Finding happy

22 May

Had a session with T last week. Of course we talked about my mom and her cancer situation, as well as the situation with my dad and brother. And gently, but firmly, T reminded me that I am not my mother’s sentry. I want to protect her, but really she knows how to protect herself. I have to take a step back and offer her my support without trying to take over. I had already started doing that before my session with T, but she did reinforce that for me.

So among some other conversation, T and I talked about my relationship with food. I told her how I feel traumatized every time I take the digestive enzymes my nutritionist recommended for my heartburn and stomach issues. The enzymes seem to work (this past week not so much, but prior they were working REALLY well), but they remind me so much of all the “herbal” pills I had tried to buy and take growing up to lose weight. There’s a smell to them, and the look of them is not much better. And I can’t help but smell them every time I open the bottle. She suggested I put a cinnamon stick in the bottle and/or to inhale before I open the bottle so I can’t smell them. We talked about being mindful with my food, but truthfully–as I told her–I either think about it too much, or I think about thinking about it. Which sounds weird. So I’m not sure what direction to go, because I don’t want to obsess over food, but I don’t want to eat unmindfully. One of the problems I have is that I have to think about food constantly because of my gluten/wheat issues. I can’t go out anywhere without spending time thinking about where we’re going and will there be food for me and will I get sick afterward and will it be worth it. I can’t go to other people’s houses without thinking about it, or even randomly pick up a chocolate bar in the store. I can’t even randomly pick something out of my pantry or refrigerator without thinking about the ingredients because Hub is not gluten/wheat free. So I have to think about what I eat all the time.

T asked me to think back to a time when I felt like I wasn’t worrying about my weight or my body image. And there was a time, shortly after we moved into our house from the townhouse we first lived in together. I was deep into my writing and felt that I was a part of a larger group…and that I was touching people’s lives. So she asked me how I could get back there, but I told her I wasn’t likely to ever be in “that place” again, because it was years before I realized I had food sensitivities. Back then we didn’t think about or worry about gluten/wheat. I ate what I wanted to, when I wanted to, and in the amount I wanted to. Now I can’t do that with pretty much anything. I eat too much cheese, I get sick. I eat split pea soup, I get a stomach ache. I eat GF pretzels, it makes my stomach hurt. My favorite cheddar cheese potato chips? They leave sores on the inside of my mouth. Pineapple? Burns my lips. Fritos (which I love but actually can’t eat at all anymore) makes my lips burn, too. Spinach upsets my stomach. Chocolate upsets my heartburn. Tomato sauce upsets my heartburn. Popcorn gets stuck in my teeth and gives me toothaches (stupid delicious movie theater popcorn that I haven’t had in about ten years.) I avoid sugar substitutes, so a lot of foods are off limits because I can’t take the sugar substitutes in them. I literally never pick anything up at the grocery store without reading the ingredients and searching for items on my no-no list. I’ll never be able to just eat what I want to eat. I’ll never not have to think about it. And it sucks, because it makes food an obsession of sorts for me, which is one of the last things I need.

And I miss writing. I know that I’m writing here, and I hope that I’m touching people’s lives…but I miss the writing that I loved so much. I miss being buried in those words, in my characters, in the worlds that I created. But I can’t seem to find my way back there. I can’t seem to be in that place anymore. And that hurts me, too, because that was a happy, comforting place to be. It made me feel like I was doing something good, offering something to people, and I felt fulfilled. I want that again, too.


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4 responses to “Finding happy

  1. April

    May 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

    You’re touching my life through your writing.

    • meANXIETYme

      May 22, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Oh, thank you. Your comment really makes my heart happy.

  2. raisingdaisy

    June 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    We totally understand your situation. My daughter and I follow very strict diets: mine is an anti-inflammatory diet, which is very limiting, and my daughter’s is a gluten-free/wheat-free/dairy-free and many-other-things-free diet that is extremely limiting. It took some time for us to get a handle on how to shop and how to look at these limitations in a positive way rather than resenting our severe limitations. My daughter’s answers to her many symptoms came through the ALCAT blood test – have you had that done? She discovered many food intolerances that ALCAT ranked in four categories: severe, moderate, mild, and nonexistent (safe foods). It changed her life. Now she knows exactly what to shop for, what ingredients to avoid, and there’s no more obsessing or guessing about what might cause her harm. She was also diagnosed with “leaky gut”, which was healed through diet, probiotics, aloe juice and one other supplement I can’t recall right now. We’ve created recipes that avoid the no-nos in her diet but satisfy our desire for good flavors. We’ve also found that many restaurants are sensitive to allergies now and are straight-forward about cross-contamination in their kitchen; many will alter recipes to suit special diets as well. We don’t go to any that don’t do this. Our friends understand our food issues and sometimes we find it easier to just bring something we can eat when visiting. And coincidentally, we’re both writers (and editors) as well! You’re not alone – not by a long shot. Please feel free to drop a comment on my blog if you want to talk about this more. Meanwhile, we wish you all the best!

    • meANXIETYme

      June 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      I have not had an ALCAT test done, but I’ll look into it. I have the leaky gut syndrome, too, and am working with a nutritionist to heal it.
      May restaurants try to be sensitive to allergies, but cross contamination is so easy there, especially with wheat/gluten. Also, I’ve found that a lot of restaurants that offer a gluten free menu, the food is really just items without any seasoning or sauces. I’m not willing to go pay for that kind of food in a restaurant when I can make much better at home and have NO worries about cross contamination (or an error in the kitchen).
      Thanks for your comment. I’m always appreciative to hear from someone who understands, and clearly you understand for both your diets! I look forward to reading more on your site, and I love your pup! She’s ADORABLE! 🙂


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