If Only…

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 7.40.10 PM

I just saw this graphic on Twitter, and it caught my attention. I actually have food allergies or sensitivities to many foods, especially corn, can’t eat it at all. I am also allergic to casein (a milk protein, so all dairy that has protein in it but not dairy fat 🙂 ) bananas, avocados, pork, cumin, and a few more things. So I’ve actually been on elimination diets for years, to find out definitively what I am allergic to. First you eliminate the foods that the allergy tests show you as being allergic to them. You eliminate these foods for a few months, then you add back one food at a time to see if your symptoms come back. My symptoms are not gastrointestinal, my symptoms are joint pain, so sometimes it’s difficult to say whether I am reacting to a food. Anyway, I have tried to tease out the foods that I can eat and the ones I can’t.

Also it’s very interesting to note that people with mental illness often have inflammation and immune illnesses as well. There is definitely a connection, although it is not known for certain what it is. The gut has it’s own immune system (GALT) and it own “brain” also known as the enteric nervous system, and there is extensive signaling between the gut and the nervous system. Anxiety and depression affect conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and vice versa. Also the neurons in the gut make a lot of the body’s serotonin and this is influenced by our microbiota in the gut.

All is interconnected!

About the graphic above, I really like it, if only it was easy to undertake and be successful at eliminating anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame and worry! Life would be quite divine. I don’t know why these negative emotions are so difficult to banish, whereas the positive ones just fly away so easily.

One more I’d definitely add to this list is fear. In fact, might all of the emotions not be some derivation of fear? Fear is a survival tool, but feeling it at times when it is not warranted for our survival is so counterproductive and also leads to anxiety, a downwards spiral from which it may be difficult to recover.

Practicing fearlessness, when in the midst of anxiety and fear, it is very difficult, but in instances when I have done it, I have mostly been rewarded by a sense of accomplishment and bravery.

Anyway, I will try to go on this particular elimination diet as much as I can.


Fear is everywhere, it is anger, it is anxiety, it is hopelessness and so much more. How do we help ourselves overcome it?

Fear is everywhere, it is anger, anxiety, hopelessness. It is a primal emotion which has helped us survive, evolutionarily. But now our fear response can be triggered because of non urgent events. And we can react by getting angry, getting anxious, having all the negative emotions. It activates our fight or flight or freeze response. We can become habituated to feel fear, anger, anxious, hopeless, etc, etc. And we try to get away from these emotions, we run away from them.But that doesn’t work. What do we do about it? We accept it, we sit with it in meditation. Every time we feel fear and anger means we have hit a boundary in our life. Meaning fear is at the outer limit of what is acceptable to us. We have reached our limits. And we experience fear. We can sit with it, we can push against it and this is growth. When we reach out outer edges, we can either be fearful, or we can accept the fear and push back, and that is where growth happens for us. So as frightening as fear, anger, anxiety are, they are the catalysts for our own growth!

Keep listening, she’s really good!

Been tackling abuse/abandonment issues. Thank goodness, bipolar is under control!

 My bipolar disorder (BPD) is under control, has been for roughly a year now! For that I must thank a good friend, who refused to see me any other way than at my best. I took this friend’s advice and increased my lithium to 900 mg per day. And voila! Bipolar wise I am stable. It’s a good thing too, because dealing with this abuse/abandonment “thing” would have been a million times more difficult if the BPD wasn’t lying low. 

What I am learning about abuse/abandonment is that it is one (two?) of the most painful things one can go through. The feelings stored inside me of pain, despair, terror, shame, and fear, massive amounts of anxiety, anger from when I was a little girl being subjected to all this, what is it, insanity, criminal behavior, sociopathy? Well, just pick one. Anyway, those frightening and deeply painful and anxious feelings, forgotten feelings, I now have to bring to the fore and feel them, and process them as an adult and then supposedly, they go away. I am feeling them alright, last night I was reading something about abuse/abandonment survivors and addiction to a variety of things. Something about what I was reading made me feel like I was going to die. At first I tried to run away from it, but then I told myself that this is exactly what I have to feel and process to get better. So I tearfully thanked those feelings. 

So here’s the thing, you are horribly abused, over and over, as a child, you have horrible emotional scars but you hide those feelings away, they are too painful to feel. And you have to survive the next beating, you can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. So now, as an adult, you have a repository of all these awful feelings and unmet needs, and they pop up when they are most unwelcome. And you over react, you feel like death, you basically turn into that little battered, unprotected, unloved child you were when you least want to. So now, as an adult, in order to stop reacting like an abused/abandoned child, you have to bring those terrifying feelings to your consciousness, feel them, process them and let them go. This is how you get over the pain and violence that happened to you, the pain and violence that happened to me when I was 4-14 years of age.  One more thing, you cannot just bring up these feelings at will. They are deeply hidden, and anyway, who would willingly want to feel like death? These feelings come up in response to situations where something reminds your subconscious of how things were in your childhood. Or some other stimulus, like reading something, etc.  Writing about each incident you remember over and over so that you go from a child’s perspective to finally an adults view of what happened also helps. There is another exercise that I call “Little, Big, and You as the Mediator” I will post about that next time. 

Healing, love, and laughter. May our lives be full of those! Hugs, my friends. 

Time to grow up and take responsibility for myself!

Ok, here I am. Bipolar disorder, past trauma, fear, panic and all. But I am not going to stop living, I am especially not going to live in fear! I am going to go on, make myself better, heal myself, make myself whole. And I am going to live my life as well as I can. The self pity and the drowning in fear is done, I’ve wallowed in it for the last 5 days. It stops now. I go on now to healing, to being brave, I have ALWAYS been braver than brave and I will continue to be so. Even though fear has been my constant companion too, since I was 2 years old; I have lived, married, given birth to a phenomenal son to whom I am a good mother. I will continue to be a good friend to all my friends, and I will not be afraid of demons from my past. I will live my life bravely and to the fullest extent. Nothing will beat me. I will not cower under my bed covers. I will walk out into the sunshine, or the snowstorm, as it may be, and I will live my life.

I have made mistakes, by being afraid and panic stricken, and I know I have wronged some friends. I beg their forgiveness. And I assure everyone that I will never live in fear again. The fear that makes me panicked and act erratically, I will not let it do so anymore.

This is a promise to myself and to all my friends and family. A time comes when you have to stop making excuses for your actions, emotions, even beliefs. A time comes when you have to take responsibility for your own actions and live life thoughtfully and responsibly. Well, happily, that time has come for me now. It is time to grow up, leave the past behind and take responsibility for my own life and make my life with my very own hands. Period.


My last post, definitely PTSD


Ok, my last post, definitely PTSD. I react just as wildly as my son does to his problems. I react with the unbridled fear of losing him. There I said it, that is truly what I am terrified of, losing my beautiful, super intelligent, loving, compassionate son. I am terrified of the unknown. And the PTSD comes from the past, from the known, from losing my brother to bipolar 1. From the biggest tragedy in mine and my family’s life. Is it going to happen again? Unknown. And the unknown, mixed with a terrible, fearsome known, the past, is not easy to live with.

But although my son has an initially extreme reaction, he calms down and takes care of the troubling issue perfectly. And he has NOT been diagnosed with any illness 🙂 But that’s the thing with PTSD, it is not based on the present, it is based on the past and the fearful phantoms that memories and past thoughts conjure up. How do you get over this? Talking to my ecounselor about this pronto, no prontissimo! Life is really short, half or more of mine is over. I want to live it in peace and enjoying all the positive, fun things it has to offer, not in the black dungeon of fear.


My mood may also be kicking up. From the season, the increase in Synthroid, not enough Lithium, don’t know, but knowing that my mood IS getting too elevated is half the battle already won and I’ll take care of it. Do i have this? Yes, I think I really do. Breathe…