Acceptance: Old Patterns
I promise to always be honest here and share my real truth. The real truth of my process and struggles and transformation. I owe you that, and more importantly I owe myself that.
On Friday I had another doctor’s appointment. With everything that I have been dealing with around my pelvis I have been living in doctors offices for about a year now. I can’t help but get frustrated each time I go to someone new, feel hopeful, and then go back only to find myself without answers or answers I don't like and filled with stress again. It’s annoying. It’s annoying and a little too reminiscent of my adolescence/teenage years when I went from therapist to therapist to specialist to specialist. I have been feeling a little too much backwards energy in that area. A little too much, fuck I’m 31 next week how am I still dealing with this shit? How did I get back here?
I’m not back there. I’m not dealing with the same shit. I am moving forward. I am active in my healing. I am not fighting against it. It is very different. Still, those feelings and moments exist and I am team feel your feelings in order to move through them.
This last doctor's appointment was particularly hard. A little backstory on my medical history and apologies to those of you who have heard it all before. I have been lethargic, with horrendous periods for many many many many years. I PMS for weeks sometimes months at a time. I mean that literally, sometimes I never stop PMSing. I get angry and triggered really easily. My anxiety can be off the charts. My depression paralyzing. My pelvis at one point was going out every month around my cycle causing me to be bedridden and unable to walk for 6-7 days at a time. I gain weight and bloat and am in pain. My feet hurt. My back hurts. My boobs hurt. My legs and arms hurt. Everything hurts.
After years of gynecologists telling me this is normal and I am fine, I finally got hormone testing done and surprise surprise I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). I and my mom and anyone else who has dealt with these issues have assumed for a long time that this was the case. It was not normal or fine that I was having these extreme symptoms. It is not normal or fine to be exhausted and in pain 100% of the time.
Part of the reason I did so many food elimination diets in the past was in order to try and ease my symptoms. It never worked. It has worked miracles for some people, but not for me. Diet wasn’t the answer thank god, because I don’t know what I would do if it was. I guess I do know, accept it.
I am in a state of trying extremely hard to heal my relationship with food and it is necessary for me to not put restrictions on myself right now. That by no means means I shouldn’t be conscious of the things that affect me. Because in reality dairy and gluten and sugar do affect me. That is not emotional that is fact. But it is not so black and white. I do not have to say, “I don’t eat this…” anymore. Every meal every moment is a choice and I along with my body get to decide what I want to eat when I want to eat it. It is hugely liberating and also really scary. All of this is to say, it is more important to me that I heal the relationship with food right now than it would be to stop eating sugar because it was aggravating my hormones. It’s a bit of a catch 22 but I know in the long run being able to have a healthy relationship with food will allow me to alleviate those symptoms anyway.
Despite the fact that during my last appointment we spoke long about where I was at with food and all of the diets I had done in the past-- done seriously btw, I am not a dabbler when it comes to these things, I go all in and follow every rule and I do it for years at a time-- my doctor in response to my blood work and elevated testosterone levels immediately started going in on me about weight loss.
She wanted to put me on injectables, where I would have to inject myself every day with a weight loss drug possibly for the rest of my life. She wanted to teach me how to carb count, something I very clearly already explained I know how to do and have no interest in doing. She wanted to and then did put me on a medicine that I was on when I was at my heaviest. A medicine that if you read my memoir you would know made me vomit every five minutes on my first day of the last hospital that I was in because they gave me the wrong dosage.
Weight loss and medicine and carbs were repeated over and over and over again and each time she used one of those words it felt like my past was being thrown in my face. I felt like a failure. Now please know lovely readers, I know that I am not a failure, quite the opposite, but in that moment it felt like it. The more she talked the more I went there.
I left that office numb until I shut the door to my car and called my mom angry. Then I called my husband hysterical to the point that I had to pull over because I was crying so hard that it wasn’t safe for me to drive. I told him I would go home and take a nap-- it should be noted I barely slept last week which made my emotional state a lot rockier than it would be had I gotten proper rest. Instead I pulled into a parking lot of some froyo place and sat in my car crying into mediocre frozen yogurt, texting my closest about what had just happened. I left that office and fell into old patterns.
I fell into old patterns because of course I did, they are patterns that were means to protect myself at one point in life. Patterns that were ingrained in me for a lot longer than these new ones. The largest sign of how far I’ve come is how quickly I grabbed on to the new ones. As I was sitting there crying into food I didn’t want or like, dumping my sob story onto any person who would listen, I took a moment took a breath and said out loud, I accept that this is happening right now. I am okay-- and then threw out the froyo and drove home and slept.
In defense of my doctor, she was just doing her job. Hormones store themselves in fat cells. Weight loss is a cure for PCOS. That is science and it would have been negligent for her not to mention it.
About six years ago I gained weight that I never took off. I fought and fought and fought to get it off. I used my symptoms as an excuse to go on those elimination diets, to be vegan and then paleo, but in reality I really was hoping, okay this one will get me down to my goal weight again, okay this one will make me worthy of being seen in public again, okay this one will bring success to me and fix all of my problems.
It took a lot for me to stop those thought patterns. It took a lot for me to decide to heal my relationship with my body and food. It took a lot and still takes a lot to accept myself and my body, as is. It took a lot for me to realize acceptance was the key to healing those problems I was failing to heal with weight loss and dieting.
Acceptance is hard and it is a daily, every minute, every second, every moment choice. I am amazed at where I am at right now with it. I have come so far, so crazy far, it still blows my mind. I am also recognizing--as I face these highly triggering moments such as the one at the doctor’s office-- that acceptance is something that I need to work on with everything, not just my body or emotions.
The medicine that once made me sick, a medicine that I was put on in the past because of pre-diabetes, is a medicine that is commonly used to battle PCOS. I have been in pain emotionally and physically for so long. I asked for help and an answer and I got both. Acceptance was needed here as much as it has been needed with every other area of my life. Just because I have a history with something, just because it ignites memories of my lowest moments, does not mean I can’t change my relationship with it. I am not morbidly obese or jumping from hospital to hospital, or abusing myself with food anymore. I am not pre-diabetic. I am not that person. I am someone who has a medical issue that needs attention and this is the attention it needs.
I accept that I need to take this pill, now, as Sara today, for the issues I am dealing with right at this very moment. I accept that it does not mean I am a failure or that I’ve backslid. I accept that I am finally getting answers and am grateful and thankful that there is something that may help me. I accept that sometimes you need western medicine and more than just herbs and energy healing and meditation. I accept that using herbs and energy healing and meditation in conjunction with this new old pill is still important. I accept that my body is at the weight it is at today and that for the rest of my life it will constantly change. I accept that I will always have to do the work to accept it and never force it to be something that it is not. I accept that sometimes my past is going to creep into my present and remind me of it’s existence and that sometimes I will have a normal emotional response to it and sometimes I will have an extreme emotional response to it. I accept that sometimes I will fall into old patterns. I accept that I am an emotional human who feels things and moves through things and doesn’t deny herself. I accept that I am a constant and beautiful work in progress. I accept that work. I accept each part of the process. I accept my present. I accept. I accept. I accept.
Acceptance may be the most important part of my journey and I am so grateful to be at a point where I know this. If you take anything away from this blog post I hope it is that acceptance is the most important part of your journey too.
All of my love and support with this one. We are all in this together and as always if you would like more guidance around this issue and tools to begin integrating acceptance into your own life, please e-mail me to set up a session.