You know what’s just the pits? The absolute worse?
Not being normal.
Being one of those people who is always eating some sort of special way. You know the type…
…because you are the type. The type that stands in the grocery aisles for eternity scouring every label, the type that asks what the ingredients are in every food item ever brought to any potluck, office occasion or any other gathering. The type who has eventually given up on enjoying what other people bring and just brings special dishes for yourself (that usually no one else wants to try because ew).
Having someone ask with that weird sadness in their eyes, “Can you eat ______?”
Or to be the only one in a restaurant sipping water exclusively while everyone else feasts on the food you used to enjoy.
Yep, all of that just sucks.
The truth is, it’s easy to to get a bad attitude about having to do something hard. Being excluded is hard. Eating green stuff all the time is hard. Always having to plan ahead and predict food scenarios is hard. The mind fills up with whiny phrases like “Why can’t I just be normal?” or “I wish I wasn’t this way.” Here, I’ll show you.. super duper honesty time..
I wish, with all my heart, that I didn’t have Hypothyroidism. I wish I would have never had a lobectomy at 16. I often fantasize about what life would be like without this stupid autoimmune disease. Resentment builds up within myself towards people, women primarily, who can do the things I cannot do because of my health. My goal in life is to run a full marathon but running two half-marathons have been extremely detrimental to my thyroid and adrenal health. So, seeing marathon running women, who I actually very deeply admire, ignites jealousy and anger within me.
Yikes. That’s pretty nasty of me, isn’t it?
In those private moments, when I let my consciousness think those thoughts, I’ve allowed my autoimmune disease and food elimination diet to steal my happiness.
The mind goes to some pretty dark places when it’s not being intentionally guided back on track.
Does spending precious emotional energy on wishful and non constructive thoughts like that produce positive results? Change? An absolute, big fat resounding, NO. It does not. So then why does it feel so good sometimes to default to that way of thinking instead of focusing energy on rewarding outcomes?
Because it feels safe.
Whether we care to admit it or not, it’s uncomfortable to produce change in our lives. It requires acceptance of the issue, effort to understand it and work to change it. And wow, all of that does not feel safe. That feels unpredictable. That feels scary. That feels unknown, different and a lot like stressful exertion.
I love this quote by Dave Ramsey and, although he’s intending this to be geared towards financial betterment, I feel it can apply to many different facets of life, “Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it.”
That kind of drives it home, doesn’t it? That kind of stings. Did I just get insulted?
Reality can feel insulting sometimes, especially after wallowing in an unhealthy mindset for far too long.
I encourage you, all you autoimmune disease warriors, all you who have had negative thinking for far too long, who have had your happiness stolen by having the wrong mindset, I implore you to make yourself uncomfortable and devise a health plan. Then attack it.
Choose to go at your autoimmune disease with such intensity that your mind switches from woe is me to WOW IS ME.
It’s okay to be that person who reads labels, who doesn’t eat at restaurants, who brings a compliant dish to a social gathering. IT’S HARD BUT IT’S OKAY. Why? Because you’re not wasting days, weeks or even years finding health. And for those of us diagnosed with autoimmune disease, health equals happiness. So keep your mind right.
Final notes: I realize some of you may have an autoimmune disease where the damage your body has undergone is potentially irreversible. However, work towards gaining optimal mental health. A disease and negative mindset left to itself will progress faster and worse. Do what you can, when you can for your body and mind. ♥
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