I’m getting personal for a moment. You don’t have to read this, of course.
But dang, I need to get this out.
So the last couple of months have been fun.
I couldn’t remember my address.
I couldn’t sleep.
Pain like I haven’t had since 2015 took my experience of life from me.
I couldn’t write.
I couldn’t read.
There was a moment when I thought, So I’ll never be normal again. Okay. Got it. Right.
You know what I could still do? Cry.
Yup. My kind of party.
Doing get me wrong: I am absolutely aware that I’m complaining while many undeserving folks have it far worse.
It’s “just” fibro and brain-fog, right? No big deal!
– says anyone who hasn’t had to face the loss of identity and worth multiple times in their life.
Listen: when creatives suffer this way, it is terrifying. Who am I if I can’t do words? If I can’t hold a job because I can’t think or remember or process new information? If I’m in such pain that I feel (untrue but feelings are strong) like a failure of a friend, a sister, a wife, an adoptive mom?
If I can’t even take care of myself, much less anyone else?
You want to know the worst part? Do you? Do you?
At least in part, I did this to myself.
I’ve struggled with fibro and brain fog for years. For a time, it rendered me unable, while I tried various medicines and visited multiple doctors, most of whom didn’t even believe I had a problem.
What finally helped was this: my Sugar Detox.
(I make it sound so simple, don’t I? Like it wasn’t withdrawal and a horrific life-change, like it didn’t cost money and time and emotional labor, like it wasn’t such a transformation of the way I thought about food itself that I at first genuinely wondered if this purported cure would be worse than the cause.)
It worked. It really, genuinely worked. After a couple of months, I was able to function, which was essential given that my aunt desperately needed my care.
She passed May 25, 2020. The recovery period has been… slow. And somewhere along the way, not consciously, not carefully, I slid back into bad eating habits.
Stress-eating is a thing, yo. And food is a comfort to me. Always has been. Well – combine that with having Covid-19 in January 2020 (which, if you didn’t know, sends inflammatory issues into overdrive), and I put myself neatly on a Path To Doom.
I know part of it is out of my control. I’m certain at this point that I won’t be pain-free, ever; it’s been too many years, and while relief does come, it only brings the pain level down to a 3 out of 10.
Thing is, I’ll take 3 out of 10. I can think at 3 out of 10. I can write. I can read. I can remember things like my street number.
So last week, I took stock, and realized I’d been screwing myself over, and I pulled back from the naughty foods.
Mind you – I haven’t gone cold turkey. I can’t process a full withdrawal right now; but dropping daily coffee, only eating sugar one day or so a week, avoiding white flour except for that one day… well, it’s already having an effect.
How do I know? I’m talking to you right now.
Words. I can find them. Not all of them (I called a Guinea pig a “squeaky experiment furry pig” an hour ago). But they’re coming back.
I can read and retain it.
I can hear my characters’ voices again.
So… after all that, here’s the conclusion:
The Big Sum-Up:
- Covid has made my inflammatory issues worse, possibly forever.
- Slipping into bad eating habits out of stress and sorrow did not help.
- I like food, etc. I like not being in mind-altering pain better.
- Back to the sugar detox. It’s that, or my life is effectively over.
We’ll find out long-term how well it works if you see new writing stuff soon, which I plan to do. Hope to do. Pray to do.
Darn this body.
Personal update done.