This week I traveled to my hometown for a 24 hour visit. During that short timespan I felt a lot of “nostalgia”. There’s something about summer in the country that makes you miss growing up in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I really miss being a kid. Well, not being a kid, but the scenes that stand out from my childhood. In retrospect, memories from my youth seem photoshopped and perfect, a problematic but enjoyable way of remembering my childhood. Everything seems easier but surely, it was not. I miss my old home, but I’ll make a new one. I’ll make it myself, just for me.
These past couple of days I’ve been realizing that I have a few health problems I need to get under control. Well, one health problem: my acid reflux. I’m still boggled as to how on earth I even ended up with such an ailment but as I’ve previously written, I blame it on my past overconsumption of hot sauce. I miss that stuff so bad.
My awareness of my acid reflux has nothing to do with my hypochondria. Rather, the reflux is really starting to take a toll on me, especially on my breathing. One of the main symptoms I have is asthma and it has affected me in other ways as well.
I’m not overweight so this new diet has nothing to do with me counting calories. On the flip side, I am being careful to make sure that I get enough calories in a day. The diet involves extremely healthy, bland food, and on a low-acid diet, you are supposed to eat small meals frequently, rather than consume larger meals three times a day. It definitely takes some getting used to.
So far, I’ve figured out that some of the foods that are great for people with acid reflux are: oatmeal, bananas, lettuce, green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, rice, and cous-cous. Aside from eating these foods, I’ve also been drinking ginger tea (I simply boil ginger in water) and hot water with honey. As well, I’ve been taking an apple-cider vinegar capsule before I go to bed and a probiotic when I wake up in the morning.
In order to make my food less bland, I mix different ingredients together. For example, today I combined kale salad with sweet potato! This diet is hard for those who aren’t used to unseasoned food but it’s definitely do-able.
I’m sorry I’ve been so awful with posting lately. I have been taking photos and thinking of ideas; my mind is always on this blog, even when I’m absent. More to come tomorrow!
Change is underrated. Recently my life has taken an unpredicted turn for the better. If someone approached me about the concept of change five months ago, I would have told them that I liked my life how it was. But really, I was idling at an incredible low, and although I didn’t realize it, I had stopped growing.
I recently cut my hair off. That small (big?) change kind of set me free. I feel like myself again. Now that my mentality has changed, my everyday mood, my thoughts, and my lifestyle have changed for the better as well. I can think clearly and I feel more confident in what I can accomplish for myself.
Too often, low self-esteem can curl us up and cage us. I couldn’t change when I thought that I deserved less than what I do. Unfortunately, it takes time and a few regrets (or simply learning experiences) to incite the change we need in our lives. But eventually, it does come. And that’s something to always look forward to. I am looking forward.
1. Write. (You will understand yourself- and your head- so much better.)
2. Talk. Talk to other hypochondriacs. (Meeting another hypochondriac this year was so affirming for me, as she totally understands me.) Also talk to mental health professionals.
3. Gradually try doing things you are scared of, even if you start out small. For example, if your hypochondria makes you fearful of chemicals, try cleaning things more often, but start out with (or only purchase) all natural cleaners. Put yourself in situations where your hypochondria is challenged. In other words, challenge yourself.
4. Tell your close friends and family what triggers you and tell them why it’s important that they be cautious of triggering you.
5. If you are scared of the doctor- visit the doctor!
6. Don’t have immediate support? Try a hotline or app for anxiety such as calm.com.
7. Practice meditation. If you feel like you don’t have the time for it, try meditating when you’re in bed, right before you go to sleep.
These are things that have helped me :). But coping with your coping mechanism is different for everyone!
I’ve been trying to understand the concept of longevity and the way that it relates to my mental illness. I am incredibly aware of the constructed-ness of time and the fact that “365 days” essentially, means nothing.
I’ve been thinking of ending this blog early because I feel as if I’ve discovered all that I can about myself for the time-being. I am parched for words and my mental health has been fairly consistent lately. When I have episodes I now know how to deal with them because this blog has taught me so much about myself.
So I’ve been thinking- why continue “365 days” when continuity (neither a beginning nor an end) is really what coping with mental illness is about? I remember the very first day that my hypochondria was triggered but I know that in that moment, I may have already been destined for it. My subconscious chose hypochondria in order to protect itself from a situation, and I didn’t have a say in that. You can’t change a brain (at least I don’t think you can) but you can always deal. Dealing and healing exist for lifetime.
But of course “365 days” means something, even when it means nothing (nothing is always something). And one thing I dislike about my character is my impulsiveness and my sometimes erratic behaviour. I will not quit this project that I set out to complete. I’ll finish it for myself. But after it’s over, one major lesson I’ll take with me is the knowledge that healing is a forward moving process that never really ends.
I recently went to visit my doctor for the first time in a long time. All I’m going to say is that even though the experience was awful, I’m glad I got it over with. The only way I was able to muster up the courage was by finally realizing that my ignorance towards my health doesn’t make potential health problems go away.
Appreciate knowledge over ignorance. Ignorance isn’t bliss.
A lot has happened since I posted last. Hypochondria-wise, I’ve been nervous that I’m a)anemic or b)diabetic and I’ve been having a few episodes on and off. For the first time in years, I found myself searching symptoms on the internet. Never again!
With all the health related-worries, I started to eat more healthily than usual. Tomorrow is my first doctor’s appointment in ages so I’m a little nervous about that. We’ll see how it goes.
ALSO- I have rekindled my love for thrift shopping. I used to be a sort of anti-consumer in high school but somehow, since then, I’ve become this person who loves to purchase items brand new. A few days ago, I hit up Goodwill and found six great items for 24 dollars and let’s just say the old Kira is back. I’ve also changed the way I grocery shop. I’ve found that when I grocery shop without a list or any specific food in mind, and only buy produce that’s on sale that day, I spend way less money on vegetables and fruits.
As I get older, I realize that there is a strong possibility that I won’t be making a lot of money with my university degree. Therefore I need to stop idealizing lifestyles that aren’t practical. When I was young I always pictured myself living happily in an apartment surrounded by simple, creative things. I need to get back to that.