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Gratitude


Saturday, April 07, 2012

First of all, thank you to everyone for your loving and supportive comments regarding my last blog. It's been freeing for me to just let go of my secret. As a social worker and as a friend I have helped others through this kind of stuff and I know, in my logical brain, all the right things...it's just hard to apply when your emotional, not-so-rational side takes over.

I've been struggling lately, as you can obviously tell. Today is my youngest brother's 17th birthday and I'm struggling with feelings of guilt because I'm not with my family to celebrate. In fact, I haven't seen my family since Christmas. I feel like a bad sister, a bad daughter...for not being in touch, not calling enough. (I know this is totally within my control and I can change this and not feel so badly...) Anyhow, last night I cried myself to sleep with all sorts of negative self-talk because, you know, being a bad sister and bad daughter reminds me that I'm a bad wife, a bad friend, a bad person all around. I know how irrational and basically what a waste of time and energy this thinking is...which makes me feel more upset with myself for engaging in this type of behavior...I know better...ack! What a wreck my brain is....It's this endless loop of beating myself up and then beating myself up for beating myself up.

Yesterday I went for a walk with my husband and dogs (while I tried not to beat myself up about how SHORT this walk was and how out of shape I am) and by the time we had walked for 20 minutes I had to basically run home and use the bathroom. Crohn's had gotten me...I was bent over with awful cramps and I felt so sick. I felt devastated that even when I try to do the right thing, my body wouldn't let me. DH says to me, "well, no more walking for you!" I wanted to cry.

Today at dinner with my DH's family my sister-in-law made a comment about how last year at Easter I was "skinny back then". It stung...but she didn't mean to hurt me...it's just the truth. I'm over 260 pounds right now. I'm so disgusted with my body and how swollen and sluggish I feel...yet I have neglected to do anything about it.

I'm hiding from people and isolating myself at home...yet feeling more lonely and homesick than I have in a long time (even with 2 roommates). I keep telling myself all these things about myself, which may or may not be true...but which feel terrible and are most definitely harmful. These thoughts have been paralysing me...they sap my energy and motivation and make me feel worthless and hopeless.

But here's the thing...I have so much to be grateful for. The problems I have, those are the problems of someone who has so much already. I'm privileged enough to be able to worry and be upset about things that don't even cross other people's radar. I live in a country where I am a free human being, with rights and opportunities that most people in the world still struggle for. I have a safe, very comfortable home and I always have enough food to eat. My drinking water is safe and I never question if it will work when I turn it on. I can take a shower whenever I want to and I have an array of soap and shampoo to choose from. I have a vehicle that works and I have enough money to put gas in it whenever I need to. All of my needs are basically within my reach. I have family and friends who love me and express it in their own ways. I have had the opportunity for education on any level that I have chosen. I have dogs and they keep me company and make me laugh. I probably still have a job to go back to when my body heals. I have a medical system which I can rely on and afford...and though my illness has been difficult, it is treatable.

I have much for which to be grateful. So much more than what I have just written. I'm trying here...trying to balance out all that negativity with some gratitude, because at least that's positive.

I'm batting around the idea of going back to vegan eating after easter. I seem to do better when I am on a specific plan of eating and vegan eating seems to agree with me on many levels. I'm not sure what the resistance is all about...perhaps it's the difficulty of committing to try again (because then there's the chance that I won't be perfect and that I'll FAIL!). I'm working on going for a walk every day...I'm about 50/50 for that right now...better than nothing. I'll let you know when I get back into the swing of things with my eating and exercise. I remember how great I felt when I was running and I want so much to be back there...but I also am starting to understand that that may not be in the cards for right now because of the Crohn's.

Thanks so much for being with me along this journey. For those of you who comment and those of you who just think positive thoughts for me...it all means so much to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SEEHOLZ 4/29/2012 3:45PM

    Keep moving forward! This is a hard phase in your life right now and my heart goes out to you! I hope blogging here, talking to people etc is helping you remember how amazing of a person you truly are!



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KATHLOW 4/10/2012 8:21AM

    still a little rude, that sister-in-law of yours, in my opinion! I hope you can find your wauy to a better place soon!

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DARKTHOR 4/8/2012 2:12PM

    You have to do what works best for you, of course. I'll just say that my 'mostly vegan' diet works really well for me. I allow myself 1 meal per week that is non-vegan and it helps quell any cravings I might have and allows me to go out sometimes and not have to stress about what I can or can't eat. It's also nice not having to feel guilty about going off-plan, since I have this leeway built into my plan.

I think walking (despite it not always working out) is a great idea. You did get 20 minutes of walking in, so there were some positives. Try to focus on those positives and don't let the negative thoughts derail you.

::hug::

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TEMPENATIVE 4/8/2012 1:33AM

    so sorry for all the physical struggles you are facing, hope that the vegan thing works out. i know the spot your at too with committing, because if I dont make plans I cant fail. kinda limiting, but my control freak nature would rather do nothing and be successful at that, than to try something new and fail. yes i do realize that is not healthy! lol keep your chin up sista, things will turn around

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MADEMCHE 4/7/2012 10:50PM

    Love you. You are amazing. Please don't let yourself get down. You are struggling right now, but you will find your path again and get back there. You can do it!

Are you on a Gluten Free diet already? I know most of my friends with Crohns are Gluten Free and that tends to help them. The reason that I ask that, is Gluten Free and Vegan is hard. Not impossible but it is difficult. Or maybe you are vegan during breakfast and lunch and then you can be a little more relaxed for supper. Just suggestions, whatever works for you and makes you feel better, I am all for.

Hugs!

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GOGOSHIRE 4/7/2012 10:28PM

    I understand the fears about going vegan, but instead of committing to going straight vegan, why not decide you're going to just be you, and do some vegan eating?

Takes the pressure off, then, if you eat vegan for 2 meals a day and then have a pizza for dinner, it's no big deal, you know? You're just doing the vegan eating now and then. No restrictions - it's just a fun choice you're making, like a playlist on your iPod. Seriously.

Doing some vegan eating means not going full throttle, not having a restrictive diet. It's something you *want* to do (boy, I think I'll try a vegan lunch today for fun!) versus something that you "have" to do b/c it's good for you.

You can't fail if you don't go full throttle. You can't fail if you take baby steps. Eventually, because you'll be feeling good by cutting other stuff out, you'll just choose to eat what your body craves, and it sounds like that will be more vegan than not. But don't go cold turkey on meat and dairy right away. Just "do some vegan eating" some of the time, and play it by ear.

Trust me - it works. xoxo

Comment edited on: 4/7/2012 10:30:47 PM

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/7/2012 10:01PM

    I love you. You are an amazing friend. It goes both ways, you are not solely responsible for the health of any relationship. Your sister in law should be less careless with her comments. That was rude. Period. Love you

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