So. This is what I’ve learned so far from the elimination diet: I have an intolerance to food. All food. Every bit of it, and I haven’t even re-introduced dairy, wheat, gluten, or yeast, yet. Everything from plain quinoa to organic rice cakes to winter squash. Although some symptoms have lessened, most haven’t. None have disappeared completely.
Frustrating, but I’m glad to know it because it means there’s an underlying issue that’s not only causing my symptoms but also causing any food sensitivities. I’m learning a lot from The Immune System Recovery Plan (thanks to Antony for recommending it). It has confirmed that I have hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), as well as moderate adrenal fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, and dysbiosis (harmful bacterial or yeast intestinal overgrowth). It has also helped me understand how these health issues have been caused by the personal traumas and professional stresses of the past few years. They all concern me, but especially the leaky gut, as it means my small intestines may have been irreparably damaged. Since I’m genetically predisposed to autoimmune disorders, and everything that’s happening to me are the precursors to (if not already) an autoimmune disorder, my primary goal moving forward is to heal. That means removing past and current stresses from my life, wherever possible, and possibly adopting a new path.
I still have eight days to go on the Elimination Diet, and I’ll keep reintroducing foods to see if there are symptoms above and beyond those that occur no matter what I eat. I’m specifically looking for those that will trigger a depressive or anxiety episode, as those have happily been kept at bay more or less, and that’s not nothing. Not by a long shot. I’m also starting the regimen to heal my gut based on information from the above book, so the bacterial/yeast die-off might cause those symptoms alone. It’s all so confusing. I’ll be eating a diet without gluten, yeast, or dairy most of the time. I won’t purchase any of those items, so it will just be the odd time eating out that I’ll encounter them, no more than once a week. That way I’ll be able to keep track of the symptoms more easily.
Many of you are awaiting the fifth and final book in the Rowan of the Wood fantasy series. Spirit of the Otherworld will be out by Christmas if at all possible. That, along with two more titles from my alter-ego Olivia Grey due out in the next six weeks, will pretty much wrap up my career as an author, at least for the foreseeable future. I might put out an O. M. Grey collection of short fiction and poetry in early 2014, just to round out my book titles to the nice, even number 12 and get everything off my plate. If I do anything else book-wise in the mean time, it will be to develop lesson plans for the Rowan of the Wood series for the fourth grade.
As the year comes to a close, I’ll be getting away from many social networks, deleting the Olivia Grey Facebook profile completely at the end of this year, but updates of her career and any new writings will still be available via her Facebook Fan Page and her blog. Please follow both. I’ll be keeping my Christine Rose Facebook profile as well as the Christine and Ethan Rose Fan Page. My profile will be more personal for actual friends and colleagues, so do “like” our Fan Page if you don’t know me personally.
I’ve taken an entry-level Barista position with Starbucks as a sort of therapy/reintegration into the nonvirtual world. It will be wonderful to have my head filled with drink orders and to worry about nothing other than which syrup to use and what kind of milk, at least that’s what I’m hoping. It will be nice to have somewhere to go, I think, and Starbucks has been my solace and sanctuary for quite some time. I will no doubt still write as the inspiration strikes, but it will likely only be short fiction and nonfiction, if anything. Actually, I’m hoping this job will renew my inspiration to write and spark new ideas for stories and characters, so it might not be the end after all. Regardless, moving forward I’ll be doing things quite differently.
May you all find peace.