This post started in my head as a message to a friend, then turned into an Instagram post, then I decided it needed a whole blog post.
I have struggled over the years with “writer’s block,” and I have recently realized that it’s because I have been trying to force things for a long time.
I need to get this all out of my head so I don’t forget. These things may seem little, but living them out has and will bring more freedom to me.
I did a FaceBook live video the other day sort of addressing this, but there is more that I want to share! (if you want to see the live video, try this link)
So I’ll start from the “beginning.”
If you’ve been following me long, you would know that I have had a chronic cough for a long time. I was here and there for quite a while, then it started getting worse and worse. Since late spring, it has been pretty awful, and I have had fear that it won’t ever go away.
I have tried lots of things, only to be told by several doctors that my case is “complicated” and they really don’t know what’s wrong.
So then, my sweet friends try to come to my rescue. They give me all sorts of ideas about what’s wrong. It could be fragrance, essential oils, diffusing, mold, and maybe I should get allergy tested (the allergy doc doesn’t think that it’s allergies). I definitely know that my friends mean well, but it’s so hard when so many people have ideas… and I like to try to please everyone.
I tried a food sensitives test, and while I did have a lot that showed reactions, the reactions were only mild. They don’t even suggest that you do anything with the mild reactions if you have medium or high reactions to things.
Because I have issues with dairy and diffusing oils, I have tried to cut out all of the 17 foods that the test tells me I have mild reactions to + stop all oils AND fragrances. Oh and maybe it’s still reflux even though the GI told me that’s not it (because the endoscopy and trying lots of meds for it). So, I was going to ALSO attempt to cut out a lot of the high acid foods.
I have been up and down mentally and emotionally for 7 months because of this stupid cough, and I feel like what’s making it harder is spending all of that time working hard to find a reason for it, to no avail.
Earlier this week I finally decided that I just can’t anymore. I can’t keep being so restrictive with what I’m eating. I can limit fragrance, but I can’t be completely free of it because it’s everywhere! I can limit dairy, but cutting out that many foods isn’t possible for me (maybe it is for others, but I just can’t).
If the specialists say that I don’t have reflux, allergies, or asthma, then I need to trust them. My blood work is also normal and my chest x-ray is clear.
Guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But I know that I’m tired and worn from all the fighting.
I see my nurse practitioner next week (she’s amazing), but other than that, I’m going to take a break from trying to figure this out for a while. I do know that I need to limit dairy and I can’t diffuse oils, but that’s all I can handle right now.
I think I was trying to do all of these things for a few reasons. 1) I didn’t want to disappoint people. I always want people to know that I believe that their experience and story are valid and can help others, so I try it. I also know that many people have invested into me, and I hate letting them down.
2) I hear from people a lot that I need to keep fighting!
3) I assume that people think that I’m lazy if I don’t keep trying to figure it out.
4) I’m tired of coughing.
The first 3 are completely just me worried about what people think. I would say #4 is the main reason, but the others just pile on top of it.
It’s okay that I need to just let go of things for now…
On another note, I have learned to just own who I am in many areas, especially in the area of my desire to have convenience AND my desire to make everything homemade and to have all the natural and organic foods.
I call myself “Sorta Crunchy” because of this.
It’s okay to have frozen pizza AND organic milk in my grocery cart.
It’s okay to buy alllll natural and organic and foods from the farmer’s market one week then buy lots of convenience food the next.
Water is important, but a soda sometimes is good for the soul. Also. Coffee. And hot tea.
It’s okay to use lots of natural products, but use makeup that isn’t technically “natural” (because I have it and I don’t want to buy new stuff).
It’s okay to use toilet paper and paper towels that aren’t recycled. I aim to do that, but it’s also more expensive.
It’s okay that my kids spend too much time on electronics some days. It’s okay for me to force them outside some days.
It’s okay to eat at ChickFila then walk to the natural foods store afterwards to buy some things there.
I don’t need to feel guilty for any of these things, and I definitely don’t need to justify it to myself or anyone else.
I have also learned to be okay with the fact that I need a clean and organized house. I used to feel guilty for that because I would be told to just enjoy my kids while they’re little. I can’t enjoy them if my house is a disaster and we are out of clean dishes and clothes. It definitely makes a huge difference on my mental health when the house is clean and orderly. It’s okay.
I have been struggling with trying to be all things to all people, and I think that I starting to host because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to.
I ended up deciding to step down from hosting the Bible study that I’ve hosted for a few years. I’m also not going to it for now. I’m focusing on centering in to one-on-one relationships with people for now… having coffee/tea and conversation. Also, I am doing a Bible study with my mentee, so that’s great. I feel more freedom in my relationship with Christ because of this. I’m just trying to simply things.