Friday, May 25, 2018

Ferritin Improved on the Whole30 Reset/Our Subsequent Adaptation Changed Our Life! Gratitude and Daily Delights of Energy. For Once in My Life...



On a rainy night recently I decided to clean and do some Paleo baking to add occasionally back into our lifestyle diet change. (My emphasis is on Coconut flour and natural wholesome ingredients.) Our home smelled of lemon and baking. It looked basically as perfect as it can. While each family member had their well deserved breaks, I decided to have the upstairs to myself. I made my daughter's bed with fresh Thieves Oil smelling linens, folded the last laundry load (of seven) and baked while my sparkle mood lighting created tranquillity and soft Steve Tyrell's " Simple Life" played in the background. Then we all went out to listen to the crickets and frogs while we ate a cookie. It was my version of perfection. And it is a day that would have left me in bed for at least three days recovery if I had attempted it a few months ago. Energy truly is a precious resource in life.
*"For once in my life, I have someone who needs me. Someone I needed so long..."

I found a fantastic millet flour chia seed breakfast cookie to add some variety to a meal sometimes. Instead of potatoes or a starch the kids and I are going to bake a few times a week to give us a break on the budget for food since we are not doing rice ect... as a filler and I'm happy with the ingredients. 
I've lost four inches on my belly, which wasn't the point of changing our habits, but I'm happy and hoping it will continue to the size I am most comfortable in. Finally after years of trying different things this seems to be re setting my hormones. My therapist calls Keto or Whole 30 the hormone balancing diet if one can stick to a form of it for a few months. He's sending me for blood work soon as he thinks it's already changed my hormones more than medication! Especially my thyroid and iron levels. Fingers crossed! (The rest of my family lost three inches, 3.5, 2.5 and 2.5 on waists too.) 

"Someone warm like you, would make my dreams come true..."

What is more important than weight though, is the energy infusion I am finally feeling! I finally have the gumption to do activities I have not tried in years. In the last few weeks alone I have gardened, cleaned the entire house without help a few times, re arranged my daughter's room and furniture, planned a tiny renovation, kept up with my exercising, taken several trips to a nearby city for long days, and have finally had the energy to self care a bit more. I am actually CARING about some of my beauty regime again. As in, I have the energy to look into facial care products and actually care for my face at night. The years of exhaustion made their mark but I was too tired to care most nights. Just getting through the days was my ultimate goal. But now I am taking baby steps to actually care for myself and my family in a more energy infused way again. I am not even close to "normal" yet but spinach and protein 3 times a day is a game changer in my life. I wish I would have done a week re set of Whole30 a few months after our first Whole30 a few years back! And I wish I would have stuck 80 percent to eating that way, like we do now. I don't plan on going back to those other foods anytime soon. I feel FANTASTIC compared to before. Which matters to me.

There is a part of me that feels a tad robbed by my exhaustion looking back. For the first time in two years, I have been regularly tucking in the kids at night. Anemia took moments and deflated them. It not only stole the oxygen from my blood but sucked out the colour from daily deeds that I could have savoured. I rarely could do tuck ins because one more step was too much. I know that I tried my best 3/4 of the time to achieve more than what should be expected from someone with that low of oxygen and blood levels. I know I showed up how I could, but I still feel robbed. And I can't find anywhere to put the blame. It could have been worse but it also could have been better. I know that, now, I just have to continue to live the best I can with the energy and body and conditions I have but sometimes looking back ... well looking back is not the way for me to go. But I need to also recognize I have some grief and resentment towards my body and my blood and what that has meant. But overall, my feelings have been joy, gratitude, healing and every day bliss. Which is more valuable to me than the size of my waist. 

*"For once in my life I won't let sorrow hurt me, not like it's hurt me before..."

There are naysayers to any type of diet including Whole30/ Paleo/ Keto but I feel I am proof of results within moderation. My skin has started to clear up. I feel stable all day (no blood sugar dips or exhaustive moments. My husband also remarked he feels the same.) My energy is making a come back. My iron and hormones are still in progress but seem to be re setting slowly. I am getting my life back to doing what I wish to do. Before our Whole30 week re set, I was laying in bed for at least half my day because I just could not function otherwise. Now, after the first week, and adding a few foods back in but keeping the majority of our dietary needs Whole30 approved for the last 40 days, I have yet to be back in bed after I wake up! (Minus during my cycle which still puts me back quite a bit.) I am sleeping by eleven latest with no insomnia (minus cycle insomnia.) I hit the pillows in the evening after a full day of being on my feet!

*"For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of..."


It feels like the world is mine to slowly conquer. I now am getting a taste of what typical people can do in a day and what a gift it is! I am not at normal capacity yet, but this extra energy is a gift. I am focusing anything extra I get on my family and friends when I can. But also self care. Food truly is an important piece of the puzzle. My entire family has had benefits from eating the way we have. Each of them has improved in energy, mood, weight, and spirit.

*"For once I can go where life leads me. Somehow I know I'll be strong."

There comes a moment during most days or nights when I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for what I have. Usually it's when I'm looking at my children or the sparkle light in my room or him next to me. My whole house invokes my gratitude because we crafted it as our own. I felt this way even before I had energy, and I believe that perspective is an important aspect of living, no matter how one feels or struggles. Each inch of our home expresses each of our personalities and our imaginations and hopes and the love surrounding... and that's what fills my heart up. Even if I do have disease or symptoms that rob. I just have to look around my home or yard to see my purpose my beloved my belonging, and inspiration. If I'm honest and there is an afterlife I would want it to be exactly this forever -this house, him, and them for eternity doing what we generally do and I'd seriously be happy. I get sad for my future self often and have to remind myself, if I live that long there will be other beautiful moments, and I can look back knowing without a doubt I cherished what is mine.



This lifestyle diet also brought our family together even more. Each meal prep is done with all of us, cleaning, cutting, soaking vegetables, while hubby makes the meat. We talk while we prepare our nourishing food. It takes time but it's time together so it does not feel like that much of a sacrifice.

*"For once I have something I know won't desert me. I'm not alone anymore."

Despite hardships, I honestly have what I never knew I always wanted (to quote Fools Rush In.) This epic, every ordinary love, is mine. Sometimes it's worse than a movie but most days it exceeds the classics - maybe not to anyone else who would switch places with me but to me and whom I am - it suits. I know I'm lucky. I know it's partially crafted, but partially just what was what, and partially unknowns. It's beauty is a gift I daily treasure and nightly struggle not to panic over losing and remember to just enjoy what is given when it is given (and also attained). It's magically mundane but I could live like this forever and my cup overflows. But with the benefits of energy and clean eating, it is magnified. And also, oddly, a calmer, stable sort of existence. Life feels slightly less urgent but also more fulfilling. Energy is a gift. Nurturing, hormone free meat is a gift. Fresh vegetables, fruits and nature's bounty are worth their weight in gold. They are worth the extra budgeting. Because in the end, the body isn't everything, but it is the vessel we travel in through this life. If it can be improved with changing a few habits, even though at times this is hard, it is worth it all.

*"For once I can say this is mine, you can't take it. As long as I know I have love, I can make it!"


*This song is how I feel right now:




or this version:




or this version:

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Guest Post: The ENFJ Personality Type From the Eyes of a Young Teen


*This is a guest post by my young ENFJ daughter, writing about some of her experiences.* Enjoy!

Some ENFJs might not totally agree with me on this post. There are so many other things that play a part in personality. For instance, I'm a Gemini, an Aspie, and I struggle with OCD Anxiety so all of these things could play into what I write. Just keep that in mind.

The ENFJ personality is Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. The functional stack can be found HERE.

In my opinion the ENFJ is one of the least talked about personalities. Typically as an ENFJ, I am either focusing on other types, or I want to be nice and listen to other types first. For me, if I bring up my type I feel like I'm being self absorbed or not thinking about the peoples types around me, which I tell myself ''I should be doing.'' 


I always find it funny that on films or media, sometimes nice people are made fun of. Like when we make fun of Canada, Hufflepuff, (both of which I belong to) and in this case the ENFJ. The part that I find even more funny is that we get so exited that we are even mentioned. I don't think this should be. I mean it's fine... every so often, but I would like to be talked about in a real, positive way too. So that's what I'm going to do here. I'm going to put the ENFJ in the spotlight. 

The spotlight is something that the ENFJ likes very much. Definitely not in a bad "self absorbed seeking" way and not for too long... We want others to get complimented and treated nicely too. Adjust that light on me sometimes and I will appreciate you a lot. I will probably even think about you for at least three days. Normally after an interaction like that most Extroverts will be on a high. Yup, I know it's crazy that a few really nice compliments will cause us to be thrilled. Even if we have a 'not so great time' you can bet we'll go home a little more happy then before we saw you.

ENFJs are really caring and will go out of our way to make sure other people are happy. It makes us happy to help people. This can be a good thing but also can be negative. In these moments we won't be thinking about ourselves at all. We don't want to risk somehow making the other person uncomfortable. For example if I'm at someone's house and it's hot - I'm not going to bring it up. I figure if you are overly warm, you would've said something so you must be comfortable. This isn't always the case. If I'm at a house that I feel comfortable in, I might tell you what I'm feeling, but that's only if I'm really suffering or you're my family.

ENFJ's are probably one of the most feeling types. I go through a million emotions a day. (But I am also a teenager.) I would even say that ENFJs are sort of like empaths. My mom is an empath type too but as an INFJ, she is my sister type. We meet in the middle of emotion. ENFJs are very intuitive to other peoples emotions and can almost sense what they are feeling. For me it's a curse and a blessing. Its hard to balance people's feelings and your own. If somebody is crying, it's most likely I'm going to start crying too. My family always jokes that I cry at least once a day which is close to true. I would say I cry every three days. My mom and my INTJ brother barely ever cry and if they do it breaks my heart. If they cry it means they're at a very fragile state. Crying is how I release all the stuff that's bothered me, made me mad, or upset me in some form. Lots of people think this is ridiculous but I'm totally fine crying. After I cry I'll feel better and like I can let go of everything I was upset about before.

I always say if there were a show to go to the ENFJ personality it would be ''Dreamworks' Trolls - The Beat Goes On.'' I know it's a weird show but the values and rules are everything I believe in. When I first watched ''Trolls'' (the movie) I loved it when the Trolls bracelets glowed and they had to stop what they where doing and hug whoever was next to them. Hugs mean a lot to me. I feel like everybody needs hugs.

The song hair in the air (from ''The Beat Goes On'')  is a song that's totally me. These are the lyrics '' Live it up (Hey!) Everyday you wake up singing. Turn it up (Whoo!) the party's just beginning. All together, you and me. Hair in the air, we're family. We got everything we need.''- ''Yeah, we made it through the dark. Harmony is everywhere put your hair up in the air.''- Dreamworks Trolls: The Beat Goes On theme song.

The harmony part of the song is my favourite part. Harmony is an important topic to ENFJs. Disrupting the harmony is something that will annoy the ENFJ. We work very hard to create harmony and keep it as long as possible, so if anyone disrupts it they will be on the bad side of the ENFJ.
Honestly, the bad side of the ENFJ is not that horrible. We will be mad at you but we'll most likely keep it in (unless you are family then you might get glares, yelled at, tears or all of the above). If we do blowup on you, it's likely that we'll say sorry pretty soon after. We put up with quite a bit so if we get mad it's because you have done or said something (that to us) is really unacceptable. Even if we do get mad though we'll try very hard to keep it as under control as we can.

   

This picture above describes the ENFJ very well. I'll start with lively. We love having fun, talking, parties, and more. My friend always jokes that I'm ''always happy." I am when people are around. ENFJs are very alive, out there, and will almost always have a smile on their face. 

Worrier. I've been called this on many occasions. I worry all the time about random things. If I go out and see people I worry if I'm going to say the right  or wrong thing. Even at home I worry I did something bad if someone says my name in a certain way. Its just what I do. 

Optimistic. I am very optimistic if I want to be and I'll try to make other people optimistic too. I mean come on, it feels good to be optimistic. 

Oversensitive. Even just today I've been called oversensitive a few times. For me I'm more sensitive to tone. So if someone says something that to me sounds harsh I will feel upset. I admit I do have to work on it a bit. ENFJ themselves will mock this trait. But it is something that makes us who we are and we shouldn't be ashamed of it. 


Now I'm going to go over the ''unhealthy'' ENFJ. When we are unhealthy we will be very hard on ourselves and almost no one can get us out of our slump. This (as Personality Hacker describes) is the Three Year Old process witch is Accuracy. We want to be so accurate that we will think we aren't doing good enough. Another thing I learned from personality hacker is that it's also unhealthy if your Driver (Harmony) goes to your Ten year old process (Sensation) for advice. I don't know too much about this but if you want to learn more you could listen to Personality Hacker podcasts. Click HERE.  to listen to the loops that certain personalities can get stuck in.



CLICK HERE for a list of famous ENFJs online. Here's a list of the people who I think are ENFJs or I saw online that I thought were interesting:
Emma Watson (Actress, Feminist), Emma Stone (Actress), Julia Andrews (Actress), Jennifer Lawrence (Actress), Oprah Winfrey (Talk host, Self Help), Helena Bonham Carter (Actress), Faramir (Lord of the Rings), Bofer (The Hobbit), Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games), Snow White (Once Upon A Time), Uncle Iroh and Katara (Avatar the Last Airbender), Asami (Legend of Kora), Poppy (Dreamworks Trolls), Lilly Potter and Cedric Digory (Harry Potter), Katy Perry (Singer), Sara Bareilles (Singer), Barack Obama (Former President of the United States), Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation). For bad guys there's not much (because, hey, we are pretty much angels.:) but there are some things that are saying that Loki (Marvel) is an ENFJ or INFJ and Hans from frozen. 
If you have any questions as to why these characters are ENFJs or any questions about the ENFJ then just leave a comment and I'll try my best to answer them.


There is so much more that makes up the ENFJ. We are special and unique in our own way. I hope this gave you a little bit more knowledge on the ENFJ. If you want to know more on the ENFJ there are links at the bottom of this post that will take you to articles that will give more info. 
Thanks So Much for Reading!!                                                                     

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https://personalitygrowth.com/the-thing-that-makes-each-personality-type-unique/
https://www.personalityclub.com/blog/famous-enfj/
https://personalitygrowth.com/heres-why-we-believe-that-enfjs-are-actually-superheroes/
https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2017/03/17/understanding-enfj-feeling/
https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2017/07/18/10-things-never-say-enfj/
https://personalitygrowth.com/what-each-personality-type-is-like-at-their-best/
https://personalitygrowth.com/what-makes-each-personality-type-angry/
https://personalitygrowth.com/something-profound-that-we-can-learn-from-each-personality-type/

Song Choices: Unique- Lenka, Hair in the Air- Trolls Theme  Here is a song for ENFJs. WE ARE UNIQUE!


This is the song that I wrote lyrics to up above. ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Now That Autism Awareness Month is Over, I will talk about Autism and Dyspraxia. Valued but in Need of Support.


Autistics May be Different in Process but The Human Element Still Shines Through:

It's May. Autism Awareness month is over and now I will blog about being Autistic for a moment. I have a tough time with A.A month. It is pretty much everything Autistics don't want it to be. I feel THIS brief post by another Aspie explains this thought more. She quickly covers the main reasons why inclusion and awareness are failing and how our world is still perpetuating harmful myths and facts. But then she says; "Meanwhile, autistic people are living, loving, laughing, thinking, creating, caring, acting, performing, helping, supporting, advising, campaigning, sharing, uplifting, amplifying, celebrating, commiserating, learning, working, teaching, making, saving, rescuing, mentoring, encouraging, inventing, designing, innovating, suffering, shouting, crying. Speaking. And all the other things that humans do. We’re here. It’s time to accept us, and appreciate us as a part of the world we, and you, all live in together."

I used to have a blog dedicated to all things Autistic. It was a needed phase in my acceptance and diagnostic journey. Now, I feel I am in a different stage. I feel that my words and life show what an Autistic's "normal" looks like to ONE person. And I don't have to mention it much anymore, until an issue comes up I can't ignore or I suddenly get a desire to talk about being Autistic specifically. I feel autism is an organic part of who I am. Sometimes I fight for acceptance. Most times I quietly create it. Neither is better. Both are valid. I love blogs dedicated solely to Autism. I glean from them regularly and believe they are a needed place in this world, where stories from actual Aspies/ Autistics are often silenced.

One of the biggest issues I run into, is people assuming my process is like theirs. Because I look "normal" and act somewhat "appropriately" it is assumed I process the situation the same. That maybe my sensory overload is not all that bad. Or I can "stretch myself" beyond what I say I can. This also applies in the world of perspective. Even people who have known me for years, have the tendency to forget that I do not work they way they do. They forget that just because I process verbally does not mean that I expect them to see the world the way I do. Or that just because I sound, in a statement, like I am making a judgment, that I actually am expecting them to "take my side." I don't work the way most people do. Even my husband sometimes forgets this for a second until he is reminded again of how odd I can be. Recently he stated, "You know, most people in the world, if they talk about people at all (which is a natural process), have this expectation for others to back talk, take up their mantle or give pressure to induce a negative emotional response to someone they are upset at. They like their tribe to support them by disliking the person who has hurt or abused them. You are not like that. You can absolutely dislike someone but still be ok with your friends being their friends. You can stand in the same room with someone you door slammed and be polite, civil and cause no disruption to the rest of the relationships unless the other person instigates. People get upset sometimes when you verbally process because they assume you are having the same motivations as most people. When you just verbally process to figure things out. Because you are an external feeler and also have a social disability, you need more information in some areas before you use your intuition to guide you. You are about knowledge seeking to find the overall picture and understand the people involved. Even your considered "enemies." Where as most other people seek information to destroy or get people to "their side." Of course you have valid anger and emotions but your neutrality when it comes to perspectives IS unusual."

Yes, we are still part of this human race even if we are different. Our humanity should be remembered even if we are often likened (and sometimes feel) like we are part of an alien species. We still have the souls, hearts and anatomy of humanity.

Dyspraxia and Physiotherapy:

I have mentioned before HERE how Physiotherapy has helped my life as a chronic pain sufferer. But there is another side to Physio. Half of the time, my reasons for coming in, are because I injured myself. Doing "normal" activities like getting out of a vehicle, walking on the treadmill, lifting my nephew, or completing chores can have terrible affects. The worst one in my books is doing Physio exercises completely wrong and having to go back to Physio for heat packs and massage healing.

I have written about the struggles of being an adult with Dyspraxia HERE. I have mostly adapted to a life with my level of severity. I would say out of all my nuances, Dyspraxia is where I am the most severely impaired compared to most on the scale. It affects me every day in obvious ways that I try to work around. My independence is drastically cut down by being Dyspraxic.

 I can't judge pressure well and my body awareness is lacking. Recently, I spent nights in the shower in agony because the pain woke me up at 2 am due to an exercise gone wrong. Finally I called in and  my therapist told me to walk backwards on the treadmill and also to use heat on any affected areas. When she did her assessment, she told me I pulled my hip flexor. It went into protective mode which means pain upon certain movements. I thought at one point that either my ovary had a large cyst or my bowel was acting up. See, I am not good at body perception. I also pulled out my Quad and Hamstrings. I had muscle fibre lumps that tightened deep into the leg. I thought maybe it was a blood clot. I am always astounded at how much of my pain is often muscular when it feels organ related. Often my muscles are associated with weird nerve paths that are typical of those with diseases like Fibromyalgia or Lyme ect.

It turns out I was also walking backwards wrong. I was kind of marching in place instead of sliding my leg fully back which was triggering my already inflamed hip flexor. Le sigh. I am one of the only patients who is not discharged after a few months of rehabilitation. She went to the board and asked to keep me on as a casual patient who can call in any time due to my pain conditions and my lack of body awareness. They made a "special" exception to my case, upon review. I can call in whenever I injure myself without having to register again. My poor Therapist. Just when she thinks we are making progress, I come in telling her I can not do a certain exercise. I try to do it in such a way that she still feels she is helping me. I want her to feel empowered and inspiring because otherwise my support could be taken away.

The fact is I NEED her. I need her to tell me when it's muscular and why. I need her to remind me how to move in the world. Over and over again. We often go over the same concepts. Because being Dyspraxic, I unfortunately, will need this type of support indefinitely. She insisted on taking pictures of my posture performing a simplified exercise for my weak hip. She wanted me to copy my own photos at home. I thought this was brilliant (picture above.)

Different, not less or more. Valued but in Need of Support:

Inclusion can not be about "being the same." The main goal should not be focusing only on what is similar for people. While that is hugely important, it is missing a key piece. Anyone who is born as a minority does experience the world differently. They WILL need different treatment, circumstances and support. This is crucially important to their health and being. Do they also need people to see their similar humanity? You bet. But that should be included in basic respect. Everyone deserves to be equal in respect and love. Yet, within a life, there should be a different treatment of a person who has different needs. In these circumstances, one size fits all will not work. We need people to be open to possibilities and perspectives. Just because a person requires more in one area and maybe less in another does not mean they are "taking too much" or a "societal burden."

I believe I give a lot to the world. But I also take what I need when I can too. And this is why I can give. I am heavily supported. When I am not, I find other ways. It has not been easy to build my support. I still sometimes run into obstacles that make me feel six years old. I regularly have encounters that induce self doubt. On the rare occasion I will be found crying in my closet (my ultimate meltdown mode.) I need people like my Physiotherapist. She stems her frustration when she sees me again or I "failed" one of her easy tasks.  It is just a fact that I will regularly hurt myself in daily activities. Sometimes it's laughable. Sometimes it's depressing. Luckily, she sees I try. I bring her little gifts and make her laugh. Because I know a regular support is rare in our society that wants to "get em in, and get em out." Especially in the medical world. I know I have a responsibility for her to see how she is doing something large in my life.

I AM different. Sometimes that is stunningly, shockingly clear, even when I already know this fact. I feel slapped by my abnormality at times. Then, for quite awhile, I can feel almost normal. I go about my day under the allusion that maybe I am NOT that different. Maybe I am just quirky? End of story? Ha.

Regardless, I am never under the impression that I am more because of my conditions, nor am I less. I am valued within my own structures and with a few of my people. I provide value too. Yet, on the other side of the bread, I am in need of "more" support than a typical person walking through life. This is what inclusion truly is. Allowing a person to be part of humanity the way THEY CAN. Maybe pushing occasionally to meet "normal milestones" or to help them fit in so life is a little easier. But also allowing them to set their own limits and help them find a way to adapt to life in the world in the ways they feel the most comfortable. We have one precious life, and we should be allowed to minimize painful sensory onslaught or avoid the situations that are terrifying to us but nothing to others. We should be able to find work or a way of living that honours our soul in the ways we can give. It is about meeting us where we are at. Yes, growth is a part of any existence but natural growth is far different from forced.

However you are in the world, you will find your existence easier by being honest with yourself. Seeing your strengths as value and your weaknesses with acceptance. To know thyself is one of the quickest ways to live a life of content. Do bad things still happen? You bet. But the overall feeling of this type of life is peaceful because you know your value. And you LIVE it.

Embrace your story.
 Song Choice: Back in the Saddle again- Gene Autry, Fantastic, Fantastic That's You- Louis Armstrong




Saturday, April 28, 2018

Our "Revised" Whole30 After Week One. Intuition as Strength. Re adjusting isn't 'Quitting.'



Our 'Revised' Whole30 Journey

Day 6.5 and I found my food freedom...in quitting the COMPLETE Whole30 Re Set program. We are actually still going to eat 85- 90% of the Whole30 guideline mentality for now. But, we are actually reintroducing some foods back in during week two instead of eliminating for thirty days. This may even change as we go. If we find we are getting more issues, we will change our minds. I realized I literally do have to go with my gut (ha ha?) and intuition. (We have done Whole30 before so thus WHOLE7 for Re sets is truly all that is needed.)

I want to say that our first Whole30 was a life changer. I still believe most people should try this form of elimination diet at least once in their lives. Especially if they are having unexplained medical issues, food allergies they can't figure out or severe gastro distress. It is WORTH it. I also still stand by everything I said in previous posts. But with all things in life, there is another side.

For our family, I had to re ask myself the main reason we were attempting a second Whole30 again. My main reason was iron absorption and to cut down on any inflammation. My reasoning for my family was to get back on track with eating, figure out a few issues each member was having, and cut out the sugars (over use of honey) again or other not so great aspects of food we were mindlessly consuming. Honestly? Seven days was enough for this. We already know we react to gluten and all sugars except honey in moderation. So 7 days was a great reminder to be mindful of what and how we eat. My secondary reason was to lose weight hopefully by re setting hormones and look younger and healthier. Perhaps that wasn't quite as noble? Although I do have a goal of cutting down inflammation still and re setting some of my issues. I still hope this will help with iron absorption along with my Kelp and BC1. Now, I simply will be doing this process a little bit more relaxed, with a few added elements for life quality, budget and food enjoyment. Again, we are still planning on sticking 85-90% of the plan. If we were needing a full gut re set (and we may still if we get too sick after this) we MIGHT do this again at some point or a form of it.

I still believe that our food choices shape our health. I believe there is a time and place for the Whole30. But I also realized it probably was not going to help me absorb iron more. Or maybe it would, but I wasn't willing to suffer the runs to find out. I prefer to keep my bathroom habits healthy and regular. I do think that eating more protein and veggies could help with this anyway but I need a bit of starch and fermented dairy in that department. At least I think I do...time will tell.

The Week of Lessons:

This week taught me a lot. I am relieved and happy that we started this journey. Already in week one I have modified some aspects of our eating. We will be incorporating grass fed, organic protein in as many meals as feasibly possible. Vegetable variety will be found on our plates or in our smoothies. Fruits will be consumed in moderation. My tongue has already adjusted and tuned into natural herb flavours and the lack of additives. We will still be especially meticulous in these areas. But I am hoping to add back in the yogurt, mozzarella, and butter. (Update: This was unfortunately not successful other than clarified butter.) Along with a few non gluten grains. If we react or find our quality of life goes down, I will take these elements back out. Nothing is set in stone. I feel we can afford to experiment without a full reset. I don't wish for mindless grazing or snacking. I also like the concept of not eating after dinner for the most part. Honey has many beneficial qualities. Just in moderation. We were consuming too much. We can scale that back but the raw honey is still on my list. I do like a home made, gluten free muffin at breakfast sometimes, and there should be no guilt in that. As long as it is paired with a quality protein source and some vegetables.

This whole experience has showed me that I was not enjoying food much before, and I was not really enjoying it on the re set either. I have always struggled with the pleasure aspect of food. It's rare I actually savour and love what I am eating. I mostly eat to survive. In this way I am a bit disordered in my eating. I also don't eat enough. I need to learn to love food for both it's nutrients and it's goodness. Part of quality of life DOES revolve around yummy, yet nutritious food choices. Deliciousness should also be a factor sometimes.

The Budget and Obsessive Factor:

Another reason why we are cutting this short? Our already stretched budget went overboard. Now we are two months behind our monthly budget and it will be hard to recover. (Perhaps we over prepped? And we had to drive to get our groceries...but luckily we still have a month of good food stocked and ready to go!) I think quality food is worth it, but we also have to do what we can afford. I was also OBSESSING about food from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. For 7 days my quality of life revolved around one aspect of living. Prior to I wasn't feeling a lot of guilt about my food choices, other than knowing I needed to cut back on a few choices and add in more veggies. But on the Whole30 this time, it felt like I had a full blown eating disorder. I already tend to have a warped perception of my body and maybe I do have a form of disordered eating that I need to unpack. I was revolving my life around image, health and food. All good things...in balanced moderation.

Cold sores appeared all along my tongue last night, which I never get otherwise, and this seemed to be an indicator that I was consuming too much of something or not getting enough of another nutrient. Some say it could be a detox symptom, but I felt energized more than ever because of the protein at each meal. I wasn't suffering mood swings or cravings. Although I did crave the smooth texture of yogourt. Overall, it was a good seven days of eating. But it needed to be switched up.

A week was enough to learn some valuable lessons, new nourishment strategies, and re set our minds on sustenance. I'm still planning on reading the rest of the books to my children. I still believe in most of the science. (The crucial wording is MOST. From the beginning I disagreed on some concepts like honey, yogourt ect. I come from more of a Weston Price mentality in general but do believe something like the Whole30 can do wonders for those addicted to sugar or processed foods.)

This experience was exactly what we needed...for seven days. Just not thirty. I feel freedom. Maybe it's not what Melissa Hartwig would view as food freedom forever. But life is a journey. Maybe she would think I deserve my health problems? Maybe I do. But I also have to believe in myself, look at my body intuitively and make the best of it. I have to stop comparing myself to the energy and looks of those around me. My most content years were the ones when I knew I was doing what was right for me. When I knew that my life mattered even if I struggled or was sick. There are many different reasons on the net for why people quit so I don't need to back mine up with bullet points. What I can say, is that I am happy we did this. I learned I loved Bok Choy. And that I could drink a smoothie with coconut cream and spinach and blueberries and LOVE it.

Re Adjusting Expectations, Cultural Conformity and Personal Intuition:

Some of my best choices in life have come from re adjusting expectations. Some would call this "quitting." Perhaps it is within definition. But I feel it's more of a re start from a re start. An organic way of moving from one healthy introduction into another form of Being that WORKS for the individual or family. Most people would say we "quit" school, church, swimming lessons, organized sports, piano lessons ect. Changing plans is not something our culture is generally comfortable with. And perhaps 60% of the time, this is how it should be. Otherwise there would be chaos supreme. Yes there is something to be said for accountability, finishing a project, or sticking a tough aspect of life out. On the flip side, it also takes strength to find another way, contort the box for flexibility, and be accountable in a different form.

I know I am stubborn and resilient and can stick anything out if I believe in the overall out come or benefits. But when I realize it is not the best decision? Then I take myself out of the equation. And that takes strength. Because people judge. And we also have an inner moral compass to develop. If not one way, we must grow in another. I had to fight a lot of guilt during periods where I changed the direction I was taking. But whose life is it? Mine or the majority? Who will benefit the most? My loved ones or the social structure? Sometimes I choose both. Sometimes I pick one over the other. But most times, I have to go with my intuition. Our culture has a lot to learn about the merits of weighing options, and choosing to walk away. My best decisions have involved walking away, but then opening up a new door to another path, and maybe switching that one or going back to the old one for awhile to find multiple directions of fulfillment and meaning.

Our family still needs to take some lessons in regards to food. My children were hesitant to not finish the Whole30. We had to have a discussion on basically all I covered in this blog post. Now they see it as a re adjustment. We also had to really decide WHY they wanted to continue and consider their points. Weight loss was not a good enough reason in my books (although yes, for some it would be.) In the end they settled on mostly whole30 compliant with some gradual additions. But our journey won't be as much about restricting as it will be about what is good, healthy, and yes delicious (and affordable.) I need to learn to love all kinds of food without discrimination. My husband needs to love food for fuel and in moderation. My daughter needs to learn to back off emotional eating but then allow food to heal her too. My sons need to learn to consume more veggies when they want a snack. But all in all? I am proud of their general choices. Do we have more to learn? Certainly? Does food matter? Absolutely. But is food everything? Maybe you are what you eat, but you are also so much more.
Just a reminder: I am NOT in charge of your life. Do not take my words as your truths. Work with your health care team to find what works for you. This hopefully includes a functional health doctor along with allopathic. Your journey should look different from mine, since we look different from each other...it would be ridiculous to assume otherwise. That said, I share my experiences to help others process my truthful stories and maybe help hone in on their deeper truths. May your journey be a glorious wild mess of beauty, hardship, truth, change, growth and healing.

Song choice: Just Another Day- Lady Gaga

Thursday, April 26, 2018

First Week of the Whole30 With Autoimmune. Teens and Children On The WHOLE30. Contrasting Our First Whole30 with Our Second Experience.



The First Week, The Second time Around:

I had a gut feeling this second time around was going to be tougher. We were not quite through our first week and I wanted to be done.( SEE THIS POST for more. I actually realized that there were other reasons my intuition was thinking that we should cut it short this time around. We did end up 'quitting' and re adjusting the program the day after I wrote this post.) Choking down meat at every meal for a gal who only loves to eat meat about three times a week, has been tough. We are following the autoimmune protocol which means NO EGGS for 90 days. (Which I am still sticking to regardless.) Nightshades and nuts are also on our 'no list.' Which means we were considerably more limited in options than most who go on the Whole30. But we also didn't really feel sick at all so that's good.

Quite honestly? I felt ok. I went in with some food poisoning issues and they worked themselves out within two days. I also began that time of the month, which for me means two days of 'can't leave the house' bleeds. I gag at food on the best of days during this time. So drinking bone broth, with it's very meaty, oily taste, was...Well, I was the last one at the table, twenty minutes later, choking on soup. My children did better in this department. Actually, they did better than me overall. They also won when it came to eating spinach with beef drizzled in avocado oil. Generally, the tastes are ok for me, it's the texture. As an Aspie, texture is everything. Most Autistics can't handle certain foods because of the sensory onslaught. I am forcing myself to eat like this, but I know it is not sustainable, however the benefits, after 30 days. But I wish to do it right so the elimination process is accurate and to see if it DOES improve my iron absorption. Thank goodness that my personality can be summed up as stubborn and resilient. I DREAD meal times. Especially Meal One. I miss my smooth Greek yogourt.

This is supposed to make your relationship with food better. I don't think it will for me. In fact, I am obsessing about food. Meal 3 is always delightful but I generally gag my way through the rest. I am hoping I will adapt. I keep reminding myself I am doing this for my iron, for overall health, and to see what is triggering my inflammation issues at the end. If I had a major eating disorder I don't think I would do this Re set. (Again, see THIS post for why we pulled the plug the next day in a different form, despite being stubborn and resilient:)

Our First Whole30 Contrast:

That said, the first time we did this Re Set Whole30, we experienced AMAZING benefits. We had been eating loads of gluten, and cutting it out was heaven. So much so, that four years later, I am still not tempted to eat any gluten. Plus, we found out I was Celiac so maybe that is why...but still, the differences in all of us from not consuming gluten were too good to ignore. I have read that people who regularly consume gluten, processed foods and sugar benefit most from this Re set diet. My problem, this second time around, was dairy and corn. I never drink milk, but greek yugort was my companion at almost every meal. I also had an addiction to corn chips and popcorn. And I admit that non gluten grains and legumes were sneaking too many times into our diet. I know for a fact that after this round, Legumes will probably be out permanently for us. I am also considering opting out of rice. It truly depends what are effects are. IF, by the end of 30 days I no longer gag on my food, and I feel energized, lose a bit of weight (which means my hormones have regulated by the food and Kelp), and feel pretty good...I would maybe re consider never eating like this again.

We did not do the Whole30 this second time around, to tame our 'Sugar Dragon.' Although my daughter feels that she is craving sweets. I don't feel deprived. I don't miss honey much. We were pretty careful with our sugar overall, yet we did get it from fruit, gluten free baking, and an over use in honey. I plan to re introduce honey but curb our habit back to a teaspoon per person, per day MAX. Without any processed foods or treats, this feels reasonable to me. The first time we did Whole30 we had major sugar issues. We realized how dependant we were on sugar which often goes along with Gluten consumption. This time, we are realizing how dependant we were on rice, and how we were not consuming enough vegetables on the best of days. I picture the lame line in Fast and Furious 5 when the Rock says, "Give me the damn veggies..." Ha, cracks me up every time. Yes, we will definitely be including more of an array of vegetables when all is said and done.

I will admit to having my eyes full of tears yesterday afternoon. The tears didn't fall. I blinked them back. But I was struggling. Because I was reading testimonials of people who the Whole30 didn't work for (which is actually a very tiny stat considering! The amazing testimonials of it working far outweigh these.) But, the people who it wasn't effective for were like me. They had already cut out gluten for about four years. They had celiac and their gut took more to heal and seemed to need the fermented dairy in moderation. They also felt that their benefits happened mostly when they went off of gluten. I wasn't having gastro distress for the most part in my pre re -set life. There are a few triggers I am identifying now, which would make all of this process worth it I suppose. But in general, I am doing this for other health reasons. I DO think I have some inflammation to battle. And this Re set is all about re balancing hormones and inflammation.

The Key to Your Food Journey and About Children and Teens On the Whole30:

The key to our journey has been reading the books, "It Starts With Food" and "Food Freedom Forever." I feel the science that backs these theories up is sound. The research and digging I have done match the facts in the book. I do believe, to an extent, in this way of eating. I feel there are exceptions but overall, yes most people should eat like this for 30 days at least once, and see the difference for themselves.

Many people say to me, "My children would never do that diet." Um, who is the parent? For that matter, what is love? Is love a birthday cake? Is love a sugar rush? Maybe sometimes but probably not every day.  Or, is love giving your child the science, the tools, the facts, and the habits of good eating that reduces risk of all types of diseases, autoimmune conditions, and overall health and affects their mental health? Unfortunately, eating is a large part of health. As the book mentions, "Genetics are the gun, but environment and food habits are what pull the trigger" on varied conditions. The first time we did this, the kids were younger. We explained what we could but generally just had them eat what we did. If they were going to throw up from something we didn't push it, but otherwise they were pretty good. And they felt the difference after! They were proponents of no gluten too! The second time around, two are teenagers. I had to approach it differently. I did say that our food is being prepared this way and they have to eat what we eat. But, every night I have been reading them a chapter of the book.

My mother calls this brainwashing. I call it giving intelligent information and allowing the reader to make up their own minds. Which my children have. I ask them questions after. Whether they agree or disagree. I ask what they would do differently, if anything, and try to incorporate their ideas. This isn't a dictatorship. However, our entire family knows that I tend to steer the ship when it comes to ideas. I think, that they allow me to do this because they see that I do it fairly, consider all the angles, and figure out what is best for everyone overall? Regardless, generally if I give enough solid evidence, my husband and children will come on board. It takes some work. It took three months for my husband to agree to the whole30 but then suddenly it happened overnight. He was game. Did I read him numerous articles, drop suggestions and comments when I could, and cite numerous health facts? Of course. Is this manipulation? Maybe to some, but for myself, I leave the decision to the person. My theory is, we have one life, if something means a lot to us and if we see it will massively benefit our loved ones or perhaps even have them live longer, why wouldn't we try to push it logically and rationally?

"Once again, we believe that the diet that is the healthiest for us grown ups is also the healthiest for growing children. There isn't a single nutrient in cereals, biscuits or formula's that can not be found in healthy meats, vegetables and fruit. (It goes on to exclude infants and why of course but at toddler hood children should be eating this way.)... Perhaps even more so, as their immature immune system and GI tract can be even more vulnerable than ours. Even in the youngest of us, typical 'kid foods' like milk, yogourt, cereal, peanut butter, and bread can promote systematic inflammation, create immune system dysfunction, and increase the risk of disease like type 1 diabetes. Lot's of parents we've talked to say, "But my kids don't like vegetables..." or "but my son loves his sugary breakfast cereals." This is where we often get into trouble asking, "Does your toddler do his own grocery shopping?"...But until your children are buying their own food, with their own money, you as the parent are the single largest supplier of your child's nutritional needs. And we believe it's just a critical to your children's long term success to feed them healthy food as it is to make sure they don't drop out of school after the third grade." (pages 247 and 248 of It Starts with Food.)

They go on to say it will not be easy. "But we think that there are few parental duties more noble than loving your children whole heartedly and feeding them as best as you can. Even if you have to fight them on it. Even if they go to bed hungry for a night or two. Even if you have to resort to the old standbys' It's for your own good. Because we said so."

And the Husband?:

A friend once said to me, "You are so lucky to have the husband that you do. My husband would never treat me like a princess like yours does. He seems to do anything you want. For that matter, I notice at mom's groups that often we end up doing what you want, and enjoying it to boot! Even if we didn't think we would, we have these happy experiences that we would never do otherwise. You are either very convincing or maybe too bossy." I laughed. I know I can be bossy. Although I prefer the word convincing. However, my husband doesn't treat me like a princess all the time. I AM lucky. He is amazing. We married young so we are both used to sharing ideas, growing together and shaping each other. We matured together and are pretty equal in our relationship now. But he did start out as very conservative and religious. He believed I should do all the cooking because I was the woman. Poor man learned a lesson in that area fairly fast. I work hard to get my ideas across and to have my children and husband open to my ideas. I make sure I am fair. I research the bajeebees out of any given subject before I present it. I make sure I have solid evidence for what I propose. I also consider people's context and personality and would never force someone to do something I know is out of their comfort zone. I know what that is like. I won't force the trauma I experienced from sensory overload on other people. My husband and I have a story that exceeds most epic love tales. We are tight. When our marriage is terrible, it is horrendous. But generally, we are THOSE partners, who have each other's backs for most things in life. It actually takes a lot of brain power to be as convincing as I can be. Ha ha. I bet you are all very relieved that you are not married to me right now.

It's Actually About So Much More Than Food- Regardless of the Timeframe or Re Set:

At supper the other night my eldest son piped up, "Mom can I have those two books when I move out?" I was confused for a second. Percy Jackson came to mind first but I knew that series was more than two books. Then it clicked and my mouth sagged a bit as I said, "Do you mean the Whole30 books buddy?" and he nodded adamantly, "Yea I would really like them." My eyes almost filled with tears again, but instead I let out a bubbly laugh and ruffled his hair. That was the night we were eating bone broth, and I don't think I would have forced myself to finish, until I heard his statement. Then I realized I was also modelling how to eat, and I was going to sip up every last gulp of the meaty sustenance. He inspired me.

Recently, we had our child psychologist/ therapist and his aid in our home. He made my heart happy when he turned to her and said, "This family is TIGHT. In all my years of working with families and children, I have never come across a family this close. They have each other's backs. Their philosophy is something I wish would be adapted more. They are outside the box. They do things quite differently. In fact, as you know our careers are heavily based on research. Unfortunately, we do not have the studies or research to know what will work for this family. We have to play it by ear because they literally defy all the rules. I love coming into their unique home and watching them interact. I hope you will enjoy working with them as much as I have. I hope you will learn as much as I have from them, just as much as you will hopefully give."

At another point I was stressing about certain milestones for my children and the outside pressure I have been receiving to "do more" or "socialize them" more. He turned to me and said, "Ok who are you right now and what have you done with Kmarie? The K. I know does not conform to other people's expectations. She is solid in her philosophies and sees the benefits she has chosen for her children. Where are all these voices coming from?" I flushed and stumbled. He then smiled, "I know the best of us will listen to outside voices, but let me tell you, that I see all sorts of families. Many whose parents to not pay even 1/4 of the attention you give your children. The one issue I see, is that independence will be tougher in your family due to your tightness. But maybe you will defy that expectation too? Unless your children avidly want it, and then you will have to work around that obstacle, but I have every confidence you will. Even if it's hard. If it is important to them. But otherwise, I continually see how in tune you are with your unique sensitive family with diverse,  sensory needs. Stop listening to the majority. While it's good to question yourself, I will say this- I have had more than 30 years of experience and you are definitely the minority in your philosophies. I have worked with the religious and the non religious. You are a minority in both. So you are gonna get flack sometimes. But that is why you have a built in resilience back bone. It has been an honour to work with you. In fact, I think I will pop by for coffee sometimes just because I like your family."

I needed to hear that. It applies to all areas including the Whole30 Re set. This is what we need to do. It's not easy this time around. I already have a weird throat rash. But, anyone can do anything for thirty days right? Maybe? I guess time will tell... ( And it did, a day later, when I decided to re focus. See HERE for more.)


Song Choice: Like a Love Song- Selena Gomez. This is an odd choice that doesn't have to really do with the post, yet it does. My daughter does this with 'Just Dance.' Selena Gomez' voice in this is like dessert. Which I don't miss actually, but it's nice to get a sugary sound in the ears, isn't it? "And I keep hittin' repeat, peat, peat, peat..."

Friday, April 13, 2018

"You are TOO much" or "Your Posts are too Lengthy" or "Why Don't you Privatize your Space?" Addressing the Nonsense Geared at Minorities/ Autistics/ INFj's. "This IS me."


Over the years I have received various opinions about my thoughts. There are three negative statements however, that have been more prominent. After I receive this feedback, I will force myself to take a breather, accept the honest opinions of others as their own, and question my reasoning. Here are the top three statements and how I have dealt with them internally;

1.) "Your Posts are TOO lengthy." "Can you work on shortening your words for ease and accessibility?" Or my absolute favourite, "I could have read the whole thing, but it was too long so I stopped. It was fine and well written." 

Erm okay? So you were interested and you COULD have read it, but on the principle of the matter (it being too long) you decided to stop? It is one thing to stop reading because you simply don't have time. We all have to consider our time. It's our greatest gift. I respect that. I skim all the time - even my own stuff. Skimming is a gal's best friend.

But why tell me that MY communication needs to change. This is my process. Just skip it or skim it but why tell me what to do? This is particularly irking, if I wrote a post FOR or TO someone and they give that feedback. Immediately, they are downgraded from my circles of sharing or importance. Not because they didn't have time, but because they clearly did not respect my time put into trying to make their world better. If they don't read or skim that is one thing. But bossing me around to communicate just like them is not ok.

They can give negative feedback in dialogue, but that is another matter completely. When this happens to me... If I have something to read that I don't always have time for, I will consider the other person's personality differences, skim what I can, pick two points that I can give positive feedback on, quickly write a response, and send immediately so I do not forget. Because if a person is important to me, I can give them a few minutes of my day every once in awhile. I don't expect this type of feedback on every thought or post, but yea, if it's been awhile since I connected, I expect myself to acknowledge a friend's thoughts and existence. (P.S. This has NOT happened recently with posts. My cousin's Ferritin post was well received:)

First off, there are years or posts that I practice concise, shorter writing. But other years or posts are about my process. Which is long, speedy, and already cut in HALF by the time it gets to the page. That is just who I am. Other Aspies have also blogged about this issue. We have so many internal thoughts rolling around, that we need an outlet. Often our outlets are writing or monologuing. Both of which we have received flack from the outside world on more than one occasion.

This is nonsense because I have never claimed to be a "professional writer." I am a writer, for myself because I engage in writing. I also then hope it can help someone who maybe had similar experiences. End of story. I am not on board with perceptions of how things "SHOULD be." However, I AM aware of my readers, thus at times I will go out of my way to edit a post in half, or in hindsight go back and make cuts. I will also sometimes make underlined headings so that people can skim or skip to the parts that are relevant to them. In the end, this space is a healthy spot for me, to get out thoughts or words that I do not often have a forum for otherwise. Because I get inside my thoughts and it is hard to find a way out, detailed writing provides an outlet. It also depends on what type of post I am writing.

I understand accessibility and feel it's important. I do it in the ways that I feel I can. I have limited energy. Writing a long blog post surprisingly restores my energy. But notice, that I do not actually write captions explaining pictures ect, like most Neurodiverse blogs do. I just can't. That stresses me out, and unfortunately drains the energy I have for my family because of chronic illness. I will not be accessible to all people. That is just how life goes. I will try my best in the ways that I can. I will sometimes stretch and grow myself. I am finely in tune and honest with whom I am. I know what I am or am not capable of. I know when to choose the tough path or the easy one. This blog is primarily for enjoyment.

2.) "You are TOO much." Or "Just get in the boat!"

I realize the second statement seems semi unrelated, but these two statements are what I spent the better part of my first 4 years of therapy on. As a child and teen, the people whom I was told loved me most, the ones who protected me or took care of me, or witnessed my life, regularly gave forms of these statements to me in some way, shape or form. Even if they complimented me on other areas or deeply loved me, I learned two facts quickly;
I wasn't fully accepted for whom I was deep down...so I learned to mask and conceal. I became Elsa. Second- I had no real autonomy. If a sensory experience was "too much" for me, I just was ordered to "get in the boat."
I was told my fears of water were unfounded but actually, they were quite logical. I was continually asked to ignore my own internal process. I was told that my thoughts or feelings about something were "unrealistic" or "too dramatic." This created a dangerous position to be in. I did anything a doctor would tell me to do. Much to my detriment. I just listened to people in certain positions of power, not because I agreed, but because I doubted my own experience and defaulted to "professionals." Luckily, I learned about personal autonomy gradually, beginning with the birth processes of my last two children at 20 and 24, but did not reach full autonomy until about 26.

I now understand that this is also nonsense. Why do these statements not hold up? Because I was already an anomaly. I was a minority so my experiences were considered illegitimate. But that did not mean that I had no meaning. Or that I was absurd for being me. What was absurd was expecting me to conform when I was clearly not fitting in every step of the way.

I also understand WHY this happened. I can look back now without feeling the absolute grief I used to about childhood. I used to feel embarrassment for myself and the others involved. I used to feel deep pain for being ignored where I needed attention. I used to feel disrespected. I also felt paranoid about my way in the world. My anxiety was heightened because I was constantly given mixed messages of "You are loved" but "Don't be like this, don't be your truth." Of course, this made me question whom I was and it took years to get to know myself again in my later twenties.

In the end, I worked through blame, criticism and pain, to realize it was not my fault, and it wasn't any of my caretakers' faults or those who loved me. Did I still have to deal with loads of memories and relationships in therapy over the years? YES. But, I also started to unravel the deep wounds. Because, the fact is, when someone or something is not understood, they are contained or feared or forced to become something else. Naturally, that is what happened to me. My real fear of water was written off as trivial. I still can not think of swimming lessons without massive palpitations. I was told to "DE -sensitize." A favourite term of ABA specialists and "normal" people. But de-sensitizing a logical fear or something that makes sense, as a reality, or a phobia, will not work. It's like calling people who are germ adverse hypochondriacs. When you look at the history of the world, more people have died from disease than any war. Most wars were also won BECAUSE of disease. It is a fact that if the world is going to be wiped out, it will be more likely from disease than a nuclear bomb. Vaccinations happened the same time as advanced hygiene. Disease went down due to the hygiene factor more than the vaccinations (although some of these were a huge advancement.) This is simply logic. So it makes sense, if one cares about longevity, to be careful about hand washing, contagions ect. It's cold logic applied with practicality.

My sensory experiences WERE legitimate. (Check out the Sensory posts on side label. Especially the Halloween HERE or Thanksgiving one HERE.) Just because over 80 percent of the population May not feel the same, does not mean the other 20 percent are not legitimate. Or insert whatever statistic you like. There ARE exceptions always. One reality does not negate another. Being forced into a boat, being told to ignore it, getting in trouble for wanting to throw up from a noise, being told when the worst of sensory would bombard me and I would cry, that I was "Too much" contributed to the massive self esteem issues I began to have at the tender age of six.

Oftentimes, certain personalities are more prone to comment this way on my persona. Usually it is unhealthy persons who have not yet known themselves. Also, the majority have been ESFJ's. I now know why this is. A close friend is a pretty balanced ESFJ. We actually get along well in moderation. Our processes are different but we can agree on harmony. However, ESFJ's can feel frustrated by the individuality of an INFJ, as they are more for the collective good. They do not always love exceptions to rules, which INFJ's often portray. Also, the aura of mystery can feel devious to them at times, as well as the fact that INFJ's give advice. Advice feels like being bossed or feels degrading to many ESFJ's. Thus, my natural personality could be continually offensive. This is ONE small example of how personality understanding takes most of the pain away from a statement. Because when understanding to context is applied, then it feels less personal. (See THIS and THIS and THIS video on ESFJ's process.) This can also happen in ANY personality type and engagement.

Today, if I get these statements, I DO initially feel the pain again. It's like a battle wound that has since healed completely but still receives phantom pain or has arthritis when the weather changes. I have to tell myself, "Those are messages from people who may not give deeper thought to what they say. Perhaps they lack self understanding or the larger picture. Maybe they are wounded too. You have dealt with this. You may be too much for some people, but for the few who matter, you are just enough. You have your mistakes, you have your flaws, but you are still worthy. You have strengths and you have disabilities. Remember that a large compliment is just as damaging to the ego if massively internalized. People are fickle. Opinions change. Both the good and bad opinions become neutral when one knows themselves. Enjoy the good but don't let it blow up ego. Question yourself with the bad. Then question the person who said it. Give grace when possible or contextual. Apply boundaries or distance when needed."

"Look out cuz here I come. And I'm marching out to the beat I drum..."- This is Me.

3.) "Why Don't you Privatize Your Space? If you value privacy so much, why not take it private. You share too many personal things that should not be processed in public."

This statement I have only received 4 times. Once, it was said to me via email, when someone who did not even know me well, read my blog, made some conclusions about me, and decided to confront me. Though it was audacious, it was also a form of brave, so I gave her my time. She was a worker at the local school who had witnessed aspects of my life growing up, but had yet to ever have a personal conversation with me one on one. Thus, I took that context into consideration when reading her words.

"Hide away they say, we don't want your broken parts...Run away, they say, no one will love you as you are.... but I won't let them break me down to dust... I know that there's a place for us." - This is me 🎶

To be honest, I had to ask myself the same question the day I started this blog. I have had multiple blogs, switching when each one became well read. I have had two private spaces as well. In the end, I have settled on this place the last few years. It has felt like home. I try to keep posts to 2-6 per month because I am aware I give lots of information, so I try to not overwhelm on a daily basis.

About INCLUSION:

The reason I keep it public? In the past, I have received emails from strangers, connections, or statements in the comments, about how one post changed some one's complete way of thinking. I have been often asked to write self help. It's not so much about my actual writing, as it is, I think, about my way of being in the world. My honesty with self, tends to help others be honest with themselves. A comment I have received multiple times in the last two years alone. As an INFJ, that matters to me. If I went private, I would neglect to give to the people who need this space in some way. Those who are irked by 'me', can simply close their browser. Walk away. Those that either love me and want to know my inner workings a bit, or those who are just curious to learn, or those who are looking for something specific like my health journey, can search and find. That is important to me. I feel I can give to a few people in the world this way. Actually I KNOW I can. Just because the majority find the information "useless" or "too much" or makes them uncomfortable, does not mean I am not giving... in my own way. That is what true inclusion is. Allowing people to be whom they truly are and respecting them for it, even if it is not typical.

I write primarily for self first. For healing and processing. I need to write occasionally to understand. Once I put it out in the world, I feel better. It's a letting go process. But secondary to this, my writing is for the few who maybe grew up like me. With beautiful childhoods that still caused massive damage. With internalized confusing messages of whom they should be. I know I am lucky to have 13 plus years of therapy, diagnosis, self help books, researching and a good support system backing me up. I feel it is important to spread that support a bit, because I have it. It's a privilege that I can share in this way.

Private blogs are important. We all have differing processes. This space is just the tip of my daily life. My inner processes are so much more complex. For instance, this blog post alone only took 20 minutes to write. What takes longer is editing, finding a song or picture and emailing out to the list of a few people who thus far have not said anything that would stop me from sharing. Although certain posts I do not send to anyone and let the finders find, while other posts I have differing email lists (that I unfortunately sometimes mix up. Yikes.) My main cognitive function is internal. Which means that my inner world is more of a reality to me than my outer surroundings. For people with the opposite personality functions this sounds ridiculous. But, from my context, I understand their mentality but I also could never live in it either. Add to that, Autism and being an INFJ, and my internal process is probably more intense than most other people who share the same functions...unless they are also differently wired or own an intense, internalizing personality.

Conclusion:

"...🎶 Another round of bullets hits my skin. Well, fire away, cuz today, I won't let the shame begin. We are bursting through the barricades and reaching for the sun. We are glorious. Yea that's we've become. I won't let them break me down to dust. I know that there's a place for us, for we are glorious. When the sharpest words want to cut me down. I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out, I am brave, I am bruised, I am whom I meant to be. This is me. Look out cuz here I come. And I'm marching out to the beat I drum. I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies. THIS IS ME....And I know that I deserve love. There is nothing I am not worthy of...This is BRAVE, this is BRUISED, this is whom I'm MEANT to be. This is ME...I'm not scared to be SEEN. I make NO apologies for this is me...."- Keala Settle and Cast.*
🎶
**"🎶Oh life is waiting for you, it's all messed up but we're alive🎶..."


*"This is Me" was my second least favourite song on the "Greatest Showman." Although, I loved them all so this was a tough call. LOL. While I felt it was good and beautiful, it didn't feel too applicable to my current journey. My self of 25 and under? Definitely. I would have probably blasted this more than "Defying Gravity." But with a lot of personality study and different wiring, I have more of a gentle acceptance of whom I am now that I don't need to prove, but in writing, for those who are still coming to terms with themselves, I make sure I take a strong stance of worthiness and explanation. This song fit perfectly for those who are still learning they are worthy because they exist. Don't be scared to be seen. In short, that is why I keep up this blog. I am not going to quit out of fear. If I quit, it will be because of a new phase in life and not for others qualms or internalized self insecurity.


Song Choice: This is Me- Greatest Showman



Life- Our Lady Peace (the lyrics to this song helped me get through Junior High.)



Misery- Soul Asylum

Loser Like Me- Glee: