Today is all about reflection
Tomorrow, I see my dietician for the first time since starting this diet (roughly three and a half weeks ago).
Naturally, I have gone through my food and symptom diary, and have been generally reflecting on how things have gone as I look ahead to this appointment with a mix of positive expectation and nervousness.
So far, I feel like I have made some really good progress, my symptoms have definitely improved overall and the ones that are left are very minor.
I have some trepidation about the challenging phase, and am worried about the dietician finding something wrong with my approach, but overall I am feeling thankful – all I need to do is compare how I feel now to how I felt at the beginning of this year, and I have no other choice but to feel that way!
This reflection and its outcome on my mood in this area caused me to pause for thought this morning, because with this challenge and others, I am not feeling as buoyant as I could be in some areas.
I am waiting on a decision that will impact my business and is completely out of my control (as a self-employed person, decisions that are out of your hands are major causes for stress); I am stressed about finding some new foods to eat as I am getting bored with my options on this diet and obviously am not super excited about having IBS; I am melancholy as paperwork for my divorce is being finalised as the 12 month mark of our split looms; and my new partner and I are moving through growth periods, working on him starting a new side-business, and dealing with the fact that he is a very talented snorer.
Each of these things has the potential to see me curled up in a ball in the corner, and one of them (combined with sleep deprivation) very nearly did this morning. However, as I usually do in these times of overwhelm, I threw myself into ‘admin’ work – things that require no creativity but just get me ‘started’ for the day. In this case, it was the activity I talked about above: preparing for my dietician appointment.
And I am so glad I did, because that realisation about reflecting and being thankful gave me the opportunity to apply that to everything else going on in my life, and turning it around.
I am thankful that I am self-employed, that I have the opportunity to work from home, to be creative and in charge of my own destiny, and that while that comes with risks and challenges, I am thankful for all that it brings to my life.
I am thankful that my ex-husband and I are literally the best of friends, and that both he and I are in happy new relationships that we support each other in. I am thankful that he continues to be a part of my life, as do his wonderful children who I love as my own and who are so amazing and loving and brilliant in their individual ways. I am thankful that I am a support for him, just as he is a support for me.
I am thankful that my new partner is such an understanding individual in relation to the above relationship with my ex-husband, that he is so supportive in relation to the trials and tribulations of the self-employed, and that he is my cheerleader in both that and here, with this blog. I am thankful that he, like me, aspires to being in charge of his own destiny, that he is driven and ambitious and keen to succeed, despite the sacrifices and hardship this may at times bring. His enthusiasm, support and sheer willingness to be a part of all that is me (including this crazy diet and the condition it is treating) is something that I am thankful for every day. As is the light of his life, who as children often do, helps remind me of what is really important at the end of the day, even when he may be succumbing to the beautiful agony of being three years old. And it must be said, I am thankful that on those mornings when I glare at him after having yelled at him for not waking to his alarm for the fifth time after having serenaded me with the song of his people all night long at a volume that nothing but moving to the couch can abate, that he doesn’t return my attitude or hold it against me (sorry babe), instead asking ‘you were grumpy?’ when I apologise later in the day for my mood (what a saint).
I am thankful for this diet, and for my IBS diagnosis. While I am challenged on what I can and cannot eat, where I can eat, how much I can eat, and where I can shop, the differences to my health both physically and mentally just by knowing (a) what is wrong and (b) how to help it, is drastically obvious. I am thankful also for the community and support networks which have opened up to me since the diagnosis, which allow me to feel that I am not alone.
Finally, I am thankful for these two little guys (pictured here as I work on the couch which became my bed in the early hours of this morning) who are always by my side, who greet me every morning, who cuddle with me when I am sad, who miss me when I am gone, who keep me company when I am writing – happy or sad, these two fur-babies of mine have got my back.
What are you thankful for today?