Thank You, Body

It’s almost springtime and I am super pumped for the half marathon I signed up for nearly a year ago. Man, life was so different back then! I remember for awhile during the summer, wondering if I would ever be able to train for this half, or even attempt it– or if I’d have to take the financial and mental loss.

I’m happy to report, that not only do I plan on finishing this half, but according to the stats last year and my current pace, I’m likely to place in my age bracket! The only real goal I have for this is to complete it, but it would be frosting on the cake if I placed, and so I’m hopeful, and so very excited.

Sometimes my thoughts ponder on the last year– my biggest growth year– in every way possible. Simultaneously, the most rewarding and most frustrating– the happiest of times riddled with pain and suffering, and I am so grateful.

Boy was I frustrated with my body at times! The end of the school year was tough with my physical ailments. Finally, when school ended, I was able to purposely move my body daily via hour long leisurely walks. I was slow, but so proud to get out there daily. And then my legs stopped working.

I was getting used to, and accepting that my body is the boss. I also had to accept that I was expecting my body to fully heal itself– really a miraculous (but totally doable!) expectation. I took it as a sign, I was still moving too much and needed more rest. And so I rested, and rested, and rested.

I listened to my body, and took proper care of it, for the first time in my 45 years. Just like quitting alcohol, 30 days in felt like eternity, and my brain expected that my body should be back to normal already.

No brain, you drank everyday for like 10 years, 30 days isn’t going to fix it. Realistically, I think my body truly started to heal from alcohol after abstaining for about a year. There are no quick fixes. After 30 days on the autoimmune protocol, I was discouraged to still have pain– and sometimes be much sicker than I had been. This made no sense to me at all. For the first time in my life I was eating the proper nutrients– fresh food, fresh produce with clean protein daily, and I continued to suffer with pain and fatigue.

So many times I wanted to throw in the towel, with the excuse of, “It’s not working. It’s making everything worse!” At least that’s what Betsy was telling me. That little devil was so sneaky, she even tried to get me to start drinking and attempt to drink in moderation. During a time with desperate feelings in June, I came close to relapsing. Thank God I didn’t– thanks to my support system– but was uncomfortably close.

I knew in my heart that drinking would not only take me back about 100 steps, it would be so bad for my physical and mental health. I also knew that giving up on the AIP diet would be detrimental to my health and that regardless of how bad I felt, I needed to continue. I also knew that all of the new flairs and pain were somehow a part of the healing.

I complimented my good diet with spiritual wellness practices. I visualized healing during meditation, did reiki on myself regularly, said daily affirmations, went to sound bath healing meditations, got acupuncture.

I joined new facebook groups and learned all about iron deficiency anemia and how extra iron can cause arthritis symptoms- was this a missing key? I also learned that some people ingest Borax to kill the pain. I would leave no stone uncovered in my mission to heal.

I’m so glad I stuck with it, as there was a stark difference in my health when comparing the beginning to the end of the summer. It was like after 90 days of the autoimmune protocol diet, everything started to click. I was able to correlate problematic foods more easily, now that I had a clean slate to work with. By August, I felt like a brand new woman.

June 2022

My body is the boss of me. Thank you, body, for showing me the way.

Awkward Situations

Day 1171

It’s Friday! It’s been a LONG week. I’m still spending a great deal of time on the AIP diet/prep/etc. And school/work is dragging on. Most everyone is done today, but my district still has another full week. Next week can’t come soon enough!

I had a little bit of a breakthrough last weekend. I was super busy so I didn’t eat many of my normal “treats” that I batch bake on the weekend. Knowing my weekend was nuts, I took Monday off. By midday Monday, I noticed that I didn’t need any OTC pain meds at all that day. My hand/wrist pain was unusually mild. Many times, the pain gets worse throughout the day as I use my hand, but not this day. Also, I usually at least need Tylenol or Motrin in the morning, sometimes both when it’s really bad. I didn’t have anything upon awakening. This was exciting!

Monday continued on. I had a nice day, complete with lunch and a few errands with my oldest. Lunch was significant, I’ll get to that next.

I started my batch baking Monday afternoon, snacking on delicious batter while I worked, and then sampling the deliciousness that emerged all hot and wonderful.

Within hours my pain was back, but more of it and it was all over. My toes felt like rubber bands were wound tightly, my feet ached and both hands ached.

Something, caused this, and I suspected it was something I had eaten. The pain was different, much different, knowing this, but in a good way.

Now it’s Friday and I’m still experimenting with food. I think coconut, cassava and avocado could be culprits, so I’ve been staying away from them this week. It’s hard. I forgot and dumped coconut aminos in my dinner, and then it was leftovers for two days after. Yesterday was a good day, no pain meds, all day long. However, I woke up with my left hand being extra sore. It’s like the pain is just moving around, I hope this is a good sign, it can move on out!

I’m hopeful that as my gut heals, I’ll be able to pin point foods that are problematic. I’m totally eager to ditch the pain.

On Monday, my day off, my oldest and I had lunch. I’ve found that Outback Steakhouse has a couple things that I can eat, and so far the food hasn’t bothered me.

He brought up my drinking- which he rarely does. He doesn’t remember me being crazy and doesn’t understand how deep in it I was. He had been talking to my niece about how my sisters and I act when we’re drunk.

“I don’t remember you drunk much. I just remember you being sad, and then tired when you drank.”

My younger parenting days is a huge trigger for me. I started to cry, right then and there at the restaurant.

“That’s not the reaction I expected.” He regrettably said.

What followed was a really great conversation– one about triggers and trauma and the importance of us taking care of ourselves. It was awkward, but good. At least I thought so, but as far as I know the boy could still be traumatized over making me cry.

I had another awkward moment with my uncle, my mom’s brother. My cousin had a summer kickoff party last weekend and I hadn’t seen some of that side of the family for a few years now.

It was sort of weird because I look much different than I did three years ago. One of my aunts didn’t even recognize me to say hi when we were next to each other. Also, since I’ve lost a lot of weight, I look more like my mom than ever before. It was strange at times.

I had some really great conversations with my uncles. When talking to my uncle Bill, we got kind of deep. During our conversation, I had a weird urge to ask him for one more hug. We hugged and then he kissed my cheek. I’m not a hugger, by any means. When I saw this meme pop up the following day, it immediately resonated with me.

In retrospect, I believe my mom was there and spoke through me. It doesn’t matter, it was perfect ❤️

I think of how my life was a few years ago and get goosebumps. I love, love. I love knowing and identifying fear, and myself. I love being confident and proud. Most of all, I love not having to hide. For so long, I felt so much shame. Mostly for things I was still doing. When I stopped doing those things, the shame didn’t go away and it took me a long time to be able to talk proudly about my sobriety.

It’s hard work, but worth every second.

So that’s it. A lot of love mixed with perfectly awkward conversations and situations ❤

I Screamed at God for the Shooting Child

“I screamed at God for the starving child, until I saw that the starving child was God screaming at me.” – Tony Agnesi

It’s 2:30pm and the rain is scheduled for 3:00, and to last for days. This is fine with me, perfect actually. I usually don’t like the rain, but it’s fitting today.

My mental health has been BLAH. I’m in week 6 of the AIP diet and it feels like I’m sicker than ever. I went to get an iron infusion a couple days ago, and my hemoglobin had dropped a full point in four days. I go back on Friday and might need a blood transfusion. I don’t know why this is happening and it’s frustrating. Meanwhile, I feel that my diet is healthier than ever, and “food is thy medicine” so what the heck?? 

My hand is also still in a lot of pain unless I take 4 Motrins and 2 Tylenols. I’m trying to NOT take them, and sometimes go without, but it leaves me in misery and an unusable hand (trust me, you have no idea how much your dominate hand does for you, until it doesn’t).

It would be different if I were living it up, eating pizza, candy and drinking beer. I guess I did do that for years, so now I wait for the healing. Years of abuse doesn’t get erased with a few weeks of doing the right thing, but it’s still kind of irritating.

I also want to touch on the recent school shooting in Texas.

This feels different to me. A cousin posted something about arming teachers with guns. I’ve never wanted anything to do with this idea, until now. We have to do something, and I recognize myself as part of the ‘we.’ Well, I mean, when I get the use of my hand back 🙁

We need gun reform.

I am so sick of people saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Or- if they didn’t have a gun, they’d find another way to do it.

Our current society is sick. I read about kids killing kids in America nearly every single day.

A few weeks ago in Wisconsin a 10 year old, walking home from her aunts, with her 14 year old cousin, was murdered and then raped by him.

This week a couple teens robbed and shot a 20 year old and a 16 year old in a neighboring town.

I work at a pretty affluent school, and even there we have some family horror stories, kids of the family baring the brunt of the disfunction and toxicity.

The cycle goes on and on.

It seems like the insane is starting to outnumber the sane.

I don’t understand why it is harder to adopt a puppy than to buy a gun in America.

Maybe it wouldn’t be an awful idea for someone to have to take a class, like a six month- or year long class- before purchasing a gun.

Perhaps we need to consider the mental health of each individual..

Mental health is also an area that needs some changes, mainly acknowledging the problems society faces when trying to get help. That’s the worst part, and we somehow need to make this a priority.

When my son sent me this text yesterday, I felt responsible.

All I could think of is Tony Agnesi’s quote, one of my favorites. I don’t think I ‘got’ it until this text conversation.

Actually, that’s a bit presumptuous- I’m sure I have a lot more learning to do around it, but I love it and can’t say it out loud without crying.

Only yesterday, it was a ‘shooting child’ I was screaming at god, or the world for.

But all I heard was the world screaming at me.

Prayers and love for Texas ❤️🙏🏻

Day 1146 and AIP holy S*&%

I’m on day 1146 alcohol free and about day 43 of the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet. I felt pretty great in the beginning of the diet, but then felt continuously lethargic and kept getting sick and then had a crazy experience last week that I’m still getting over.

It was Wednesday and I had to drive out to my niece’s award ceremony after work, about an hour away. Let me just say that the entire situation was identical to me talking myself into moderating my drinking- or giving myself an excuse to relapse.

I thought I would skip dinner after the ceremony- or just bring my own food. OR, worse case scenario, I would eat restaurant food but keep it healthy with low fat protein and veggies.

The whole week was busy. I had to drive the same niece and her boyfriend to the airport after work on Monday, then had to drive far again on Wednesday, plus I hadn’t been feeling well so I was dreading the chaos. I didn’t do as much meal prepping on the weekend as I should have so my meals were lame. By Tuesday night I wasn’t so stressed about packing a ton of food for Wednesday and had pretty much decided that I’d just eat at the restaurant (thank you, addictive voice).

Only problem is, we ended up at a bar/restaurant and the menu basically had bar food, plus salads, which I was 1000% NOT in the mood for.

I chose a cheeseburger and onion rings. So I had gluten (only ate half of everything), dairy, sugar (in the ketchup, and probably everywhere else), and probably a ton of other chemicals/antibiotics/etc.

I felt fine there and I felt fine after I got home. I put my leftovers in the fridge thinking maybe I’d eat them for lunch the next day.

I hate to admit this, but part of me was scared of not reacting.

What if this is all for nothing?

What if I’m just making myself worse?

Does abstaining from these things really matter?

It was a long day and soon after getting home I was absent mindedly zoning on my couch. After a little bit, my back started hurting. The chairs at the ceremony, and the restaurant weren’t very comfortable, so I assumed when I went to bed and stretched out, it would feel better.

Only it just got worse. By the time I laid down for bed, I had a cramping like pain in my upper right shoulder and it hurt to take deep breaths. It reminded me of when I got pleural effusion and I wondered if maybe for me, pleural effusion was a result of an RA flair and maybe this food made it flair again.

All I can say is that it was pretty awful!! I was in agony for a bit, ended up taking Motrin and finally going to sleep. The next day was also pretty bad, but the Motrin seemed to help. I had to give a student our state’s standardized test the following morning. Usually testing students is super easy, but not when you’re in agony. My breathing was okay, I just felt so exhausted that I couldn’t wait for him to finish so I could lay in the back of my room and take a nap. And I did, a nap so deep that for a moment I woke up wondering if I overslept.

I can’t say for sure that it was that meal that caused it, but I can tell you that the rest of that meal went straight into the trash! I had reached out to other AIP peeps and got lots of suggestions that it might be a gallbladder attack from all the fat. I guess my worries of this diet being all for nothing is null.

Each day my back/breathing pain has gotten better, but last week was a rough one. I’ve been eating healthy since.

I finally started working out again yesterday, with just a short walk. I got up early before work today and ran for 30 mins (2 min run/1 min walk). Its been a few weeks, so it feels SOOOOOO good to get back on my machines! I hope my energy doesn’t disappear again- that really stunk!

When I was home sick last week I signed up for a half marathon, so I do have a little flame under my bum. Although its not until April 2023, so I have plenty of time. It’s at my favorite local park, so I am VERY excited!

Alright, I think that’s it. Now let’s all have a great week!!

Universal Gifts

I finally got off the couch and went back to work.

And soon discovered that I have the best job in the world.

I came back to notes, presents and a special gift from an unlikely substitute teacher.

It was a great day back and I was just as excited to see the kiddos as they were to see me.

I had a routine checkup with my rheumatologist yesterday. I was pretty excited, because although my hand/wrist is still flaring, I was hopeful my bloodwork results would be better than before. After all, I’ve been eating a more balanced diet for a whole month now. They were pretty impressive before, and my hemoglobin (which is sometimes low and I sometimes need IV iron) has begun to rise on its own since last year.

She took one look at me, shook her head, pointed her finger and said I looked pale and would probably get a call in the morning that my bloodwork results are bad.

The next morning I got that call. Luckily, everything is decent except for my hemoglobin, which is 9.1- whereas it was over 11 just eight months ago.

I’m hoping it’s wrong, or maybe low because I’m still recovering from the flu. I have an appointment with my hematologist in about 10 days and will have it rechecked.

I’m hoping for a rebound and no IV infusions needed. If not, and I need iron, then fine. I’m sure I’ll be more energetic if that’s the case.

I’m just sort of disappointed in the whole thing. But it’s just like drinking alcohol, when I thought my health should be SO much better after abstaining for 30 days. In reality, it’s taken my body years to heal from the abuse, and it’s still healing. I imagine my diet/gut health is the same, and will take time. In the grand scheme of things, 30 days is nothing.

One more thing, because the universe always knows what we need.

This is in the beginning of the book Lindy left me. I can’t wait to read it- after all my death woes, I know I was meant to read this- Devine Intervention.

Be well everyone ❤

My AIP Life on the Couch

It’s been an odd week.

On Sunday, I picked my youngest up from an overnight birthday party at noon. The mom, a good friend of mine, warned me that he might need a nap that day.

On the way home he told me his whole body was sore from playing Ghosts in the Graveyard. I am truly sorry if you don’t know what this is, it’s a staple of my entire childhood and I feel immense joy whenever kids these days get to enjoy it.

He crashed right when we got home and didn’t wake up until 7pm that night when we got him up to eat. He had the body aches/chills/etc and it was apparent that this was more than just exhaustion.

He stayed home on Monday, while I got ready and drove to work.

It was a weird morning. I had to cover another teacher’s class for a few minutes because her son was sick and she had to wait for her mom to come and babysit. She got there earlier than planned and I was able to see my first group for almost the entire time.

The next session was fine, but I got suddenly sick during the following group. I hung around for a bit- thinking it would pass– but it did not. I left and all I could think of driving home was how badly I wanted to go to sleep. And I did. And now it’s Wednesday, and I’m still on the couch achy and exhausted.

The weird thing is that since I got diagnosed with RA, I rarely get sick or catch bugs that are going around. Even working in a school, where it’s so common to get sick every fall with every new germ- that was never me.

Maybe my immune system was too busy being in overdrive? Maybe as my gut heals, my immune system will level out a bit and while it sucks to get sick, maybe just maybe this could be a good sign?

I’m feeling lots of hope with this. Feeling anything but hope cannot be an option. I have to keep my mental thoughts high- or else I know this won’t work for me.

So, yay!!! It’s working!!! Now if I could just get off this couch 😉

Day 1131 & My AIP Life

This coming week will be week 4 of being on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet.

On one hand, I can’t believe that I haven’t had caffeine & sugar, and gluten & dairy for this long. On the other hand, I can’t believe I’m not really feeling any different 😬 I would have thought that I’d feel amazing by now.

I keep telling myself that my gut’s been leaky since at least 2013/2014 & that it’s just going to take time to heal.

On the flip side, I’m eating some super delicious foods. I think my tastebuds have changed and I highly enjoy the most simple things like chicken soup.

Eating meat has been fine. I’d still rather have beans. But health comes first.

I think my favorite thing in the world is fresh spinach leaves. I eat them with everything & in smoothies. I love to steam the leaves with cauliflower rice & coconut amino/ginger seasoning. But really, they’re good with everything, and delicious hot or cold.

My workouts these past few weeks have been few & far between. I’m spending a ton more time in the kitchen preparing meals. Also, since I love sweets, I usually spend hours on the weekend making AIP approved goodies. I know that if I don’t have them on hand, I’ll end up cheating, so it’s mandatory.

I’m not hating my time in the kitchen. It feels good to cook & eat fresh & I’m loving all the produce on display.

It’s easy to see now, how my struggle and subsequent abstinence of alcohol has helped me with this diet (Geez I hate that word, protocol, instead maybe?). The alcohol journey has taught me to be more receptive and respectful to my body when examining how things make me feel. No more dragging myself through horse shit- that ship has sailed.

So it helps to be honest with myself and that’s a big part of what I’ve learned.

So thank you, alcohol journey. You truly are the gift that keeps giving.

Death will be the Life of Me

Death is a trigger for me, and I’m not really sure why.

I only say this because of how impacted I’ve been, my entire life, by deaths of even people I don’t know.

I don’t know why death is such a huge thing for me. I had a safe childhood and didn’t lose anyone close to me until I was an adult.

The only significant event happened when I was about 5. My mom’s brother Bob died of cancer at age 21, back when I was a toddler. My mom had a picture of him in his casket. When we came across it, the subject of death came up. She told me that everyone dies at some point.

This was so upsetting to me, that it’s still a strong memory from my childhood.

I had a friend, Jonathon P, pass away at the end of our 8th grade year. He was more of an acquaintance to me, but we were in the same friend group. While his passing was a shock, it was due to a chronic illness, something I had no clue about beforehand. I remember being sad & confused, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The next death affected me for many years. A good friend of my sister’s lost her husband in a car accident. He was a teacher and going to meet with his principal on Martin Luther King Day, when the rest of the school was closed. His car hit black ice and slammed into a tow truck, dying instantly. He left behind a wife, young son and a six month old baby girl.

How could this happen? I looked up to this couple so much, they both had it all, and having just gotten married, I aspired to be like them.

At the time, my husband was driving almost an hour to and from work. We often talked on his drive home, and I always had a fear in the back of my mind- he could crash while we were talking. I can’t say this fear had a huge impact, but it was there.

I’m happy to report that this friend ended up finding another partner a few years later, had a third child and has a very happy life right now and has had for a long time because this happened about 20 years ago.

One thing I’m realizing, is that death has been an issue with a big impact even long before 2014- MY year of loss and deaths.

But why?

Why do certain deaths affect me so much more than others?

What makes one death so much more awful and heavy than the others?

Why do some news stories, like that poor teen who died on the ride in Orlando recently, make me cry like I saw it myself, or like I know the family?

And all the others, like Jack & Kathy, who I wrote about, and thought about for months.

I think this “death fear” inside me is prohibiting my body’s healing.

When I went to my 1st Reiki class in October, I declared that my body was going to heal itself! I proclaimed it to all, and talked to the teacher about purging trauma- even trauma from a past life. And in doing this exact thing, I became obsessed with the Kathy and Jack murder, right in the midst of doing wall sits on my lunch (wall sits help purge trauma, my teacher said..).

Since then, death keeps coming up and up.

I think that I really need to work on this… I need to change my perspective. Death isn’t final, I know that, but that’s not what bugs me.

People losing people bothers me. Yeah, death isn’t final, but if I ever lose a kid and you say that to me, you can expect to get punched in the face.

Death is final, and it’s sad. The books that I study say otherwise. It’s just an illusion, it’s not even real- they say.

Okay, I want to be more awakened, but seriously. If I lost an immediate family member, no amount of knowledge or beliefs is going to make me not miss them any less, or be less angry or sad over circumstances.

So how do I keep death out of my living life? I mean, all year long now I’ve been affected by the deaths of people I don’t even know.

So why does this matter? I’m trying to heal my inflammation and have the belief that illness is a manifestation of suppressed feelings and emotions. I’ve been on the autoimmune protocol diet for a few weeks, with little relief to my inflammation. Physical therapy, nor my weekly injection seem to bring much relief, if any.

All this death stuff came out after I declared my intention of helping my body heal itself. I have to believe that it’s somehow connected.

Writing this out has helped a bit. Now it’s time to ponder. Any words of advice is appreciated ❤️

Physical Pain, Mental Pain, is it all the Same?

It’s a sunny but chilly Saturday morning, here in the northern state of Michigan. There was a dusting of snow on the deck when I woke up, yuck. It’s April and we are all ready for the weather to break.

For my 45th birthday a few weeks ago, my family got me tickets to something called Bovine Therapy. They’re all coming too and we will have an hour to snuggle with cows! I’m really excited for this, but do wish it was going to be a little warmer today, the high is only 40.

My recent posts have been a lot about the AIP diet I’m on, or trying to be on. I figured I’d update and want to write about a big “A-Ha” moment I had yesterday.

The entire week was an AIP success, in my eyes at least. For the past several days, I’ve steered clear of gluten, caffeine, sugar, nuts, beans and legumes, rice, seeds, nightshades and a few other things. Caffeine and sugar are the big ones for me to give up- I have an addiction.

The first time I cheated was yesterday. It started with lunch. I had Panera and had peppers in my soup and parmesan cheese in my salad. Last night I had a Larabar (all natural ingredients but has cocoa and nuts), an oatmeal cream pie and 3 little Easter chocolate eggs.

My pain had been noticeably decreased the past few days, so I wondered if I would wake up today in more pain, but my hand is still about the same. I didn’t take pain meds upon awakening, that’s good for me. While I’m happy this “binge” didn’t seem to affect me, I’m eager to get back on track today. Additionally, I have been picking up ingredients here and there all week so I plan to make some yummy meals and sweet treats this weekend.

Nothing feels as good as eating an AIP compliant meal or dessert that I find absolutely delicious. I haven’t found a ton, yet, but feel like I’m adapting recipes to fit my liking and this is becoming easier the more I learn and practice. I was stoked to make a chicken and cauliflower rice dish with coconut aminos and ginger seasoning that tasted just like a yummy Asian dish. I had never cooked with spices like that before and was over the moon excited. I eyeballed the spices and when I made it again a few days later, I put WAY too much ginger. It was strong and not great, but you live and learn, right?

Ok, so back to my epiphany.

First, I feel that it’s important to say that for awhile now, I have a belief that the illnesses/sicknesses we have in our body is a direct result of suppressed emotions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my inflamed hand and scratched my head until it was raw because I can’t figure out what I’m holding onto.

As I cut out sugar this week, I felt like I was looking at it like I look at alcohol. No, I shouldn’t have it- it will come with loads of consequences that aren’t really worth the two second taste of it. So CAN I eat it? Yes! Is it worth the consequences? No. This helped me especially when I came across unexpected goodies at work or home.

So, yesterday morning my sister and I were talking on the phone and decided to draw a card from our spiritual deck to give me a message for the day.

The card was called, “Let Go” and talked about letting go of addictions. I told her, “Hey that’s perfect! This means I’m right on track, I AM letting go!” Then I told her about how my thinking had seemed to change and I was able to think about sugar like alcohol.

Then she said something that I have never considered that absolutely blew me away.

“Isn’t it funny, how the very first coping skill, the first addiction, food, is now the thing that you are almost being forced to overcome now?”

My jaw dropped. Food has always been an issue with me, always. I found life hacks to get around this imprisonment, most notably having irreversible bariatric surgery ten years ago.

Immediately after the surgery, I felt a freedom I had never felt before. I no longer had to think about dieting or what I was going to eat- I simply couldn’t eat the things that were killing me, and it was an awesome feeling!

What I didn’t acknowledge is that transfer addiction is real, and I already loved my alcohol a great deal. With the stomach surgery, the alcohol effect is much more severe and it’s common for us to become alcoholics. And I did.

You know the rest.

Geez, everything truly is connected I’m realizing more and more. I think that as I purge caffeine, sugar, etc, I’ll be able to work through any emotional stuff that comes up.

I don’t know why this was so mind blowing to me, typing it out makes it seem really obvious, but it wasn’t. Not to me, anyways.

I mean, I’m working on my diet 100% because of my inflammation and the hope of decreasing and getting off the medication I’m on for RA. I hadn’t considered the mental and emotional effects.

I’m still trying to digest this and figure out what it means. I guess I really need to pay attention to what triggers me to cheat and go from there.

This truly makes me more confident that complete healing is quite attainable if I keep at it.

Namaste ❤

Little Triggers

Several weeks ago, I was reading Gabby Bernstein’s new book, Happy Days. Early in the book, she talks a lot about triggers. I pondered the subject for a while and thought of my triggers. Family parties and family drama was a big one, or used to be. Now I know how to take care of my mental health and can handle these times with little to not stress or lingering emotions– usually. There were some other triggers I thought of as well, but they all seemed to be a thing of the past. Yep! I joyfully exclaimed to myself. I really don’t have any triggers.

Boy, was I wrong.

The following week, I was at a Happy Hour get together with friends. They were drinking but it wasn’t the alcohol that triggered me. A random topic came up that made me feel an incredible amount of shame. It had to do with a family situation, that was related to the topic, but I didn’t share it with my friends. I just sat there feeling shameful for something that wasn’t really even mine.

The next week I talked about it with my BFF from the group, one who is also reading Gabby’s book. I told her that I really don’t know why it made me feel so shameful. “Because it shows that you’re not perfect?” She asked. I thought about it and agreed, that must be it.

It still bothered me after the conversation and I tried so hard to understand my feelings. The conclusion I came to is that actually, People thinking that I’m perfect is my trigger. It’s always bothered me when people say things out of jealousy or envy, especially if I feel it’s not true. So in the Happy Hour situation, I felt like I was hiding something, even though it wouldn’t have even been appropriate to share my story at the time. It felt like a lie– but just would have been so weird and awkward had I said something.

So that consumed a few weeks. Now death is on my mind again.

There is a horrific story from Florida. A 14 year old fell off a ride and died.

This story affected my mind and emotions HUGELY since it happened. At first I thought it was because I have a child around the same age. When I saw a picture of the young man who passed, my emotions became even stronger. I realized later it was probably because my kiddo has a close friend who resembles him.

While off work this week, this story has been in the back of my mind, just like the murder of Kathy Radtke and Jack Keyes. I’m crying for him, and hope he felt no pain. Also crying for his parents, his father found out on social media and the friends who he was with– who will surely be scarred forever- along with the workers at the park.

This time I didn’t give it my energy. Anytime the sad thoughts consumed me, I blessed them and sent them away. I meditated on it and sent blessings to the family. Although part of me wanted to look up the details- I didn’t, and didn’t think I could handle it.

Yesterday a young woman lost her life in a car accident not far from my house. All from a driver not paying attention. The other occupants of her car were fine. But the woman, 28, perished in an instant. Here one second, gone the next.

So I started thinking about the young man again and actually looked at his mom’s and coach’s facebook pages. Some of it made me feel better, and some of it made me feel worse.

I realized that a quirk of mine is to look up Facebook pages of dead people or their relatives to see the awful posts. I don’t know why I do it, death has been a messy topic since my mom told me everyone dies when I was five. I then had a meltdown, and we never spoke about it again. It might explain why she always let me have pets, and always claimed that it helps us learn about death.

The feelings of sadness consumed me yesterday and I couldn’t get the young man and his family out of my head.

I couldn’t sleep and while my mind was running, I remembered the poor little boy who got eaten by an alligator at Disneyland back in 2016. I realized that people dying on vacation, especially children, is a trigger of mine. I simply can’t even imagine coming home without one of my family members- especially a child. But it happens. And life goes on.

Then I remembered something. Early in our marriage, back in 2002, hubby’s (healthy) grandma died of the flu while on a cruise.

This was the first relatable death in my life. This was the first time I saw someone who I had conversed with and had a relationship with in a casket. I remember that it was so hard for me to go in there the first time at her wake and being so upset. Honestly, I hadn’t been in the family very long at this point and wasn’t super close to her, but it was still so hard regardless. Incidentally, she’s buried at the same cemetery as Kathy Radtke.

So I guess these triggers are causing my empathic mind to go crazy. I’ve tried everything this week; meditation, chord plucking, releasing, grounding, etc. It’s still on my mind and I think it’s more hormones than anything at this point, so time should help.

The good part of it is that my sadness did NOT want to be alone yesterday, like it sometimes does. I used my sadness to spend extra time with my kiddos and thanked the deceased for the increased awareness of how precious our time here really is.

Tomorrow I go back to work. Sometimes students come back from a not-so-ideal break at home. I’m usually not one of them, but tomorrow I will be.

Not sure if I mentioned this recently, but the sewer/water project we have going on has been a total nightmare trying to get them to finish. The company is going under and they are getting aggressive with hubby trying to collect the last bit of money. We will pay them when it’s finished, but they supposedly put a lien on our house. They have been just an awful company to deal with (see pics – this is just one of the problems- so much incompetence).

I think we have it figured out now and have others who agreed to finish up the few things that need to be done. But, by the time it’s all done, the original company may sue us, but I’m pretty sure we’ll win (we’ve covered our butts and hubby has kept immaculate records on all conversations, etc). This project started in October and was supposed to take 2-3 weeks!

So all week home, I listened to hubby on the phone with various people and lawyers. All week workers were coming and going with various estimates. It was a tad stressful and I’ll be able to relate to some of the kids tomorrow. We’re part of the “school is an escape” club.

I have to stop now, my hand is bad today and it hurts to type this. AIP went okay, but I just practiced so I didn’t cut out things 100% yet. The good news is that my family likes my dinners MUCH better AIP style! (They’re used to me making quinoa, tofu, all those disgusting things, LOL).

I was going to start tomorrow but might put it off. I want to be well planned with meals and ingredients but not sure that’s going to happen today.

So until I try this, I have no right complaining about my hand. It’s time to put down the donuts!

Namaste ❤ and if anyone has any advice for me when I have overwhelming empathic thoughts- please spam me with them 🙂