Things with me are, well, different. In a good way. In fact, so far this month has felt almost like a vacation. Let me explain.
As we are all aware, the past several years have been really rough on me. I look back and all I see is a giant black hole. Or maybe it's more like one of those hypnotizing spiral thingies that aren't really moving but look like they are. Don't get me wrong, I've had some great experiences mixed in with the darkness, but either way...its been really hard. Like take my soul to the edge of my existence hard. After dealing with panic attacks and anxiety on the regular for several years, I finally got desperate enough to try medication. That was back in July. Happy Birthday to me. Since then, an amazing series of events has occurred that has, in a way, set me free. No doubt the Lord is looking out for me. I landed a new job that SIGNIFICANTLY lowered my stress, allows me to have a normal life schedule, a social life, etc. And after realizing that my medication was no longer serving me and probably making my symptoms worse, I decided I was finally in a good position to come off of it. I tapered off over the course of about a month, and then made the leap to being medication free. The first night was rough. My insomnia returned, along with the night tremors and sleep starts I began experiencing back in Utah. So I would take things like benedryl or tylenol pm to help me go to sleep. You know what I use now? NOTHING. It's pretty fantastic.
For years I have been studying nutrition and how it works in our bodies to promote healing and optimal health. Last year I studied quite a bit about raw foods and the power eating our vegetables uncooked can give us. I felt inspired to move towards this type of lifestyle, but was so caught up in the stress of not sleeping and my job at the time to do anything about it. I just wasn't ready. While I've been studying nutrition and believe wholeheartedly that food can be used as medicine...that our bodies are made to heal themselves if given the proper fuel and other tools like exercise and sleep...I haven't been practicing it. I allowed myself to dwell in the darkness that is "victim", allowing my circumstances to control me. I allowed horrible foods to enter my mouth, even though I knew that my body is sensitive to certain things. All this unhealthiness not only affected my physical and mental self, it greatly affected, or infected rather, my spiritual self and my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior. Because I know our souls are the combination of our body and spirit, I realized that what was really wrong with me was that I suffered from an infection of the soul. Body, mind and spirit.
I normally don't do resolutions at the new year. This year, however, I declared a year of healing. And not my usual declaration that sounded great and inspired but then prompted no action. But a real declaration. That to get healthy, I had to "be" healthy. Thus, I started using food as medicine. I know my body well through trial and error, so I knew that what I needed was 5 to 6 meals a day consisting of lean protein and plenty of veggies. I try to eat them raw (the veggies, not the protein...don't worry) as much as possible. The only fruit I really eat is apples and blueberries (usually I freeze them and eat them as a treat if I crave anything sweet). Right now, my body is rejecting most grains and starches...even starchy vegetables. So if I have them at all its maybe two or three times a week.
I've been doing this for 3 weeks now and so far my moods have stabilized, my anxiety has become almost non-existent, and my panic attacks are far and few between. While sleep isn't quite where I'd like it to be yet, I can generally fall asleep on my own and am waking up fewer times throughout the night. I also started exercising to see how my body would respond...and it did well! So I've been gradually increasing my intensity, being careful not to over-do it but still pushing and testing my limits.
All of this to say, I've started to feel like Jill again. And it's wonderful...amazing even. I choose to dwell in that.