In case I need a reminder of why I first entered the blogosphere (awkward word alert), here are my top 4 reasons why I shouldn’t blog and why I’m going to do it anyway. For the record, there were way more than four (For example- the fact that I’m not exactly a techie…), but these four aren’t quite that obvious:
1. It will never measure up to my Head Blog.
I’ve been a head blogger since probably before the internet came to be. Head Blogging = basically narrating what I’m doing as though I’m writing a book. Or a blog. In my head, of course.
I have to tell you, my Head Blog is pretty awesome. Informative, insightful, a little witty and wacky. I’ve handily won many arguments with myself, references included. I’ve also responded remarkably well to all the hateful troll comments…
So that’s why you find me here, now. While the Head Blog itself is fascinating, the audience is pretty dull. #heynow
And I’m kind of hoping that quieting the tiny bloggers in my head will be a (welcome) side effect.
2. I’m already a professional oversharer.
Wanna talk poop? Panic attacks? Menstrual cups? All the things you “shouldn’t” talk about?
As most of my friends can attest, I’m not afraid to get into details. Putting them out there on the internet, however, is a little scary. I feel like I’m on the Bachelor. Putting myself out there. I’m here for the right reasons. (Not like I’ve ever seen that drivel…) Maybe it’s the healthcare provider in me. I’ve been desensitized by too many conversations about ED (erectile dysfunction or explosive diarrhea, take your pick).
I think that’s at least partly why so many of us with autoimmune disease suffer for so long without answers- we don’t feel like we can talk about highly personal stuff without judgment. So I’ll be sharing my story in bits and pieces, but I’ll try to leave the more gory details to the imagination, k?
I have spent SO much time, energy, money, and mental capacity on learning what I need to do to heal and be healthy that I want to (over)share it. I am basically a PSA that what you eat matters. What you put on your skin matters. Self-care matters. And that mainstream medicine doesn’t have all the answers. Not even close.
3. I’m afraid my lifestyle is no longer relatable.
My kids’ only experience with a restaurant is from Daniel Tiger. I can’t give visiting family dinner recommendations because I’ve eaten out maybe twice since we moved here seven years ago. (And Outback accidentally gave me the gluten-y fries. And told me after I had started eating them. I cried.) My daughter’s favorite food is kale. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to go somewhere without a proportional amount of food for length of stay. I don’t take any prescription medications, but I take enough supplements every meal to almost make me forget to eat the meal they’re going to help me digest (not to mention that they make me poor).
How did my life get so crunchy and focused on food?
I started out as your average pharmacy student. You know- Type A, possibly just a bit nerdy, entirely sure that the “evidence-based medicine” I was being taught was the be-all-end-all of health and well-being… Then, the summer before my final year of school, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Needless to say, it rocked my neat little mainstream medicine world.
Not only was I suddenly dealing with a mysterious condition that was only treated with lifestyle modification (and the name of which I had never heard before the doctor said it and promptly left the room, leaving me to freak out and pray that it wasn’t some terrible form of cancer… this was before smartphones and instant answers from Dr. Google), but I had zero help navigating a whole new world of alternative/lifestyle/crunchy treatments. #cueprincessjasmine
Remember that this was ten years ago. Gluten was still something that I had to explain to 95% of people I mentioned it to, including the dietician I was supposed to go see after my diagnosis. Yes, I did promptly cancel that appointment. The kicker was that this dietician consult wasn’t covered by my insurance. Seriously. Only consults for a diabetes diagnosis were covered. That’s just wrong.
Some of the most memorable reactions to telling someone I can’t eat gluten:
“You can’t eat glue? Is that like when kids eat paste?”
“Oh, so you can still eat white bread, right? Just not wheat?”
“I would totally die if I had to do that.”
[Insert face palm emoji here]
I subsequently spent hours upon hours going down rabbit holes on the internet, never quite seeming to get to Wonderland. I felt better with my rudimentary gluten-free diet, but I certainly did not feel BETTER. And that’s when I started getting a little crispy. I would be full-on crunchy before I even realized what had happened.
Now crunchiness is just my everyday life. Kale chips and homemade deodorant and inventing recipes based on what foods aren’t pissing my body off at the time. With as much as the extra effort involved is a PITA (gluten-free, obviously), it allows me to function in this body. For the most part. I’m still a work in progress.
4. I am a recovering perfectionist.
It has taken me an insane amount of time (that I’m hesitant to reveal) to actually write and publish this. Imagine the time it takes to wait on your toddler to buckle himself into his car seat, then add a year or several. If I was still mired in my old perfectionism, this blog would never see the light of day. But if there is anything that having autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, and especially CHILDREN has taught me, it’s that there is no time for perfectionism.
I can’t say I’ve let go of perfectionism exactly, but it has been wrenched from my white-knuckled death grip. So here we go. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be great.