As of today, I've decided to allow myself a little snack (or noncompliant meal) every once in a while. Not just because I deserve a treat now and then, but also because a treat pulls me out of my tunnel vision and allows me to see the bigger picture more clearly. It breaks up the monotony and lessens the extreme pressure I've put on myself. The pressure to never cheat, and the resulting stress, is probably worse for my body than cheating occasionally, so I'm making a minor change to the rules.
OK, so after almost two months on the diet, is the diet helping me physically?
I still can't say for sure that it is helping physcially, but I think it is, even though I've had some rough times since my last post. Here are some things that indicate the diet is making some kind of physical difference:
- I haven't used my cane around the house for the last five or six weeks.
- I've been able to carry small loads of firewood from the porch to the fireplace, which I don't think I could do before.
- It seems like long, hot showers don't wipe me out like they used to. I used to be pretty much unable to walk when I got out of the shower; I felt like I could easily hurt myself just trying to walk 15 feet from the shower to my bed, where I almost always have to rest for at least several minutes after taking a shower. I didn't even have the strength to fasten a towel snuggly enough around me to be sure it wouldn't fall off during the short walk to my bed. Although I still have to relax after showers, I haven't felt any kind of danger in a while (considering I have to walk near the top of the stairs on the way to my bedroom). I'm still pretty exhausted when I get out of the shower, but I don't think it's anything like it used to be.
- When I curl up my toes (similar to making a fist, but with my feet), I can feel my toes and control them better than I've been able to for at least a couple years.
- I may add more to this list as things occur to me.
Early this month I wasn't eating enough, I guess because cooking and preparing food had become tiresome and monotonous. Basically I was drinking only one smoothie each day (in addition to my usual fish or other meat for dinner), instead of the two daily smoothies I had been drinking in addition to my dinner (and sometimes another small meal). My very large smoothies contain coconut water, coconut oil, flax seeds, turmeric, blueberries, strawberries, banana, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sometimes a handful of pecans or walnuts, and a heavy dose (about 3 oz) of either kale or spinach (because I quickly got sick of eating leafy foods in their natural state). As you can see, I get basically all my leafy foods, color foods, and sulfur foods via the twice daily smoothies. But as you can probably guess, I'm not getting the full "three cups" of those three types of food. I'm probably coming real close to meeting the "three cups" of each food, but I'd say I'm probably closer to 2 cups. Although I know I need to do better, I also know this is much better than eating strictly deep dish pizza every day, like I was before starting this diet.
Being too lazy or too occupied to make two daily smoothies seems to have made a huge negative impact on my mental state. I began thinking a lot about that girl I mentioned early last month, which led to me writing long, semi-obsessive emails to her. (But most of this is probably because she suddenly and unexpectedly initiated a series of friendly emails from afar, which caught me off guard and tempted my heart a little more than I could handle.) Also, I abruptly lost the motivation to continue my near-daily walks on the treadmill. And as you may have noticed (if anyone actually reads this blog), I also stopped updating the blog, even though I had been updating almost daily for a couple weeks prior to March. So it looks like this malnutrition episode did some damage.
Note: I also wasn't putting mushrooms in my smoothies for at least a couple weeks because I'd like to keep from eating foods that feed Candida. Unfortunately, mushrooms were my main source of sulfur, and I'm not really comfortable eating many other sulfur foods yet, aside from garlic. Consequently, I've resumed adding mushrooms to my smoothies.
I can't say for sure that my setbacks were entirely a result of my decreased smoothie intake, but it does kinda seem that way now that I've resumed drinking two daily smoothies for the last week or so. That girl is no longer in my head, and after 8-1/2 years I'm starting to not really care if she ever talks to me again, which is very good because honestly she probably doesn't deserve the huge space in my heart I'd reserved for her for so long. I haven't gotten back on the treadmill yet, but I feel like I may be about to. With physical therapy two afternoons a week lately, as well as the stretches and exercises I'm supposed to do at home, it's harder to make time for the treadmill.
Or maybe my setback was caused by discontinuing my near-daily treadmill exercise. The setback probably wasn't caused entirely by getting off the treadmill, seeing how my brain experienced its most positive change at least a week before I ever started using the treadmill. But I imagine lack of exercise/walking probably played a role in my step backwards.
Realistically my setback was probably caused by the combination of at least a few different factors, including living in a very unhealthy environment. Long story short: I live with my parents. I wouldn't live here if I only had the ability to walk normal (without a cane) or do other minor physical feats most people take for granted, and the only reason I'm allowed to live here is because my parents are just human enough not to force me to be homeless. Also, it often gives Mom a perfect opportunity to let me know just how worthless I am by reminding me that they let me live here when they could just throw my crippled ass out on the streets (which would probably make me happier). They've treated me like I'm a total idiot my whole life, and this treatment will never end, no matter how many amazing things I accomplish. And they both deny treating me this way, of course, even though my dad hates me and has never even kept it a secret. They honestly believe I'm too stupid to be able to figure out things like that, because they decided when I was a kid that I'm absolutely stupid, and no evidence to the contrary will ever change their minds. Even if it was plain as day that my brain could make them a lot of money (which it is), my parents will always see me as a fucking worthless loser.
My dad beat me up when I was a kid and started fights with me after I grew up. There have been many times when he has started fights or vicious arguments with me, then called the cops and lied to them about what happened, specifically in an effort to put me in jail. And some of his lies are direct results of what he learned about the law when he's done this shit before. For example, he learned that if I was a resident of the house, even if I don't own it, the cops couldn't take me to jail over what happened. So the next time it happened, he lied and told them I didn't live here, specifically in an effort to put me in jail after he instigated the whole damn thing. I stay the fuck out of his way and out of his life as much as possible specifically because I know communicating with him will likely lead to this kind of thing. But that's not good enough for him. He gets off on making my life as miserable as possible.
How fucking sick in the head does someone have to be to do that? I don't have kids (and it's beginning to look like I probably never will), but I could never do that to my own kid (or even anyone else's kid, or anyone period, including my sadistic dad), first of all because I would love my kids, even if they didn't have the same interests as me. As far as I'm concerned, I would be obligated to not do that shit. Not because I've been taught that it's the right thing to do, but because I have a brain and a heart that figured it out on their own. Hate is not tough love, and "tough love" isn't any kind of love. "Tough love" is a poor excuse to take out hatred or anger on someone who doesn't deserve it. Love is love, and kids who grow up feeling loved don't have to say the kinds of things I've unfortunately had to say here about my parents. Kids who grow up knowing they're loved don't end up with multiple sclerosis.
How could anyone hate their own kid? And why the fuck would anyone even create a kid if they didn't have every intention to love the kid or at least treat the kid with any kind of decency? These are the kinds of questions I've had going through my head since I was a kid, and I'll never have any acceptable answers.
My dad reminded me today how much he hates me, using no uncertain terminology. Shortly after that, my mom told me I got MS from smoking other people's cigarette butts; that MS comes from a cigarette-butt virus, and implicitly that I gave it to myself through my own stupidity (because it's easier for most people to believe absolutely ridiculous shit like that than it is to look inside themselves and at least try to recognize that maybe they've done wrong and could actually make a huge positive difference in someone's miserable life by trying to right the wrongs they've done to that person). Yet whenever I call either of them out, they deny treating me like I'm stupid and worthless, then they go on to treat me like I'm the stupidest, most worthless piece of shit to ever walk the face of the earth. Then they deny it again.
I'm not looking for sympathy or even empathy here. I'm just telling it like it is, because maybe my story will someday help someone else not have to go through this misery that I don't fucking deserve; that has caused me a lot of tears, and will continue to cause me extreme mental and physical pain until it finally kills me.
People need love. I need love. I don't have love and pretty much have never been actively loved by anyone except maybe animals. As a result, I don't know how to be loved. I don't know how to recognize being loved, either. And if I do recognize what seems to be love, I turn into a monster in the eyes of the person who seems to love me, because I don't know how to be loved.
My body quit working two weeks after I finished a ridiculously painful, hunger-filled 3,463-mile walk across the United States. I don't think that's coincidental. I think my brain finally just gave up after realizing none of the amazing shit I've accomplished in this world is ever gonna get me anywhere. I've known it my whole life, but still I kept trying to show my parents and everyone else that I'm worth something, because I'm worth a lot, in any of several unrelated fields. I walked across a continent basically to make a statement, saying I can do anything I say I can do, and here's proof, because there is essentially nothing harder than what I did. But almost no one noticed. No one cared. I didn't need a lot of people to notice or care--I didn't do it for attention, unlike everyone else who does half-ass versions of what I did--but I did think someone would notice and recognize that I have something very valuable to offer. Nope.
And that's probably the biggest reason why I have MS. Also, it's really not good for my health to live this way. This alone is probably the biggest obstacle keeping me from making a "miraculous" recovery, and it will continue to be, no matter how hard I try to take care of myself through diet, exercise, and other stuff.
In other news, I really like my physical therapist, and I think this regular interaction with her is very good for me, regardless of the physical therapy part. People need to be around other people sometimes, and I've led a pretty damn reclusive life for a long time now. And it's not just being around someone that makes such a positive impact on me. It's a result of being around her specifically. There are just certain people who seem to belong in your life right from the start, and she seems like one of those people to me.
Something that took me by surprise a few days ago is that I've lost over 10 lbs since beginning the diet; maybe even closer to 15 lbs. Looking at the scale, it confused me at first because I really wasn't expecting to see more than about 5 lbs difference from my starting weight. Although I was a little heavier than I like to be when I began the diet (160-165, rather than 150 or less), I didn't really need to lose weight, and I wasn't trying, either. I don't know if this weight loss is unavoidable with this kind of diet or if it's a result of me not eating enough.
Although I was hopeful that my optic neuritis was improving, I don't think it has.
Oh yeah, I still haven't worked organ meats into my diet. I've only eaten organ meat a few times, and it's been a while, so I need to get with it in that department. I also need to expand the list of foods I'm eating because I eat pretty much the same thing every day. In defense of my eating patterns, though, I do put a lot of different foods in my smoothies. But I still need more variety in my diet.