Recently my boyfriend went to India on a business trip for his company to ensure their bottom line. So, you can image it felt pointless to be without him for over 2 weeks. I can imagine I’d feel better about him going to a country that is constantly tumultuous and stricken with severe poverty if he was there on a more philanthropic mission. He is not, so I am stressed beyond belief.
When they started rioting for Valentine’s day, and I totally see where they’re coming from, I feared for his safety as much as I had when he first got on the plane. He had been there a week at that point. I should have been used to the distance by then, but instead I was a raging ball of hormones.
Stress and I aren’t friends. We’re not even on speaking terms.
I have a tendency to lash out verbally at people when I’m feeling stressed. I rant about things that bother me [eg, useless capitalistic holidays, humility, eating and buying crap] at the expense of those around me. I noticed yesterday afternoon that I had been a fireball online for the past couple days. Just being agro in general with little regard for anyone else’s feelings. Compassion is one of the first things to go out the window when I’m stressed.
I decided that a little time off from people in general, including online, would be the best thing for me. Though, I probably need a good old fashioned camping trip, it is not the proper time of year for such things as well as the money being tight right now while he’s away. I browsed netflix for some instant watch movies and watched them with my son – three in total. It was a good time. We laughed at 2012. We whoa’d at Gabriel. We laughed with Drop Dead Fred. It was an interesting mix of movies and a good escape for me.
History is a place to visit for understanding. The past holds so many keys.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19. I have struggled with taking medication over the years and have learned in the process that food has a greater affect on my moods than any medication [except lithium, which turns me into a raging mad woman, and amitriptyline, which turns me into a mindless emotionless zombie]. I have learned that a diet high in refined and processed foods wreaks havoc on mood stabilization. I have also learned that sugar is my mortal enemy but I am addicted to it nonetheless. My insulin response is over-reactive. I am hypoglycemic, which can also be mistaken as bipolar disorder if assessed by an untrained physician. My physician had graduated medical school 2 years prior and was a resident at a local clinic. I am sure he is an amazing doctor now, in NY somewhere, but I believe he either made an error or I am both hypoglycemic AND bipolar.
In the past 13 years, I have studied food, paid attention to what I eat and read all the books I could get my hands on, including some of the diet fad books. I read 5 books in less than a month on hypoglycemia alone. I know what I have and how to combat it AND how to point out bullshit as well. Bipolar is something that’s a little harder to read about without having fits of crying and sheer unwillingness to delve deeper into such a painful subject for me. I know enough about it, to know I have a less severe case of it. I also know enough about the way food works in our bodies to know that a food allergy or nutritional deficit can be misconstrued as a mental disability. So, 13 years later I know how to eat.
My owners manual is still on the editors desk.
In recent years, I have minimize my soy intake. The funny thing about this is, I noticed it was causing issues for me. So I went about looking for information to support or deny my suspicions. In the end I found an article [or 50] about the effects of soy on the human body. Some of the articles suggest outrageous claims, but in the end I had the meat of what I needed – a reason to quit drinking soy. In the past 2.5 years my mood has stabilized and I feel relatively normal. So, now I know to keep my soy intake to a minimum. But in the past couple days I found out that any soy I have ever come in contact with is a GMO. So, my theory is, it may not be soy I have issues with. My system has proven to be very sensitive to altered food. I am the canary, if you will. In theory, it’s GMO soy that is the problem. The sad part is, I have no way of testing out that hypothesis.
Being hypoglycemic, I have been on a no sugar, no refined carbs, no artificial sweetener [which is completely yucky and I would never touch anyhow] diet. In that 4 months, I lost 17 lbs and my mood swung less. I have no idea why I included sugar back into my diet — weakness, addiction, peer pressure, who knows! I like to imagine that I’m allergic to sugar and my severe mood swings and low blood sugar episodes are equivalent to anaphylactic shock. It’s not, but it helps me to steer clear of it.
Preservatives are my enemy.
I don’t know which one’s yet, but they are evil and mean to me. There’s even a couple in shampoo that I can’t use [they’re in herbal essences] that give me psoriasis. And whatever’s in bar soap gives me eczema [even oil of olay sensitive skin]. In food it’s a different ball game entirely. I can pinpoint, with a little research, which chemical additives in soap affect me. I have had a very hard time pinpointing the culprits in food. I simply try to avoid all non-dairy, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors, MSG, TVP, nitrates, some stuff I can’t even remember, but I guarantee if I see it on a label, it’s not coming home with me. I don’t know if all the things I avoid hurt me, but it hasn’t hurt me avoiding them.
What hurts me is when I have too many preservatives, refined carbs or sweets. I have learned the woes from eating fast food. I have experienced the anger from eating too much sugar. I have suffered through depression and anxiety from too many preservatives. It is in my – and those directly in contact with me – best interest for me to stay away from most industrialized foods. My peanut butter is just that, no sugar, alien oils or preservatives. My jam, if you can call it that, is just finely ground apples and nothing else. My bread has more grains than I have fingers and my milk is naturally sweet organic oat milk. I get teased for this, but it is in everyone’s best interest that I watch my eating and keep my foods preservative free.
My current fixation is going to annoy the crap out of my boyfriend.
So, what brings an article of this length on? I’ll tell you. I had a fit recently, as described earlier in this post, and had to separate myself from everyone. When I came back to the computer, I had new resolve and determination. I googled “GMO mental illness connection”. After watching Food Inc and King Corn this weekend, I felt powerless. I saw my mood slowly disintegrating under the pressures of stress and lack of good food choices. I made the connection and shared what info I found on Facebook and a little on Twitter. I bombarded all my friends with links to sites that help you find whole raw milk and farmer’s markets. I found a connection that no one wants to admit to and needed to share my story. I could write a book about my discoveries and trials, but I’ve never written a book, so I have no idea where to start.
Instead I write chapter length short stories in hopes that the right people find it. Hopefully the right people are reading this now and can click the links I provided below to swallow that little red pill and throw the blue one down the hole. I hope your day is full of life and a zest to appreciate it.
Find real milk in your area
Food Renegade – a lot of really helpful information and articles about whole foods eating.
Pfeiffer Treatment Facility – a place to help you balance your endocrine system.
Real Food Media – journalistic articles on real whole food and other green things.