Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post called “Why I feel better” that detailed my supplement regimen and other healing protocols that I thought were helping with my physical and emotional/mental health.
I’ve been feeling of late like doing another documenting, given that I feel like I’m made some significant improvements in the past few months after having my Lyme reactivated during a respiratory illness last year and feeling exhausted through December 2016 and into January of this year and feeling pretty depressed through spring and midsummer.
For the past few months, things have felt less hard.
Days with several commitments didn’t feel impossible the way they did previously, really since I had my second child in 2010.
One night of disrupted sleep didn’t throw off the entire week. I didn’t feel like I was walking through life hungover despite not having had a drop of alcohol.
I didn’t fantasize about when I would get to go to sleep, or, on the other hand, feel so revved up sleep seemed elusive.
Even if I felt unsure of things, I didn’t feel burdened by the unknowing. It wasn’t painful or overwhelming. It was just where I was.
I wanted to document this, what it is like not to feel like everything is hard and only going to get harder.
I almost did this yesterday, while it was all still true, and I wish I did before something turned, for reasons I still don’t know.
I didn’t do it then, but I want to capture what that was like and why I think I felt it while the feeling of being okay with the world is still freshly familiar, if not active at this exact moment.
More about falling off the happy wagon further below!
Supplements & oils
It’s been two years since I started addressing methylation issues and imbalances that showed up in labwork, per my November 2015 post. But with feelings of profound sadness and hopelessness in the wake of my illness and prolonged fatigue – and the anxiety that came from the lack of control and worry about the future – I knew I needed to step it up.
So I added in some new supplements, one at a time. Some recommendations came from my doctor, some from friends, some from my research and some from my child’s doctor for my child!
What I added for mood & anxiety:
This is on top of GABA, a supplement called Sero-Mood, B vitamins that are right for my methylation profile and Omega 3s, plus a bunch of other supplements.
I’ve continued to experiment with essential oils, some of which I think really help with shifting mood. I did a talk about oils for mood this past fall, and prepping for that helped, too!
Movement, energy work, connection & learning
After having been out of the yoga habit for a while, I started doing a daily practice in late August that I have not skipped once. I do my sequence after jiggling/meridian tapping and before doing anything else – before drinking water or turning on the wifi or anything else.
Movement & connection
In the first few weeks of September after my kids went back to school, I had three walk dates with four different friends. It was so good to move and to connect. The conversations were productive and enlightening, and so needed.
I’ve had just one such walk/talk in recent weeks, and I don’t walk on my own as often as I would like, but I do some most days. I’ve used our home elliptical a handful of times and hope I will more for days that feel too chilly/windy for a pleasurable walk.
Therapy & energy work
In the summer, I tried polarity therapy with a practitioner I’d previously met and enjoyed work from at an event. I felt very heard and understood by her, and the session felt good, but the location was too far and my summer childcare time too expensive to justify the trip.
At an event in June, where I got ear acupuncture done, I won a biofield tuning session from a practitioner nearby. It took me until September to redeem it! I thought it was going to be just a sound healing, which, while powerful, would be somewhat passive, receiving vibrations from bowls. But instead it was very specific to me. The practitioner used tuning forks on parts of my body that she identified as needing attention.
I sobbed and throbbed. I felt clearer and, that night, stood my ground in an important conversation in a way I don’t think I would have days earlier.
I also sought out energy work for my child, who was having digestive issues in addition to physical issues, including allergies. The practitioner determined she needed to work on me in order to work on my child because our energies were so enmeshed. I felt profoundly calm after our late August session. My child’s acute issues cleared up some after that session and almost completely after a second session a few weeks later.
I have another biofeedback appointment on the books and plan to schedule with the energy worker again some time after that.
After my previous talk therapist retired many years ago, a transition that was difficult and sad for me, I’d had a few EFT sessions and then saw a therapist – recommended by a friend – on and off for a year, starting in fall 2015. But the distance was far and I was too stuck to try the healing protocol we were going to do together, so I used the distance and our compromised financial situation to justify stopping.
My child’s therapist gave me a free month of individual weekly sessions in April and made a strong recommendation for me finding a therapist of my own. She gave a recommendation that offered a reduced rate so I saw that therapist a few times in summer and then almost weekly since school started. We haven’t even broached some of the old stuff I really want to work on because I have been so busy just processing everything that is happening right now, at home, with respect to the schools my kids are in, and in my personal existential crisis.
Learning & inspiration
I had some great opportunities to hear speakers talk about healing protocols this year. I was inspired in the … series led by Elaine Gibson in winter, spring and summer. This fall, I got to attend Take Back Your Health Conference, the Achieving Optimal Health Conference and Namas Day Yoga Celebration. All three provided terrific information on top of inspiration and the literal movement of energy to help with the unsticking process. I also enjoyed participating in several workshops and and teaching the essential oils class Mood Up, Stress Down.
Come January, I will have been following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol fairly faithfully for two years. There has certainly been improvement, and inflammation markers have died way down but have not disappeared. Since the energy work, I’ve felt more confident trying occasional eggs and rice (cooked in broth after being sauteed in a little ghee, which I hadn’t been able to tolerate. I’ve also been slightly more liberal with nuts, which I ate occasionally.
There haven’t been big GI flares, so that’s good! But I’m not convinced that I haven’t felt tired and/or grumpy after eating eggs, and there remain some markers of inflammation that might have worsened a bit since adding these foods back in.
Total moving target. On the plus side, I’ve developed some boundaries and dropped some expectations. But that doesn’t mean I feel confident about the road ahead.
One good development is that I set the intention to work daily on my novel during November, traditionally National Novel Writing Month. So far I have made it every day, doing some writing or, in two cases, doing plot planning and re-reading. And, in the process of writing this uncharacteristically personal post on Mindful Healthy Life about November goals, I realized that I had attempted daily writing of one kind or another here on Crunchy-Chewy Mama three different years 2012, 2013, and 2015.
It’s hard to pinpoint what makes things turn.
It could be something in the atmosphere, something I ate, something that happened.
Or a hormonal shift on top of learning about something disturbing or feeling helpless in the face of a particular incident or disappointment.
Or a few night wakings a few days in a row that just make everything else feel harder. Harder to see other people’s happy lives, to hear their optimistic words, tolerate their assumption that things are going great.
It’s the hard that I had been missing.
Things have been confusing and challenging and unclear, but it wasn’t until last night that they felt hard.
Blame the PTA meeting presentation about the threats our children face from internet exploitation and the utter powerless I feel in the face of, really, the 21st century as a whole.
Blame the frustration of hearing my child had a hard time while I was at said PTA meeting, complaining about how unfair life is on top of having lost the school-issued iPad despite the fact that I didn’t flip out about the iPad, brought a missing gym uniform to school so there wouldn’t be lunch detention and took the time to get said child to a therapy appointment, having brought peppermint tea, no less!
Blame my learning that no, I couldn’t get a cut of my own purchase from an online conference I’d been promoting and the embarrassment of realizing I was asking and sharing my frustration with the event organizer who, like me, is also just trying to make it work, to share his passion with the world and not lose his shirt.
Blame knowing I had a busy day today and the feeling of being conflicted about my commitments to causes vs. to my family.
Blame food, or moving into the second half of my cycle, or maybe the moon. Or that I’m already onto the fact that Mercury will be in retrograde December 3.
Blame a virus that maybe I have brewing, the cause behind slight sniffles.
I don’t know.
Blame is not super productive anyway.
So what did I do in the face of this sadness?
I turned to my oils.
I called a friend who only had 5 minutes but provided valuable insight that helped me stop stewing in my own juices.
I bought and ate my favorite chocolate.
I ate protein on top of lots of vegetables.
I took extra magnesium pills.
I took the sublingual B12 supplement I often forget in the morning.
I used my GABA spray on top of taking a pill.
I wrote this post.
And I’m going to hit Publish even though it’s missing links and images. But if I don’t do it now, it will languish like so much other writing and never be there when I need a benchmark in the future.
This blog, this site that no one reads, accomplishes the goal of providing me with an outlet and a snapshot of time in this complex and swirling journey.
I may resent other work I do that doesn’t make the impact I want, but at least I’m able to accept that this blog fulfills its purpose of serving me.
Score one point for acceptance.