Monthly Archives: November 2012

This too shall pass…

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When I got sober I also got healthy (or that was the plan).  I began eating a plant based diet.  No meat, dairy, or processed foods for me.  This made a huge difference in how I felt.  Everything has been so much clearer and I feel more energized and vibrant.  But there have been three different issues that continue to plague me even after changing the diet.  Constipation, chronic sinus issues, and weak adrenal glands.

Now this has been incredibly perplexing.  How could my adrenals be shot when I don’t feel stressed, I meditate, do yoga, exercise, and I know how to say no.  And who lives on beans, rice and kale and stays constipated?  It’s ridiculous.  And the sinus issue, well it just seems like there’s no reason I shouldn’t have perfect health!  And I wasn’t giving up until I reached it.

I’ve been to many different practitioners trying to find the root of each problem.  I’ve been resistant to going the Western medicine route because I know they will only treat the symptom and not address the root cause.

I may have finally found the answer.  And it ain’t pretty.  I went to an Iridologist who gets your medical history by looking at your iris at a highly magnified rate.  This iridologist was able to show me on the magnified eyeball exactly what was going on.  It was a systemic problem that connected all three conditions.

I have a significant candida yeast overgrowth, that also started growing fungus, and then parasites set up camp.  EWWW.  All of this was affecting my entire system.  When she said it looked pretty intense and asked if I had consumed a lot of sugar in my life, I was about to say no, when I realized that twenty years of abusing alcohol might explain the sit.u.a.tion.  Yes, she affirmed that was a lot of yeast to be building a nice little base camp in my gut.

While I was excited to finally get to the root of the problems, it was also a downer to think it was most likely alcohol related.  I had done this to myself.  And it was timely that while I’m working on my fourth step and realizing how much resentment I have toward myself for many things, here was one more thing to work on forgiveness and acceptance about.  I had a toxic cess pool of shame living in my gut.  I was ready to get rid of it and the negative emotions associated with it.

Well apparently it’s not that easy.  It’s a process of taking lots of herbs to kill candida, parasites, and fungus.  And in the process you cannot feed the monster any type of sugar or starch.  No fruit, potatoes, squash, beans, breads, corn, nothing with fungus such as most types of nuts, mushrooms, soy products…so it comes down to only raw salads with mainly green veggies or steamed veggies.  No coffee, caffeine, or even sparkling water.  It’s a pretty stringent diet.  Not even a piece of gum even if it’s sugar free, the aspartame will feed the monster and activate growth.

I’m committed to completing this process and it’s a 60-day one.  I’ve started it the week before Thanksgiving.  I find the timing pretty humorous.  I really am committed because I believe when I get to the other side I will find myself in a different mental and physical state.

I’ve also had to face the fact of how much mindless eating I do and even though I usually only have 1-2 at a time, I really am addicted to dark chocolate kisses.  And I do (did) have them after every meal.  Breakfast being my fave…2 dark kisses with a cup of strong coffee…um, decadent.  Ok, can’t go there.  I want to be done with all my addictive behaviors.  Not that I think eating 2 kisses makes one an addict…but when I do it 3 times a day and feel devastated when I can’t do it now…yeah that might be a bit of a problem.

One more negative aspect of the killing of the candida project is that once you start killing all these things that have been living inside…the die off can produce pretty intense detox symptoms.  One of the most alarming is that all the sugar and yeast can produce ethanol and make you feel drunk as it’s leaving your system.  I’m guessing drunk not in a good way either.   I had someone offer to be my designated driver if the die off got too bad (haha, good one).  So far the symptoms have been flu like with headache and achy muscles and joints.  I’m trying to just view it as evidence the process is working.

This too shall pass.

4th Step

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As I’m entering my fourth year of recovery, I’m also finally working my 4th step.  I’ve been slow going through the steps because I have a stubborn ego.  In the beginning I thought I knew best and didn’t fully follow the AA protocol, but as time goes on and I pick up the big book here and there I keep seeing more and more of the brilliance in it.

And so that is how I came to be doing a fourth step this far into recovery.  As I’m doing this searching and fearless moral inventory, I am bringing awareness to my arrogance.  I’ve always had very strong opinions about most things and insisted on doing things my way.  And that’s pretty much how I’ve done recovery…my way.

I first tried it without AA which didn’t work, then went the AA route, but always believing I was just a bit different than the average AAer.  Always thinking I had a superior way of doing recovery.  I’m finding this isn’t such an unusual trait in alcoholics, most of us don’t like to follow rules.  As I was talking about this with a fellow AAer she stated she couldn’t even follow a recipe.  I laughed out loud because no matter how hard I try, I always end up venturing into my own version of a dish.   I’m definitely recognizing a pattern of being rebellious, know it all, and not liking to follow rules or protocol.

In sobriety I have chilled that rebellious streak and I feel much calmer and less antagonistic.  I am now starting to mellow – is this age or sobriety?  I assume it’s a melding of both.  I’m doing this 4th step work at election time.   I recognize my resentment of government.  I have not voted in twenty years.  (Horrible! I know!!)  I’m lowering my head in shame and not going to try to justify why I haven’t.  I am recognizing how I’ve shirked responsibility in a lot of areas in my life and not honoring my right to vote now seems very out of character with who I am becoming as a person in recovery.  I have immense gratitude to live in a country where I have the right to vote and help make changes.  I have gratitude for all the human rights and civil rights activists who have fought to change the future for women and minorities.  And so it is this gratitude that led me to have some humility and return to my right to vote.

Humility being the key word in this endeavor, when I checked in at the voting site, the volunteer announced very loudly, that I had been purged from the system.  When one doesn’t vote for twenty years, and doesn’t return address verification cards, then apparently one gets purged.  And so karma has a little giggle at my expense and fortuitously it’s while I’m working this 4th step that I get to purge my shame and guilt over this irresponsible aspect of myself.  The timing was impeccable.

Enough

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I love reading memoirs.  I think people’s stories are fascinating.  I especially like reading women’s recovery memoirs and how people hit bottom.  Here’s a quote from Bonnie Raitt.

Everyone finds their own path to the bottom. I basically got heavy, wasn’t as productive as I wanted, didn’t like what I felt like, couldn’t remember everything I said to people at night. About 37 years old, I said, you know, this is not working for me, this late night life.” -Bonnie Raitt

We all reach a different place when we finally say, “enough”.  And it’s a beautiful thing when you finally reach it.

 There is such freedom in making the decision to never wake up foggy from alcohol again.  To never feel regret because did or said something ridiculous after numbing out your frontal lobes.  To never again berate yourself for not having enough will power to control your drinking (even though it’s never been a matter of will).

 There is freedom in learning to fully feel and accept your emotions.  There is freedom in embracing social anxiety and fully being your authentic self.  These things may not be comfortable (especially in the beginning), but there is still freedom. 

And most of all there is an infinite amount of freedom when after deciding “Enough, no more alcohol” you arrive at the point you realize you are ENOUGH, exactly as you are.  That is Freedom.

I’m sending hope and healing to every woman who wakes up on this Sunday morning deciding, ENOUGH!