Absent yet Accounted For

Good morning! Welcome to the April posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We gather throughout the blog-verse on the first Wednesday of every month to lend voice to our insecurities and to seek out and give encouragement. You can read all about the IWSG here and about its creator and leader here. Thank you so much for stopping by.

PS: I'm not participating in the A-Z Challenge this year but best of luck to all of you who are! May the Force be with you.

~~~

I've been absent from the online world for a while now and with good reason. Many of you know I deal with an Auto-Immune disease that comes and goes in flareups that cause terrible pain and debilitating fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, paranoia, et. al. Back in February, the flare-up from hell decided to come by for an extended stay. Needless to say, I did not invite it. It came in like an uninvited relative, ate all our food, and took up all the room on the sofa. One afternoon, after work, lying on the couch (because that was all I could do), I clicked on Netflix and started scrolling. I came across a couple of documentaries about food: how it's produced, grown, raised, etc. as well as what i can do to our bodies.

The details are in the documentaries but I will say this: I was bowled over by what many of the doctors and scientists said regarding our Standard American Diet (SAD). I'm not going to preach about diets or fads or ways to become someone who only eats basil that blooms on the second full moon of the year. What I am going to say is this: I changed my diet and I HAVEN'T HAD A FLARE-UP IN A MONTH. Not only did the uninvited relative get kicked to the curb, I tossed out his luggage and his dirty socks to boot. I started walking again and have energy. I've been able to cut back on my day job schedule in order to devote more time to feeling better and to writing.

Through this entire ordeal, ever since August of last year, really, I've been giving deep, unbiased, and unflinchingly honest thoughts towards writing. Towards my art in general. With my head clear for the first time in years, with my mental neurons firing on all flux capacitors, I've been able to weed out the vines that have been strangling my productivity and have started work on several new and exciting projects.

They are slow going but they are beautiful and I am excited.

You'll see a few changes here but nothing life altering. Then again, perhaps it will be life altering, for me at any rate.

The point in all this: that old adage "You gotta do what you gotta do" is true. Many people won't understand and they won't even try. Many will grin and nod and pat you on the head and tell you that's nice. You can shout it from the rooftops and give out advice until you're blue in the face and they still won't listen. But I'm going to let you in on a secret:

It doesn't matter what they think. It doesn't matter what they say. It doesn't matter what they do.

What matters is that YOU are true to yourself and your vision. Sometimes it takes a bit of radical self care in order to find that vision. For me, it was a matter of clearing the path of many years of weeds. Weeds planted by well-meaning people and by myself in one of my fits of "THAT'S what I should be doing" rage. I'm almost through, though, and the path is visible. It's narrower than I'd like. It isn't paved. It goes through the dark wood that whispers of goblin stories and strange tales. If I listen, I can hear the sea. There's magic out there and I'm ready and willing to go after it.

Will you give yourself the chance to get better? Will you give yourself the gift of getting better so you can fully realize the magic of the call that is on your life? Maybe you don't need physical healing like I did, but you may just need to take a step back and seriously reconsider where you're headed and why. Only YOU can make the decision that is right for you. There's nothing wrong with taking multiple paths; you've got to find the right one and many times that takes time. But once you know, once you're so full of YES!!! that you're about to burst, shake off the dust of those other roads, hitch up your belt and, like Bilbo Baggins, let out a whoop, a holler, and let the world know you're going on an adventure!

Happy creating, Loves.


Comments

  1. Good news. Sorry that you were down and out so long, and even happier that you got better and learned some helpful diet advice. I'm sure that documentary is worth watching. We Americans eat many of the wrong things. I feel your excitement for your new projects. Yay!
    Cheers! Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary. It's been a climb and I'm still learning (the hard way it seems) but I'm excited. Just having the energy to dive back into a story is enough to make me happy 🙂. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. Glad to hear you got rid of that rude guest. I'm more attuned every day to what my family eats. This time of year when we can get our veggies fresh is the best.

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    1. Thank you so much! It's a daily job, making the right choices, and slow going but at least I'm on the right track!

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  3. Great news! Diet makes a big difference. Did you watch Food, Inc? That one will blow your mind.
    My wife and I eat healthy and exercise and I'm proud to say we look twenty years younger than we really are. Just ignore the greying hair...

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    1. Yes, Food Inc. was one of the several docs that I watched. Very eye opening to be sure :)

      And there's nothing wrong with grey hair. I figure, like wrinkles, you earn them!

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  4. I'm sorry that you were having a hard time, but glad that you haven't had a flare up. I'm interested in knowing just how you changed your diet.

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    1. Thanks Chrys! It's been slow going but doing a juice cleanse has really helped me figure out what works for me and what doesn't. It's slow going (and I'm learning more and more each day, sometimes the hard way) but I'm so very thankful I was able to do the cleanse and kind of reset things.

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  5. Now I'm curious as to how exactly you modified your eating habits. I have an ADHD son whose diet we've altered to try and help him, with some success. It's been more expensive to be sure, but it has made a big difference for his behavior. I think more issues are related to diet than people want to realize.

    I'm so glad you're back and hope the nasties stay away for a long, long time, if not forever.

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    1. Thank you, Crystal. Oh, if they'd stay gone forever that would be FANTASTIC!

      I sent you an email with the details of how I did the diet change :) Hope it helps a little!

      Cheers!

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  6. Glad to hear you're feeling better and on a wonderful path to feeling like yourself. I've been working on my health and diet for awhile now. I've made some progress, but I would love to make more. I remind myself it's all a process, a journey. :)

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    1. Thank you, Madeline! You're right; it IS a journey and so far it's been a long one but I'm learning more and more every day!

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  7. It can be hard when those types of illnesses flare up. I'm happy to hear the new diet is working for you.

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  8. When I read the description of your illness, Jen, I knew you were describing the one I've dealt with for almost twenty-five years. I'm glad that you are feeling better and that the brain fog has cleared. I really looked at what I was eating and improved my diet, and I'm driven to work out because exercise really cuts the pain, and I've been able to go from simple stretching way back to quite intensive exercise now. One thing that really helped me was healing touch massage. I think massage was key in easing my flareups and in making them less frequent. I have a prescription painkiller, and the moment I feel the pain starting to flare in my body, I take it and nip the pain in the bud. If I don't, the pain can spread everywhere, and I can be in serious pain for days. With the diet, exercise, massage, and painkillers when necessary, I've been able to manage this and continue working. At one point I thought I wouldn't be able to continue working. I rarely have a flareup now. I hope that you don't mind that I mentioned these things; but I know only too well what you've gone through. You may have tried these things already, but maybe there is something that might help. Happy writing in April.

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    1. Thank you again for your kind comment :) I sent you an email response <3

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  9. That's wonderful a change in diet made a difference. There are so many things caused by a bad diet. And not "bad," but more uninformed. I've been vegetarian/vegan for almost 30 years and it's made a huge difference.

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    1. Thank you so much!

      I think that's wonderful! I work with many people who are vegetarian/vegan and they all tell me how much of a difference it has made for their health.

      Eating mostly plant-based has really made a difference for me. Right now, I'm learning, by trial and error, what works and what doesn't. Oh what a journey, but it's worth it. I'm just thankful I stumbled across all of the information when I did.

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  10. Awesome news! I have tried various eating plans - I was completely dairy, gluten, corn, and egg free for 15 years, but now I'm a 99% free of those foods and have discovered I need to add small amounts of some of them back into my diet. My one "thing" that's helped my overall health these last few months is small meals, eating every two to three hours. I didn't realize how much I was eating at a time before I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and I realized that it was just plain hurting me to eat more than a cup of food at a time. This may seem extreme but it's made a huge difference for me. (However, that didn't change that I needed a gallbladder removal and a hysterectomy - the gallbladder might have been saved if I had acted sooner with small meals, but the hysterectomy didn't seem to be food related - although, getting that many fibroids and cysts has to come from something.)
    For writing and life, I agree that we need to go after the magic!

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    1. Thank you!

      Yes: I have to eat often. I have a ridiculously high metabolism and if I don't "graze" my blood sugar drops too low and I feel ill. After the juice cleanse, I realized just how important eating often was for me AND I'm learning how important eating the right things for those small meals can be.

      Keep getting better and better, Tyrean! I agree: we need to chase after that magic :)

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  11. Jen, I'm so thrilled for you. We definitely are what we eat. I studied naturopathy in my younger years, and still take a keen interest in food and all its forms and what modern wisdom is saying. Our diets are indeed being manipulated by the 'big corporations' and you really have to be careful. You've proved it as have many others.

    With your new uncluttered mind, I wish you every success for your exciting leap forward in your art, whatever you choose to prioritise.

    Good wishes...:-)

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