I say this without judgement, regret, or anything else. It is merely a statement of fact.
Life has been incredibly hectic for the last few months (hence the lack of updates around here!). Diana and I are in the process of creating a new brand for ourselves and our life together, and as it turns out, re-branding one’s life is a fairly disruptive process! As empty nesters who are anxious to figure out what we want to be when we grow up, and as two folks with a keen interest in reducing our footprint on this planet, we recently sold our 1500 sq. ft. house and moved into a 900 sq. ft. apartment. We also traded in our two old cars on a single, super-clean running new one.
It’s been a fascinating process to actually go through everything I own, to actually touch every single item, and to make a conscious choice about whether or not to keep it. To call it difficult sheds a negative light on the thing that doesn’t work so well, but difficulty certainly describes some aspects of it. Other words that come to mind are: Refreshing, Enlightening (as in, revealing), Enlightening (as in, to reduce the weight of), Challenging (of my endurance, of my assumptions, and of my perception of value), and Encouraging.
I could talk for hours about this process of downsizing, and some of the epiphanies I’ve experienced around self, and around relationship, but I’m still in the middle of it and am not at all convinced that I’m at the end of my learning curve.
One thing has been made perfectly clear, however… living with a specialized diet requires a well-equipped kitchen, a reasonably stable lifestyle, and lots of time. For the last couplefew months, I’ve had none of these things. As a result, I’ve been cheating a lot lately. One could even argue that I’ve been cheating so much that it’s not really cheating anymore, it’s just lying to say that I’m following a particular diet right now. Pretty much my only rule has been ‘no gluten’.
The results have been…. predictable. For many weeks, I didn’t really notice anything. I felt as great as ever. But always, in the back of my mind was a voice whispering that this was not sustainable. Not surprisingly, my gut started getting increasingly floopy a few weeks back. Not painful, just… unpredictable. And while in hindsight I can trace it back much further, I was starting to notice that my mood was increasingly dark. My energy levels were dropping, my bones were achy, and getting out of bed each morning was getting more and more difficult. I use the past tense here, but the fact is that this is still happening. So much so that this morning I found myself taking online quizzes to try to figure out if I am clinically depressed. It wasn’t until then that I started to put together the pieces. I was fully aware that my physical symptoms were undoubtedly caused by my eating just about whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want. But it wasn’t until this morning that I began to realize that maybe the reason I’m having a hard time getting excited about anything lately is because I’m eating like crap. Maybe the reason that all I want to do every morning is call in sick to work and spend the day in bed with my head under the covers is because I’m eating like crap. Maybe the reason that I’m feeling a powerful desire to ‘just make it all go away’ is because I’m… well, you get the picture.
Fortunately, I believe that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. We finally have a fully operational kitchen. Just the other day, we made our first batch of stock in weeks, and I suspect I’ll make another this weekend. After all, I have some ‘intro diet’ to get back to, and that’s going to take a lot of broth! In addition to our awesome new kitchen, we are both getting settled into our new routines and creating an increasingly strong sense of stability in our lives. I knew this before, but this episode has been a strong reminder of how powerful having a routine in place can be…. Supporting a dietary regimen like SCD or BED is hard enough when you have time set aside each week to do the necessary work, but when you don’t? Forget it. Not gonna happen.
I’m super hopeful that getting back on the healthy diet train is not only going to stabilize my gut, but is also going to help make me able to start seeing the shine on everything again. Life is shiny; I know this, and I miss being able to see it.