I'm craving food less and really checking in before I eat anything. I've tried to do this for years with only marginal success. It's clear to me now that this problem is biological. I didn't have the signals necessary to tell me what to do and thus I could eat when I was starving or in upset with some consequences, but mostly I haven't know what the right thing to do is.

Now I stop when I'm not hungry and food is actually unappealing unless I'm hungry. So right now I'm bored and anxious because I have things to do that I haven't done, but I really don't want to do them. I feel like I need a day off and deserve a day to myself and so I'm in resistance to doing these chores (namely cleaning my room and doing the dishes). I've also told my son to empty the dishwasher and I don't want to empty it for him - again.

He's pretty good at chores if I tell him what to do and when to do it by and sometimes provide incentive if it's extraordinary (like laundry before laundry day or if i"m traveling and he's not). In the past I would just grab some chocolate, or a bite of something and the effect was that it would shove the emotion down for a time.

Sometimes I would just eat too much and then be exhausted (because I crashed my blood sugar) or too full to move. But it also seemed out of my control. I wouldn't realize that I was doing it until it was too late or done. And because of that I had a lot of shame about it.

But as it's changed/changing, I'm realizing that this is not about me - as in not something I can actually control with emotions or ideas or "will power." And it doesn't make me a bad person. Willpower is an idea that dieters talk about a lot an is pretty much entirely a myth as far as I can tell.

Most diests fail (over 90% is the statistic) and so all of the chatter around that is just crap. Additionally if you want to get something done you must have goals, feedback and support or most of those don't happen (though they are more likely to happen if you write them down). So again, in my head I know that will power is crap, but it's so ingrained into culture and my subconscious that it has been a whip that I use to beat myself with for a long time.

I knew about it not making me a bad person in theory. But it felt terrible (and I assume that it will happen again from time to time when I go off or forget meds and so on, I can hope it won't, but I've not suddenly become perfect). It feel physically terrible to eat too much and it feels worse when you realize that you're eating because you're unhappy or depressed and feels worse yet when you realize it halfway through and can't stop.

And by can't stop I mean I've watched myself from the outside and thought things like, "I'm not really hungry, I don't know why I'm doing this." Or "I don't really need this." Or thought nothing in the moment at all about the food just gave in to the upset and overwhelm and found myself eating food or sick later. About a year ago or so I had some thoughts that were, "If I do this I'll have the space I need to rest." And that lead to this stuff lessening.

It was at it's worst when I was badly depressed a few years ago, but only slowed as I have gotten better - until the last few weeks. Now my body's reacting to sugary foods when I touch them or when I look at them and I'm able to process that response and do something else. Today it's started (I don't know if it's true that this is the beginning) to help me realize how I am feeling when I'm not hungry or eating.

It's really uncomfortable to talk about this. Most of the time I've felt like I've done my best to eat well, learn about foods and focus on eating well. But I have been really unsuccessful in some ways.

Oddly knowing that it's not my fault, that it's the hypothyroidism and not something wrong with my humanity, has given me great strength to work at this problem and to keep focused on what I can do. I'm sure it's the drugs on that count too and the work I've done on coming out of depression and anxiety in other ways. One system effects all the other ones and i couldn't be doing this work if I hadn't done that work. These things build on each other.

Ok, food.

The other day I made bacon and leeks and onions in a stir fry and couldn't eat it. Yesterday, I had smoked salmon and couldn't finish it - I think that I probably can't really eat smoked things, at least for a while. I don't know why, but that's the connection my brain made and I'm finding that these intuitive connections are accurate. I never liked bell peppers and it turns out that I'm allergic to them for example. But I haven't been trusting my body about that sort of thing.

Also I seem to need to eat the way that I was eating while on the yeast-free diet. My body is craving meat and vegetables, lots of veggies. But cooked, not raw, with some exceptions (like cucumbers, I seem to be craving raw cucumbers a lot lately).
dryadgrl: (Default)
Two recent FB posts start to sum up some of the recent changes:
My hunger used to only have two settings: not hungry and starving. With the recent shifts in medication I now have settings like "a little bit hungry," "a little bit full," and this weird brand new setting called "I think I'm going to be hungry in about half an hour." Until this week I thought when people said that they were making it up! Wow!

and

My brain just did a funny thing. I was standing in front of cake that Tia's dad made and just behind it is the fruit bowl. My belly said, "... mmmm.... apple pear...." a la Homer Simpson. Then my brain said, "Wait. What!?" But it was too late, I had already crunched into the apple-pear. Too bad cake, you lose this round!

Additionally I touched the cake and thought maybe I'd have a bite as well, but my stomach got a bit sick and I knew that the cake would make me feel bad. Just like that.

It seems like my sensitivity is returning and coming to the surface in useful ways.
My body is signaling me in useful and surprising ways.

I keep thinking that other people might have this experience regularly and wonder just how far off my body has been.

I also managed to go home from an event last night before the end of it. Just say my goodbyes and leave because I was tired and not influenced by other people, even amazing other people. It's like I'm actually home in my body for the first time.

I took Kiddo to park day yesterday and he had a great time and finally connected into the teen group and got a couple of phone numbers. It occurs to me this morning that maybe his development was contingent upon mine. Now that I'm growing and changing rapidly again, so can he. And he can do so without worrying about me because I'm all set.

This morning I was also digging my single life. I mean I have a great boyfriend, but he's far away and i have a couple of other connections, but no one else is living here and I'm not beholden to or dependent on anyone else. I can sleep sprawled out in bed and take up all the space. I don't have to listen to anyone else snore and can go to bed and get up when I want! It's pretty great actually.

And earlier this week I got in touch with some loneliness as well which was kind of awesome. I've not really felt lonely in a long time. I've been crying pretty much every day. Not big sobbing crying, just little bits here and there as things touch me.

I'll end with one last FB update from earlier this week:
Yesterday on my way to Marin I found myself singing love songs to myself and soaking up the love. Today I really enjoyed making a kale omlette with leeks and onions and garlic inspired by Ian Waisler. I feel happy, content even. Something has definitely changed!
dryadgrl: (Default)
Saturday will be day 28.

Today was really hard. I woke up totally irritated, which is bad. In fact the last 24 (until about 2 hours ago) I was so irritated that I could hardly be in the same rooms as anyone. Everything was super uncomfortable.

Monday marked an upswing in energy, but a big downturn in mood. I know that some of this is PMS (at least in theory). I didn't have night mares, for the first month in at least 6 months. Normally the week before my period is all about nightmares and exhaustion and sometimes things like cramping, but this level of moodiness hasn't happened in quite along time.

In fact I haven't worked at all in a month. This week I couldn't work, but most of the last month I haven't been able to work. I've been sleeping 10-14 hours a day (about 9 at night and about 2-5 durning the day. It doesn't leave much time for anything else.

The house is a disaster. Big disaster because even though I'm home, I need to make food and that means it's basically my only chore. My house cleaner hasn't come in a month and I'm just really under it.

In the last couple of hours it's started to shift. I was talking to the boyfriend tonight and I realized that I need to be tracking my food again, much more closely. I think part of the moodiness is my intense sensitivity to things like sugar and wheat. Especially sugar. I'm having less problems when I'm skipping meals - less light-headedness, less irritability over all with that symptom.

This week the irritability has been in everything all the time, so I can't attribute it to food.

Except.

Except that today I had a choclatine for lunch and had a chocolate egg before breakfast (I couldn't get real food cooked fast enough to satisfy the hunger, I know it was a bad move). And that seems to have crashed d=out my whole fucking day.

I put chicken soup on to simmer when I left the house (from the chicken I made day before yesterday) and so tonight I had chicken soup with lots of roasted veggies. Within an hour of that I felt better. I could feel the change happening.

I think what's happening is that my body is actually working and responding to what I put in it. But that hasn't been true in so long that I just don't know how to eat. It just hasn't matter that much. The depression was huge and even as it diminished that anxiety was so huge that my food choices have felt like they sometimes have an effect, but mostly not.

If it's true that my mood, energy and so on are really being effected by this change, for reals, I'm totally up for eating better. I think I could probably never eat sugar again if I knew for sure that I wouldn't be moody, depressed, or anxious. But when it feels like it makes no different, why bother? Or if it even only makes a small difference, why give up the comfort?

I know why, but in the throes of depression it doesn't seem worth it. (On the other hand, I seem to have been buying chocolate at the same rate, but not eating much of it so that now there are 8 bars of chocolate in the cupboard, so the actual amount of chocolate/sugar intake is relatively small comparatively.)

I think the next conversation is with my kid about keeping stuff, even stuff for him, out of the house so that I don't have to deal because I'm not dealing. Comfort chicken soup is a lot easier on my body than comfort chocolate.

I didn't realize what a huge transition this would be, to be totally honest. We've done a lot of work on thyroid stuff. I have been taking iodine for 2 years, I've been taking nutrients and minerals and adrenal stuff and fish oil and and and. But we haven't been treating it with thyroid hormones until now. And it's totally re-vamping the food stuff.

I wish I'd had the courage to force the medical doctors to give me meds some how years ago. It really does suck that this has taken so long. It feels so unnecessary.
dryadgrl: (Default)
Fear n. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

Despair is a feeling that I identify as a combination of sadness and helplessness

Fear I've learned is related to kidney function. When my kidneys aren't functioning at 100%, I'm often afraid. It's also what leads to the nightmares that I sometimes have before my period.

I don't know what causes despair. But I need to know; I'm ready to know.

The last week or so I get a whiff of despair, lean into it a bit (mostly by taking a moment to feel it) and then move on from it. I have struggle for years with overwhelming despair. (Some people seem to call it depression, but depression takes so many forms, that I wanted to be much more specific. Depression for me can also be apathy or even callousness.)

I guess it's the healing that's happening in my body that I can look at the despair right now and not fall entirely into it. It used to be that despair was a trap. I would fall into it and not be able to get out for days or week or months.

About every other day or so I've been having these moments of looking right into the face of despair and letting it go.

For years my practice has been to feel my emotions, just feel them. At first I was so totally overwhelmed I could almost not move. Eventually I could feel them and be under for only weeks or days, then hours and now we're down a to a few minutes.

I don't know if it's the practice of feeling all there is to feel or the physical healing or some combination (my current guess is the last). But I still want more information about what system is being effected or healed and how to continue to support it.

Because I found a way to be really honest and present, authentic and real and not ever feel really helpless and in despair ever again, I'd be totally ok with that.
dryadgrl: (love)
Things to remember:

1. You don't like being sick. Do your best to be well. Beg off when you feel it coming. It's worth it to not get this way to begin with.
2. Don't make plans when sick, you will cancel. And since you rarely make plans these days, it makes you feel doubly bad to cancel since you've been feeling scarce there anyway. Give yourself a break.
3. Being sick is a mild form of depression, they don't all hate you, I promise. Probably they don't even mostly hate you. (That's a joke. You'll recognize those again when you're well.)
4. That feeling in your throat is not going to be there forever. I promise. (That is not a joke.)
5. You don't have to clean the house while sick. Give yourself a break.
6. You can order pizza or sushi or take out while sick. Yes, even though you haven't done that in years. Or at least a year. Sick gets special privileges and doesn't have to work so damn hard. Give yourself a break.
7. Don't talk to exes, or other people that might trigger you (like parents) - emotionally or otherwise. See #3. It's not mean, it's good self-care. Give yourself a break.

To sum up: You're sick; Give yourself a break.

Also, you're doing pretty great at the throwing things out bit and being conscious and making connections so as to not to That again (for some value of That).

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