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I need advice.

edited January 2011 in Being Raw

First off, I want to ask that if you respond that you please be kind. I am open to whatever advice you guys might have but I get plenty of criticism already and have no support, so please, just be gentle. I feel a little fragile and totally weird about posting this difficult, personal stuff out here on a website for all to see. Thanks.

So… I have been raw since August. I ate a fairly healthy diet which incorporated a lot of healthy raw foods and superfoods even before really going raw, but was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and exhausted adrenals (among other things) after enduring several years of unimaginable stress, and decided to take charge of my health.

I’d gained 50 pounds (from very thin and technically “underweight” to overweight) in a very short period of time, and have been mired in a deep depression for quite a while. Last year at about this time, I could barely get out of bed. I had no energy, my whole body hurt, and I was completely miserable. Over many months, I made gradual improvements, but I knew something was wrong with me that was causing all these problems, so eventually off to the doctor I went and received my diagnosis.

Well, I lost 20 of those extra pounds in the first 2 months of going raw, and definitely saw an increase in energy. But that’s it. My weight leveled off, and I haven’t seen any real other benefits, which would be fine, except…

I am just not doing very well mentally. My depression is not only not being helped by raw, it’s getting worse and worse. I am in really bad shape, truly I am in misery. I know it is because of my situation: I am trapped in a horrible, soul-sucking relationship, am very isolated and lonely, live in a city and state I despise, and am for all intents and purposes, though I live with someone who takes care of me financially, the single parent of a home schooled teenager and a preschooler. For a while I felt I was going through some emotional detox which was difficult but felt really healthy and productive, but that’s long since stopped and now I just feel like crap.

I know what’s wrong with my life, generally, but am at a loss for how to fix it right now. I don’t have a way to make enough money to support these kids. I haven’t worked in 5 years and even then hopped from job to job and did work (tending bar) that I couldn’t possibly do now, even if I could get hired (which I couldn’t).

I’m approaching 40 and I feel really stuck and hopeless. I feel like I am stuck in someone else’s life and I just can’t figure out how to get out. It’s not a midlife crisis. It’s not. It’s that I am not living the kind of life I want or giving my children the life I think they deserve and I don’t have the power to change it.

So how this relates to raw: All of a sudden, for the past week or so, I am having huge struggles with cooked food cravings. Some of them I have given in to, which makes me feel horribly guilty. I’ve had pizza and beer, buttery popcorn, basmati rice… And just last night I had more than half a bottle of organic red wine. I had been popping kava all day for anxiety but it just wasn’t cutting it. I have a headache today, of course. sigh (And no, I don’t normally drink, the wine last night and beer last week were abberations.)

I don’t know what to do with these cravings… I just want to feel normal, do things that make me feel good. I want to go stuff these bad feelings down with an Indian buffet for lunch today, badly, for instance. I wouldn’t even overeat, I never do – I just want to feel normal and have something that is comforting to me.

I don’t know what to do, I just want to make the way I feel STOP. I slept through the election results last night and I feel like a total ass for that this morning. I can’t believe I was too depressed to watch this amazing, important, historic thing happen.

So what do I do? Try to stay raw even if eating some cooked things might help me feel less awful? Go get on antidepressants? What?

I can’t keep going on like I am.

Comments

  • Ok, take some deep breaths and start focussing on the good in your life. I’m sure you have beautiful kids for a start. Going raw will bring greater clarity into your life but the old stuff will resurface for you to face in the beginning. You might want to read some inspirational books on self discovery. You clearly desire change and are taking the steps to do so. However, life is a journey and you will get to know yourself on the way. As far as raw is concerned, take it easy, making simple changes to the way you eat. Always make healthy snacks and some ‘raw treats’ to help you through the cravings. You’re in the early days raw and may want to slow the process with a little cooked food now and again. Don’t beat yourself up and look for other things in life that make you feel good. Meditation, yoga, dance, walks in nature, join a club etc.

    Good luck on your journey and be easy on yourself. There’s always something to be appreciative about.

    Take Care

  • I don’t want to try to address all of your issues, because I’m no expert. I have had thyroid problems, weight problems and eating disorders in the past. Feelings of hopelessness during the eating disorder years certainly felt like mild depression at times. So, I can kind of relate. It sounds to me as if you’ve lost your identity. You’re homeschooling your child and looking after a young one, which takes an extraordinary amount of energy. Being unhappy with your “horrible, soul-sucking relationship” is seriously draining as well. If pretty much all your time is spent inside your home vacuum, then my layperson’s observation is that you need to get out and do some things just for you.

    Are your thyroid levels stable? Have you addressed the adrenal fatigue adequately? Maybe you should pursue an alternative form of health care. Some people really benefit from acupuncture, shiatsu, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, naturopathy, etc. Maybe some important items are missing from your diet, but that might not be the case. Nonetheless, you owe it to yourself to investigate any avenue that might help you feel better.

    I wonder if you could team up with another parent who homeschools their kid(s). You could take the kids 3 days one week and 2 the next, while the other parent does the same for you, or else do the same days each week, which would give you some time to either get out and do some good things just for you, or else find a part-time job that will make you a little bit of money that you can sock away until you’re ready to “get out” of the bad relationship and give your kids and yourself a chance at a happier existence.

    Don’t beat yourself up for doing something that might make some part of you feel happy. If you crave Indian buffet and you think it would provide a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy day, then why not enjoy it? Don’t waste your time and energy feeling guilty about it. When you’re feeling stronger and have more conviction about being raw, you’ll do it anyway. One cooked meal here and there is totally fine and shouldn’t be regarded as a slip or a failure. It’s only a failure if you think you’re a failure. If you think of yourself as a supremely strong person who is toughing out a bad situation until you can start over with your homeschooled kids, you’ll realize that (to others, at least) you are pretty freakin’ awesome.

    Obviously, you don’t want to let your depression totally derail your efforts to be healthy. A well-balanced vegan (preferably raw vegan) lifestyle is the best thing for your health and happiness in the long-term, but if a little indulgence here and there in the short-term puts a smile on your face, then smile away … and don’t feel guilty for doing something to make yourself feel good. You deserve to feel the very best you possibly can, based your own set of circumstances.

  • Thank you, sweetpea and 1sweetpea, for taking the time to respond. That’s good, helpful advice, and is truly appreciated. I feel like you both have a good understanding of what I’m going through and what I was trying to say, and it makes me feel a little better knowing that I am still at least able to express myself adequately and that others are able to respond to me with kindness, and simply that it is possible for me to be understood by others.

    Yes, my kids are beautiful and amazing, and I want to be the kind of mother they deserve, not the sad, lonely mess of a thing I feel like right now.

    I will try to do as you both suggest. Thanks again. A lot.

  • lostinspace! I’m so sorry things are rough for you right now. I want to offer not just sympathy but some words of encouragement.

    Firstly, I have a huge respect for any mother who homeschools. I myself was homeschooled and my mother was an amazing strong woman to be able to do it. I know you are also strong and amazing. You’re giving your children many opportunities for the future that’s something I hope someday I’ll be able to do. You should be so proud of yourself for doing this for them.

    Secondly, way to go on losing weight! It’s always fun and encouraging when that happens. I hope you get to your ideal weight on raw.

    Thirdly, I notice that when I get in a slump and don’t feel quite right it’s because I haven’t been giving my body what it needs. So basically I’d say you need more healthy fats. They affect the mood in a huge way. Give yourself some good raw deserts and indulge! Not only will you feel better but it’ll taste sooo good.

    I’ll be praying for you and I hope that you’re starting to feel better already. Make sure to keep us posted on your progress or what ever happens.

  • lostinspace- Well, I can honestly say that I truly know exactly where you are coming from; I too am stuck in a loveless marriage. I have been married for 6 years, the last 3 of which have been spent alone. My husband keeps accepting jobs over seas where he lives by himself. He says it’s for better pay, but we both know we fell out of love with each other a long time ago. I am also a stay-at-home mom and home school my 6 y/o. I’ve stayed married because I know that is the only way I can give my daughter the kind of life she deserves (and I’m fairly certain my husband knows this). I went through a very hard time feeling alone, abandoned, unloved. I questioned my very worth. Was I not beautiful enough? Did I not keep the house tidy enough?

    This went on for quite some time until, believe it or not, I watched Love Actually (how cheesy is that?). There was a line in the movie where someone says “It is always going to be a totally s**t time.” For some reason that really struck me; it seemed to repeat in my head for days. I started to realize how true that statement is. No matter where you are in life, no matter what’s going on, there’s always going to be crappy things happening and crappy people doing them. But what’s the point in focusing on that? I have a kind, intelligent, beautiful daughter that I get to spend all my time with; friends and family whom, though they live on the other side of the country , I love dearly and talk to often; my passions like reading, uncooking, hiking, crocheting.

    Learn the serenity prayer and make it your mantra. I cannot control what my husband does, where he lives, whether or not he loves me. I can control what I chose to put at the center of my life and so I focus on what makes me happy.

  • Lostinspace – hold in there! write a list of the good things so you can look at it and remember them when your feeling down and can’t remember what they are. Anything from “I’ve lost 20 pounds” to “I have two beautiful children” keep it in your jeans pocket.

  • Thanks so much, all of you, for all your kind words. I couldn’t even bring myself to come back and look at this thread for a while because thinking about all this stuff was just stressing me out so much. I am taking everything you all said to heart. I’ll try to practice gratitude, give myself some credit, try to be a little easier on myself, make sure I’m eating right, and find a way to do things that feel good to me and will help me out of this situation.

    I really want to thank you all for being so kind. That is so needed and appreciated right now.

    Love to you all and extra special big hugs to you, stiffyk.

    tears

    Thanks so much.

  • Hi Lostinspace,I believe that problems with adrenals sometimes are because of liver stones. it is very easy to do a liver stone cleanse. Andreas Morritz have a great book “The amazing liver and gallbladder stone” that I highly recommend.

    Emotions are very intense on a raw life style.We get cleaner and the detox makes us think deep about our lives.So,please,stay firm, and do some affirmations that you are strong and will succeed already.After everything that you wrote I really think that you are a special person,and very much strong.

  • exercising always makes me feel better.

    also, the most recent post on durianrider.blogspot.com is very inspiring. (the one posted oct 19)

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