Monday, February 18, 2013


See that up there?  It's a little crunchy, a little nutty and a little sweet.  



So it is with how I try to approach my health and diet.

Or, at least I thought it was.  

That is until the point when my digestive system was out of control.  Until the point when I had lost total control of the most basic bodily functions.

And that was when I started telling people "I think I'm going to go see a Naturopath".

For like, a year.

The reaction I got when I would mention this to people was something like, "Yeah, I thought you would have already done that!"  Or, "That's totally something that makes sense for you to do!"

And yet, I didn't make the call.

I knew there was a block.  I knew something was getting in the way.  I only procrastinate when there is a reason, when I truly know that I want something I attack it with enthusiasm.  And so I knew I had to really think it through.

The answer of course is that Naturopaths treat the whole person.  Body, mind and spirit.  They are all connected after all.

This is terrifying.

Being the neurotic person that I am, I tend to not want to let more people than necessary take a crack at my psyche.  It's bad enough that I work with a bunch of folks who can probably guess my entire psychological makeup based on what I share at the lunch table. There is something about being vulnerable that is paralyzing.  You know, since historically, being vulnerable with others has backfired enormously.

I kind of wanted the N.D. to just treat my symptoms the way that a doctor would.  Except with herbs and vitamins instead of drugs.

Once I figured that out, I had a decision to make.  The intake forms were pretty thorough.  Questions about mood.  Family relationships.  Support networks.

I could answer those questions the way I do in real life.  Good thanks, everything's fine!  How about you?

Or I could be honest.  Vulnerable.  Human.

That's the problem with being the pillar, right?  With being the only reliable one in any given group?  If you show your cracks the whole damn system is likely to crumble.

Of course, that's not what the "professional" me believes.  At work I constantly encourage people to show their vulnerability and test that theory.  And in other people's lives the systems don't crumble, in fact they're kind of strengthened.

But the "real life" me acts like it's completely true.  And a large part of me still believes it, to be honest.  I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I had to figure out a way to get a ride home from my colonoscopy. Those who were the closest to me were completely incapable of offering practical support.  And couldn't even figure out a way to ask me how I was doing with everything.  So the need to rely on my own strength is very real at times.

But still.  Here was an opportunity to try something different.  And so I did.

Honest.  Vulnerable.  Human.

It felt pretty ok.  Until the actual appointment, when she started asking me more questions.  I really wanted to take it all back.  And I did, minimizing and glossing over things the way I do.

She took some blood samples for a food sensitivity test.  She gave me a list of supplements to start taking (fish oil -- which means that I'm technically not a vegetarian anymore, after nearly 25 years -- and curcumin, an anti-inflammatory that is the active ingredient in tumeric).  

And she told me I should journal about "control".

Actually, on the prescription pad she wrote it like "CONTROL!"

Haha, I guess she figured it out.

Since I hate journaling for real, I hope that this counts.  And maybe also counts as practicing vulnerability?  

It sure as heck is not easy.  But I suspect that my healing will need to be more than simply physical.  

Maybe, just maybe, now's the time.

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