Traveling SF/Bay Area: The Emotions

First off, I’m not that great with words. I try to express what I’m thinking and feeling, but often it comes out in only somewhat coherent phrases. So that’s why I try to stick with just recipes and quick little blurbs. But every now and then, I’ll want and try to post something with more. This is one of those. 🙂

While visiting the Bay Area, I met some of the folks M works with, we went to dinner at a place near that office. I had some halibut dish with kale, not too bad! However, just like at the wedding earlier this year, I realized it’s still really hard to be around people who are normal. The person in front of me ordered the duck… I don’t know why I’m so attached to food; but I got quite sad. Duck is one of my all-time favorite things to eat. And now I can never have it again. Another person had pizza. And another, the burger. Most people also ordered beer. All things that I dearly miss and will never have again. Looking at them all, so care-free and laughing and eating whatever… Will I ever feel that way again? For a 34 year old, hoping to have a good 60+ years left, this is daunting to imagine. So I try not to focus on that, but my mind does sometimes pull back to this. (And I know things will change over the years; it’s not like I’m going to have the same thoughts & feelings forever.) Some day I hope to be able to go out with friends and not feel … I guess, like a freak? I have to be all, “um, I can’t eat this and that… what on this menu is ok?” Get the looks… The sighs or eye rolls… And I realize I used to be one of those people who wasn’t overly supportive of dietary issues. I was fine with it, and accommodated it, but I didn’t change myself around them. And now I see, if it’s not a choice (and maybe sometimes even if it is), how truly hard it is for that person. Because I am that person now. Hindsight’s 20/20…

I also notice how inundated we are every day by food – the advertisements, commercials, stores, etc. It’s everywhere! And I can’t eat one damn tasty thing they mention. I know that focusing on a whole, plant-based diet is the healthiest thing a person can do. But I still catch myself thinking, “will this really help? Is it worth it? Is it working?” Reading up on this proves it over and over, but that doesn’t really make it easier if no one around you is following it! I’m going to again say how wonderful M is (I can go on and on) – even when he’s without me around, he eats this way – he says if I don’t get a break, he doesn’t either. (He doesn’t understand why I and other people see this as a big deal.) Knowing I’m not alone means so much. My in-laws are actually eating this way, too (my m-i-l has various similar food allergies, so it’s helping her health as well, so it works out to both our benefit)! If I could stay in a hole with just my family… 😉

Maria over at Slow-Motion Miracle actually just posted on reading a new book, Whole (from Dr. Campbell) – she somehow knows what I’m struggling with and posts something that helps! It’s crazy. She’s so good with the words! Thanks, Maria. 🙂

Anyway, we got back from SF a couple days ago, and I’m still “recovering” from the emotions. I have to pretend like everything’s OK and I’m fine (and most of the time I am!), but when I have to interact, it’s exhausting. I hear it gets easier with time… I think it’s also because my schedule was out of whack. I didn’t get to do my daily yoga, and my meditation was spotty (I was actually sick the first couple days so plans had to get reworked). Our  regular breakfast fixins was off (had to make due with similar but different supplies). The place we stayed at was tiny, so very little room to relax. The looming worry of if moving to SF is the right thing to do… The people… All of it compounding together into something I perceive as stressful. My mind has been racing. I finally did a PM yoga session last night, I think it helped. I’ll be doing a good workout this afternoon, along with some breathing meditation. It was good to have a home-cooked meal last night. Starting to get back to my routine.

I also have been realizing that I can’t travel how I used to, and the locations open to me have become pretty limited. Europe will be hard – will have to make sure I have a kitchen available wherever I stay. Any place with a language barrier is iffy… So I’m coming to terms with the fact that we can’t just jet off anywhere anymore. Plan, plan, plan – more than usual, plan B’s and C’s… Hotels are out, vrbo and airbnb are in (for full kitchens). Stuff like that.

Perspective – there is so much I had taken for granted before. I know most of this post has a fairly debbie-downer attitude, it’s just what I’m going through right now. This is a huge transition and it’s not easy. I’m learning a lot. Ups and downs are expected, right? But I really am optimistic. I’m lucky to have had only a single, minor MS episode. I’m truly blessed to have family and friends who love me and support me. I’m glad I have the opportunity and means to learn about and pursue alternative medicine and realize there is hope. I’m just essentially grieving over the “death” of my former life and trying to embrace the birth of my new one. It’s a process… Some pluses- I don’t struggle with my weight issues anymore, I’m losing all my excess weight, and not counting calories or anything anymore. I also do have more energy – my workouts feel more productive. I’m not as hard on myself anymore as I was before. And I’ve been learning to weed out the bs a lot better!

So anyhoo, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. It helps to get these thoughts off my chest.

5 thoughts on “Traveling SF/Bay Area: The Emotions

  1. I just read this note and my heart breaks! I want to give you a big hug and try to reassure you that it will eventually get easier. I am the same way and my adjusting is improving – do I miss some of my favorite things? Yes, but I’m trying to find and create alternatives. I ate badness recently without knowing it and the reaction made avoiding it all the more obvious that it is a requirement. I hope you always remember that you are never alone!
    Love from your M-I-L

    • Thanks, M-I-L 🙂 It really does help to know I’m not alone! I tried a couple new recipes- will email you about them soon.

  2. Hi Veronica,

    Your mother-in-law is right; it WILL eventually get easier. And in the meantime, it’s normal to have these feelings and to face them and work with them as you are doing. And remember, the people who are laughing it up, eating and drinking as they please, appear to be “normal,” (whatever THAT is!! LOL) but they will all have their turn with some difficult thing in their health or life to deal with. And when that happens, you may well be an example to any one of them about how to live well. You probably already are. I am glad you were able to list some of the profoundly positive things you are already experiencing. And glad my post helped you. I thought of one I wrote called “Better Than It Was,” too, when I read this.

    I can’t find it right now, but I know someone who write a blog about traveling with MS. When I find it I’ll stop back by and give you the URL.

    Hang in there. You are doing great!! (Even if it doesn’t feel it.)



    ps: And look at me; I seem to have vanquished the Word Press Dragon at the gate to your blog! LOL

    • Thanks for your kind words and the link, Maria! You’re an example to me, and I hope to help someone else like that someday. I went back and read your “Better Than It Was” post, and it was good to re-read. It’s all a process! 🙂 And I’m glad your comments are showing up now! You-1, WordPress-0!

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