Free Will?

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First Post! Hurrah!

Hello world!

Being about a decade behind everyone means that this is actually my first foray into blogging. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever really put anything personal about myself online. I’d like to think this was going to be some sort of witty Carrie Bradshaw-esque blog with meaningful questions followed by lots of full stops which inspire readers to address the bigger issues in life. “Could it be that New York girls really do just want to have fun…?”.

And I could sit alone, looking effortlessly chic in a D&G ensemble I casually put together, chain smoking and pondering these questions aloud, marveling at my ability to grasp the nuances of life and articulate them in a way no-one ever has. “In a world full of couples, can two be too much?”  (Actually quite proud of that one).

Sadly, the only way this will be similar to the above is that I will be sitting along writing it. Since I’ve given up smoking (and am, therefore, distraught), I won’t even be have the comfort of a well earned Malboro Light to look forward to. Nor will I be ‘inspiring’ readers. Mainly because I don’t actually have anything inspiring to say, nor do I expect to have any actual readers. (Anyone who has stumbled across this and has actually persevered with reading it, God bless you).

So rather than offering something to all the readers, bloggers, tweeters and Facebook-ers (I could have gone on but don’t expect Pintrest to still be going by the time I’ve hit publish), I’m here to ask for your help.

Now any readers who are persevering, (you’ve made it five paragraphs and I’m eternally grateful), should be warned that I am generally a very private person and the thought of writing a public blog and disclosing anything personal scares the hell out of me. Even though it’s anonymous. I have no idea where this paranoia comes from, it’s not like I’m going to divulge anything mortifying like the fact I still know all the words to the Princess Superstar classic ‘Bad Babysitter’. (Forgive me).

Moving on…as you may have guessed from the title, I have endo. I’m not necessarily going to write about the condition because what more is there to say about it (it hurts, it’s embarrassing, it really affects people’s lives, many assume it’s ‘just’ bad periods and if you’re relying on the NHS for help you’re pretty much f*cked. Not in that way, ironically). (Apologies for the swears, I put an asterisk in so as not to offend the fainthearted but if you’ve read six paragraphs I feel I know you well enough to share my penchant for the more offensive words in our vocabulary).

Anyway, I’ve known for a long time that diet can significantly improve symptoms. Not just of endo but of many conditions.But despite knowing this, I can’t quite seem to put it into practice. There are some things that make me instantly ill if I eat them so, of course, they’re easy to avoid. But in a more general sense I find it hard to equate what I eat with how I end up feeling. I suppose it’s much they same as some Weight Watchers advocates who feel that sitting in a circle around a table full of ‘low fat’ biscuits in a cold church hall and talking about food is akin to actually doing something to lose weight and warrants the bag of chips on the way home. (Nothing against these people, I’d just prefer to be eating the biscuits than looking at them).

As much as I seem unable to process the fact that food is affecting my symptoms, it is a real life fact and as my symptoms are currently rather unmanageable, it’s not a fact I can ignore (believe me, I’ve tried). So I thought blogging about it might a) be cathartic b) help to engage with others in a similar situation and c) give me something to do with my hands other than ripping the wrapping off a Galaxy Ripple and inhaling it.

I think one of the reasons I’ve been so reluctant to commit to the change in diet is how drastic it is. No wheat (or maybe gluten, I forget which one), no meat, no diary, no processed foods, no alcohol, the list goes on. I’m already doing no alcohol (quite smug about it really) and could, perhaps, commit to giving up one other food group (vegetables maybe?) but all the above? As well as giving up cigarettes? Would life be worth living?

I thought about giving up dairy. That seemed quite an easy one. There are lots of dairy substitute products and although I’ve taken to the Activia Breakfast Pots, I could give them up without too much bother. But then I remembered. Chocolate. So, obviously, giving up dairy was out.

I thought about giving up meat. And I could probably do that, most of the time. But processed foods – surely that’s impossible. Everything’s processed these days. Don’t get me wrong I don’t always eat dinner that’s come out of a box and is handily arranged in different compartments of a plastic tray but trying to find something unprocessed and under a fiver is about as likely as finding beef in a Findus lasagne. So laziness and lack of budget means giving up processed foods would be an emotional experience.

But despite all of the reasons not to change my diet, after crying in pain more than once this week I had all but given up hope of getting better and getting my life back. Which is a scary thought and not one I really want to dwell on. But before I write everything off, I have to try everything I can to make myself better and if that means changing my diet so be it. So I’ve fallen into the blogosphere searching for other people doing similar things or, even better, doing them successfully and hoping that I can ward off temptation by typing rather than eating. (To all the readers without restricted diets who have made it this far, thank you and please reward yourself with a hearty bar of chocolate, to those with restricted diets, please celebrate with an unsweetened piece of carob or whatever delights I have to look forward to).

I’m not sure how well my willpower will hold out but I’ll be sure to include my (many) pitfulls and failures as well as any successes (expect swears). I’m not sure how long it’s supposed to take for the change in diet to make a difference. I’m giving it three months at which point I shall be livid and bitter on the inside if it hasn’t improved any symptoms but smug yet humble that I’ve stuck to it on the outside.

Until then, I’ll be joining the women looking at biscuits rather than eating them (albeit not in the confines of a church hall) and wondering, if music really is the food of love, could it be that chocolate is the food of lust…?