Saturday, July 6, 2013

26. d'Artagnan's Corner: Freedom from Self-Judgement

Freedom from  Self-Judgement
This Independence Day I tried to think about what I am learning to have freedom from this year. I've talked to several people about the topic and everyone has such interesting answers! The freedom I am learning to experience is freedom from self-judgement and criticism. I'm learning a new level of self-love and self-acceptance since my EDS diagnosis. The diagnosis has been a blessing in that way, I suppose.

Here's an example: I generally get irritated when I sleep late into the morning, even on my days off. This morning I overslept. I slept until 11am! Typically, I would be rife with self judgement and remonstrating myself for being so "lazy," "sick," "un-motivated" and "immature." How I came to associate those words and feelings with oversleeping is fuel for a separate post entirely. Today, after oversleeping, I took a step back from the judgement and thought to myself: what is the harm in sleeping late, really? Why have I labeled this so negatively? Who gets to determine how late I sleep on a day off? The answers were empowering. My body needs the rest. No harm comes from sleeping in an a day off. The labels come from outside perspectives that should have no bearing on how I live my best life. Only I get to determine how I spend my time and what I do to care for myself. Then I realized it was FUN to sleep late, and FUN to have crazy dreams into the morning and I don't have to feel bad or apologize for that. Progress made in baby steps.

Tummy Trouble! 
This week started out normally health-wise but Monday night I ended up sick which started a new leg in my EDS journey. Monday after dinner, it felt like my stomach was just not digesting. Food was just sitting there, hanging out, not doing what it was supposed to be doing. Bothered by these deviant tenants, my system decided to give the food an eviction notice and I ended up sick Monday night.

I didn't have a fever or any other symptoms; my tummy just did not want to digest any food. So, I went to my online EDS groups for advice. As of now, the signs are pointing to gastroparesis, but I can't say that for sure. The symptoms fit, but I'm not a doctor, so I don't for sure know what is going on with my system.

What I do know is that what seems to work in getting my digestive system back in balance is eating teeny meals of semi-solid foods: mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, yogurt, applesauce, mashed bananas, etc. Doing this was helping with my tummy problems, but I was getting so, so, so tired from being malnourished. My online EDS friends suggested I supplement with Ensure shakes. Once I started doing that, the fatigue went back to normal levels.

I've been doing this since Tuesday and I think my system is slowly getting back into balance. I had my first solid meal last night at a restaurant with my Boo. I was able to digest it, but still had that overly full, slightly nauseous feeling this morning. So, I'm doing Ensure today until I'm able to eat solid food again. I feel good about it even though I'm not totally back to my normal status. Progress is progress and even the smallest baby step is worth being thankful for.

Other Miscellany
This week my strawberry plant produced some of the first strawberries of this growing season!

I had to switch to container gardens this year. I tried to maintain a plot in a community garden last year but it was too much. So I compromised this year and planted a garden in containers on my deck. Here are my pretties.

My new-to-me car is registered, insured and drivable! Here's a photo of the car, the latest member of my family. Her name is Champ.

I had a good 4th of July. Because of my tummy trouble, I took it pretty easy. I took the dog for a walk around my neighborhood which was very quiet. The fireworks aren't happening until tonight (Saturday) so there wasn't much going on around town, even on the 4th. I topped off the day nerding out with a Harry Potter movie marathon. How was your holiday?


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