Time to Get Real

Hello friends,

I hope you are all well and enjoying the sun! As much as we need the rain, I am a sunshine girl! Not a heat girl, mind you, but I will take all the sun I can get.

When it is cloudy and rainy, I feel my spirits drop, and it is hard to feel productive. And it doesn’t help that my past few months have felt depressed because of my health.

I want to share something personal with you. It was just this year that I actually admitted to myself that the digestive issues I have had since my illness 26 years ago are chronic. How silly is that?

It’s as if owning the word chronic makes me a failure somehow, because I couldn’t and still can’t figure out the root cause of my condition. Those perfectionist tendencies run deep!

Because of this, there are days when I have to stop trying to be productive and just listen to my body. I can't keep pushing and expect results when I am tired, when my body has spent more time in the bathroom than any other place in the house, except maybe standing in front of the frig, wondering what I might eat that will actually stay in my body. ⁠

In the past 8 months, I have worked with at least five health practitioners to find solutions to my struggles. I have tried multiple food plans-AIP, low oxalate, short gut, etc. Low FODMAP is so limiting! (eating 1/3 of a banana is ok but if you eat ½, you could make your symptoms worse!) The reality is that no food plan I’ve tried has made a noticeable difference in how my body reacts and feels.

As a mostly positive person, I do struggle on these days. It is frustrating to keep running into dead ends. So I am learning to release my anger. (My printer took the beating last week!) A friend even told me that hearing me cuss was refreshing!

It is ok to feel sad that I don't YET have answers. Yes, it sucks, but I have to release these emotions in a healthy way so they don't get stuck in my body and add more to my distress. Without the help of some key people, I would be in serious trouble. Thank goodness I am learning to express my emotions in my art process.

There's lots of anger under layers of paint and rough palette knife scratches under the swirls. (I see a dragon poking through- do you?)

Stress can make everything worse so I am having to practice what I teach. Believe me, self-care is challenging when you think you aren’t being productive enough! (YUK!)

Mostly though, I have to give up the unrealistic expectations of what I think I SHOULD be doing and allow myself to be here in this place, moving through the anger and the process. My friend shared this quote with me today.

I can choose to be here in the midst of pain, so that I experience it and then release it. Because I want to push it away, it is staying with me for now. There must be something more for me to learn. (I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with accepting all parts of me.)

I absolutely have to allow myself kindness. It’s okay to lay on the couch, read a book, do a meditation, watch a movie. I hug a pillow, use heating pads, and remind myself I am doing the best I can. I try to remember that this will pass, and nothing is forever. I can never share my gifts if I don't take care of me.

I remember I am loved, and that is enough.

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