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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Wow, so I’m really not great at this blogging thing… I’ve been away for a bit wallowing in my own self pity for a couple weeks, and finally decided I need to put my big girl pants on and get back to life. So when I started this blog, I did so with every intention of sharing all sides of my journey to better health. Not just the highlight reel of my wins, but also the raw, ugly truth that is struggling with an auto-immune disorder, especially IBD. I went into sort of a “panic mode” after realizing that this IS the internet. Whatever I write is out here forever, potentially for all the world to see, from complete strangers, to *gasp*, even worse, my co-workers, friends, and family. I have finally crawled out from underneath my rock and have gotten back on my “blogging horse”. So, as I said, this blog is meant to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately the past couple of weeks have been mostly ugly… so if you are interested in the truly ugly stuff I’ve been dealing with, then feel free to keep reading (just don’t say I didn’t warn you). If not, or if you have a weak stomach, then stop right now.

It’s been about 7 weeks since I finished my third Whole30 challenge and I’ve yet to post my final results (I WILL post them I promise!). I just need to get a few things off of my mind in the meantime. So one thing I did not expect on my journey to health through my diet, was all of the detox symptoms that come with it. I have been detoxing HARD y’all! I feel like not only have I been experiencing physical detox symptoms, but major mental and emotional detox as well. The physical detox honestly hasn’t been that hard to deal with, nothing I haven’t experienced before – migraines, exhaustion, multiple trips to the bathroom, diarrhea, mucous and blood in my poop (seriously I warned you guys it was ugly). I know all these things just come with the process. I know when embarking on a health journey, things naturally tend to get worse before they get better. Besides, I am completely med free now, so I figured there would be a period of time that my body has to adjust to fending for itself and not relying on the medicine to do it for me.

What I was not expecting is the negativity, depression, and personality changes that I am experiencing while going through this process. Seriously, who am I right now? I have been slipping in an out of what feels like a mild depression for the past couple of weeks. I have been in an extremely negative head space lately and that is so totally opposite of me. (Side note, my husband says that I can literally find the positive side to any situation – He says that if he were to get shot 6 times in the chest, I would still say, “at least they didn’t get you in the face” – I know, definitely an exaggeration, but it just goes to show you that I am generally a pretty positive person by nature)  The things that brought me joy before are just irritations to me now. For example, I’m naturally a sociable person. I love going out with friends, hosting friends and family, parties, etc. Since I’ve started SCD, social situations just become triggers for depressive episodes. All I can think about while in a social situation is the amount of times I have to say “no” to literally everything! Having a bonfire roasting hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores? No. Going out to Applebees, or Buffalo Wild Wings, or (insert literally ANY restaurant here)? No. Friends wanting to have us over for dinner, wine, and dessert? No. Don’t get me wrong, all these are things that I have actually done during these past few weeks, but the whole time, I am just sitting there thinking about how much easier these situations would be if I was just back on my Remicade.

When I was on Remicade, I didn’t have to worry about bringing my own food to a friends house for dinner, or watching everyone else eat hot dogs and s’mores at a bonfire while I just drink hot tea, or literally eating beforehand and only ordering water at a restaurant while my friends order a juicy cheeseburger/hot wings/french fries/loaded nachos, etc. My mouth is watering just thinking about all the foods that I miss. And, I have to confess, I had 2 days that I lost my mind and literally just said, “forget this”. I drove straight to Culvers, ordered a double bacon cheeseburger with everything on it and large fries. I scarfed that meal down so fast I hardly even had time to enjoy it or realize what I was actually doing. The next day I STILL wasn’t done with my rebellious binge and I probably ate half my weight in Hershey’s miniature chocolates. I paid for it over the next few days, but I’m glad to say I did finally come to my senses.

Even the question “How are you?” is a catalyst for tears. I usually smile big and say, “I’m really good! Thanks! And you?” The truth is, I’m not good. But I’m not going to reply to every acquaintance, co-worker, friend and family member that asks me “How are you?” with “Actually, I’m pooping 4-5 times a day and it usually has lots of blood and mucous in it. I have to give myself medicinal enemas every night before bed. I’ve been suffering from mild depression and I usually cry about 3 times a week because of it. And I honestly would rather be at home in bed right now rather than having this conversation with you. But thanks for asking!”

Fast forward to today… I’m slowly regaining my determination to see this all the way through. I’ve started finding hope again that SCD still could work for me, I just need to be patient. I’m still learning my triggers and trying to take things one day at a time. I started exercising which I think has been a good mental boost for me despite everything else going on (I’m 5 weeks into a 12 week lifting program – I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress).  I also started juicing which is fun, I’ll probably do a few posts about that in the future as well. So there you have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m really going to work on being more consistent with my blogging, but I’m not going to make any promises – I kinda have a full plate right now with about a million other things I’m trying to incorporate in my life, so if my blog has to take a back seat for a bit, I’m okay with that. See, that is progress –  a few years ago in my twenties, I definitely would be running myself ragged trying to keep up with various projects. Not anymore – I’m learning. So if you made it this far, thanks for reading. I’m interested to hear if any of you guys have been able to overcome a disease with just diet alone? What were your hangups, hardships, and breakthroughs? Please share below in the comments.

Until next time,

-April

Author:

My name is April, I’m 29 years old and I’d like to officially welcome you to my #dirty30journey! My ultimate goal? Feel physically, mentally, and spiritually better in my thirties, than I ever have before in years past. This journey has been a lifetime in the making and it hasn’t always been pretty - with bumps and bruises, ups and downs, and lots of curves and detours along the way. So welcome everyone to my page, where I will share my struggles, my triumphs, my favorite Whole30/Paleo/SCD recipes, occasional random thoughts and my tips and tricks on how I plan on living my #bestlife by the age of thirty.

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