Thursday, 12 September 2019

If I Can *Just* Figure It Out

One of the things I find myself doing (and probably struggling with?) is trying to figure it out.  You know, what's... causing *this*.

It's like... if every time you cut the grass you sneeze, you sort of figure out that you're allergic to grass cuttings... or if every time you drink tequila you lose your keys and kiss a random handsome stranger in a parking lot (I'm looking at YOU 18 year old me!) you figure out that you and tequila shouldn't hang out anymore (except for that one time at Burning Man but all you did then was snap at Connor and then felt bad so yeah, no more tequila!).

I've been trying to figure out for years what causes my stomach to hurt and I think, with the help of doctors and specialists and dieticians and the like I have a pretty good idea. 

So it's like I've been trying to do that with my mental/emotional health.  Been trying to figure out what causes a panic attack or anxiety to spike.

Sometimes it's clear and obvious, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about trying to figure out if there are environmental factors that are possibly contributing.  Like sugar... caffeine... or what about a mercury in retrograde or waking up with a stress dream or the less obvious things I may not be aware of?  (I'm not entirely joking about the retrograde thing, sometimes I do wonder if there are things beyond what science knows that maybe affect us in ways we're not always clear on.  Anyyywaaaay...)

There are the few things I mentioned that I try to do every day:  I have some minimal exercise, I have some mindfulness/meditation and I try to track my sleep and my mood to see if there are patterns or correlations.  One of the things I am trying to go after is what I eat (drink/consume/whatever)

If you've been around here more than a while you know that I've had stomach and digestive and so food issues for a long while.  I figure it's gotta be a decade by now, but I don't have the easiest relationship with food to begin with.

And because of this not so great relationship with food, I don't have many skills when it comes to preparing or making food and on TOP of that, when I'm struggling with just day to day, sometimes food becomes the one place I feel like I can give myself a little happy.  Or that because it's already so complicated and I'm struggling in every other way, sometimes food is just the last thing I want to try to challenge or change or adjust.

But as things have started improving (oh dear lord knock on wood) and I'm finding a bit more ease (double knock on wood) I'm starting to look again at what I eat and how it might be helping or hindering my mood.  (Not just how my body feels but how it might be triggering anxiety in some way).

I know there are things that may not impact anxiety or depression but are still just not all that good for me (hi junk food, how are you?) but I also know that there are things that ARE good for me that I don't always have (hi vegetables, how are you!?) but yeah, part of me would love to figure out if there are foods that trigger not so good feelings but also I have to be reasonable and realistic in what I'm able (and willing?) to do.  (Right now I'm working on reducing sugar.  It's maybe a suspect, but it's for sure not the healthiest thing no matter what!)

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