Episode XXXVII: Knowledge Is Power

Episode XXXVII

Knowledge is Power

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You see, knowledge is power, and the more that you know, means the more you’ll be able to get strong and grow!”

~ Kaitlyn G. Guay, “Once Upon A Lyme”

 The Foda’s Take: This quote is an excerpt from the newly created children’s e-book entitled “Once Upon A Lyme” which discusses how to prevent Lyme Disease using whimsical rhyme and prose. Tips include how to recognize a tick, what to do after playing outside, and what to do should one be found on you. Coming soon to a galaxy near you! As in here. Right here. This galaxy. Likely within the next week or so. And get this- it’s FREE and 100% shareable. How. Cool. Is. That.

 Hello, dear friends! I hope you’ve all been doing well. I, myself, was lucky enough to have some fabulous visits last week- one from two ladies who are working tirelessly to advocate and improve policy for people with Lyme Disease, another by my sensational sister known to you as Fumbledore, and another by a few of my lovely ladies from the years of yore (aka college) who may or may not have joined me in doing a dramatic reading of the first four acts of Shakespeare’s “Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” by Ian Doescher. (And yes, if you’re a fan, this is a must have for your library. And you must get your friends together and read it. In costume. With voices. Also known as what I call getting your geek on.)

But I digress.

I’ve been really excited about this children’s book, because when I was teaching, every spring I would find several ticks crawling across the floor of my classroom and in the auditorium where I taught chorus, undoubtedly having hitched a ride on an unassuming child. I noticed right away that most of the children were terrified because in an effort to keep them from thinking a tick bite was no big deal, some had been told that if you get bit, you will get Lyme Disease, and it will EAT YOUR BRAIN!! <Pause as you gasp in abject horror.> The other half thought it was just another cool bug and wanted to touch it. <Pause as you gasp AGAIN in abject horror.> Which is when I realized- even with the topic of Lyme growing exponentially, especially in the area where I live, many people still have no idea what it is. And it doesn’t help that when it’s mentioned on any medical TV shows or in movies, they always poo-poo it and say “oh, a few weeks on antibiotics and you’ll be fine.” So if parents don’t know what it really is and teachers don’t know… how are the kids supposed to know?

Hence, the creation of this children’s e-book. This book gives children the information they need to recognize a tick, tells them what parts of their body to check after playing outside (ticks like warm places, so if you check right away, it’s likely they’re still traveling to get to that prime real estate, which means you can get them off before being bitten) as well as what to do if you find one already on you. (I’m pretty sure those kids who were told it would “eat your brain” would panic and just rip it out. Releasing the bacteria right into their bloodstream. Not good.) And because it’s designed for kids, everything has been phrased in Dr. Seuss-like rhyme, all with a dash of humor, and in a very non-threatening, non-fear based kind of way.

You see, I do believe that knowledge is power. But I also believe we sometimes need to be very careful about how we use that power to make sure it doesn’t spread fear. (Like “eating your brain.” That’s fear.) Which is also why I don’t discuss my symptoms or medical journey on this blog. Because it can be scary. And the last thing I want is for someone to come to this blog, searching for hope and understanding, and then be smacked with fear, wondering if what happened to me will happen to them. I should know. Before I created this space, that’s what happened to me as I reached out to the world wide web for hope and validation. And instead, I found people wanting to tell the world how horrible Lyme is, because there’s still such a huge battle going on politically about whether chronic Lyme even exists. Noble, yes. Necessary, yes. What I needed? To quote Luke Skywalker before his final duel with Darth Vader: “NEVAAAAA!!!!!”

So in conclusion, I’d like to combine two idioms together to make a complete package. One one hand: they say that “Knowledge is power.” I believe this is true. But on the other hand, Spiderman’s uncle also said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” So let’s put those hands together, people!!!

Or, as they said on the TV show “Heroes,” “Protect the children, protect the world.” Oh, that’s not right? It was protect the cheerleader? Well that’s not nearly as inspiring.

Yours Truly,

The Foda

P.S. Want more information about “Once Upon A Lyme”? Comment, Tweet me @thefemaleyoda, or email me directly at TheFemaleYoda@gmail.com.

Episode XXXVI: No, YOU’RE out of order!

Episode XXXVI

No, YOU’RE out of order!

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

~The Bible, Matthew 7:1

The Foda’s Take: Okay, great advice. But what about the “judgey-ness” that naturally happens- not from “me” unto “ye”- but rather a direct fight from me to me? Also known as self-deprecation. Or being hard on oneself. Or having goals. Or, you know, being alive.

 Judgement day. It’s spoken of in various religions as a time of reckoning when our lifetime of choices and actions are shmushed together like a hodgepodge of variable puzzle pieces, put together in order to see what the overall picture will be when compiled. It’s why we’re told not to do bad things. Like lie. Or steal. Or pretend to have lost your Star Wars blu-ray box set because you can’t bare the thought of it leaving your house. (That last one is purely hypothetical, of course…..cough, cough) But when we think about being judged, it’s usually by another person. Like, you know, in a courtroom.

Judge: You’re out of order.

Lawyer: No, YOU’RE out of order! This whole courtroom is out of order!

Or something like that. But for a lot of us, the worst judge we can stand before is actually the one starting back at us in the mirror every morning. (Well, unless you’re Amish and you don’t believe in mirrors. But then, you don’t believe in electricity either. Which leads me to believe my Amish audience is quite minuscule for this blog.) But I digress.

Trying to look at the world- and ourselves- as we are, is a very difficult thing to do. Especially when we’re battling a chronic illness that chips away at our bodies, our positive spirit, and our blissful ignorance. Why? BECAUSE WE’RE FLIPPING SMART, THAT’S WHY!! We have big ol’ brains that can qualify and quantify and reason.

NEGATIVE NANCY:“Oh, that didn’t turn out too well for me before? Well, shucks, that must mean it probably won’t turn out too well for me this time, either.” 

INSECURE INGRID: “My sister said I have a big nose when I was ten. Welp, I guess that’s never going to change! I mean, no one’s ever heard of growing into your face…”

UNDER-THE-RADAR RANDY: “That kid looks different, and he got teased, so I have to blend in, because there is no way I’m going to go through that!”

These are archetypes, people! And most likely, you’ve MET these people before. You may even BE these people. And the only reason why is because we, as humans, judge EVERYTHING. Our lives, our bodies, our reactions, even our thoughts. We section them away into little boxes, to make it easier to organize and understand our complicated lives.

But life is often not understandable. And boxes are meant to be opened.

So why this rant, you may ask? Well, because I do this, too. And I am DEVASTATINGLY aware of it. And going through life assuming how things will turn out before they even happen or holding yourself up to unrealistic standards (like getting down on yourself for being bad at frisbee golf when you play with your expert boyfriend for the first time, and, duh, you suck. Which you’re supposed to, unless you’re some crazy prodigy. Wait. What do you mean that’s an awfully specific example? I do not appreciate the insinuation you’re making! Judgey McJudgerson.)

But I digress. Again.

The point is, we’re a judgey society. So much so, I’m annoyed that “judgey” has a squiggly red line under it as I type it. GET WITH THE PROGRAM, SPELL CHECK! IT’S TOTALLY A WORD! And this judgey-ness needs to stop. Starting with ourselves.

Taking things for how they are at face value is a hard thing to do. We have all these experiences and memories we’ve learned from, so it would be foolish not to use them, right? Well, yeah. Until they start impacting on the moment, or make us assume things we’d never have assumed had we just stayed open and curious. And like I said, this is a huge thing for me. So I say all this with the utmost humility.

So on this lovely Sunday, I invite you to go all lovey-dovey on yourself, and stop judging. Especially if what you’re judging is where you are now compared to where you used to be before your chronic illness or personal trauma entered the picture.

Just don’t take it so far as to be completely devoid of all common sense. Holding up a liquor store does not qualify as “loving yourself.” That’s just stupid. And I will totally judge you for that.

Until next time,

<gavel bang on desk>

Case dismissed.

The Honorable Judge Foda

Episode XXXV: WHY?

Episode XXXV

Why?

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

~ The Rolling Stones

 The Foda’s Take: I find this quote very uplifting, because it reminds us to see the bigger picture. What we want is fleeting, and often temporary. Once we get it, we celebrate for a minute, and then go off in search of the next item on our Wish List. But what we need is pretty standard for most human beings. And once you start to think about that, well, it doesn’t take a Jedi Master to know the difference.

 G’day, folks! I’ve had this song spinning through my head for several days now- and not just because it’s played at the end of the first episode of House which just appeared on Netflix…. okay, totally for that reason… but it got me thinking. About what, you ask? About life and struggle and the big WHY’S that jumble us up and make us question things like fate, God, or destiny. My big WHY for the past three years has been: WHY can’t I get better when I’m doing everything I possibly can towards that end? It’s not like I’m sitting back and letting this chronic Lyme have free reign to wreak havoc, or like I got this way by living slovenly on McDonald’s every meal.

So WHY?

<drop to knees, hands reaching towards the heavens>

WHYYYYYY????????!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Yes. Why? I’ve been searching for years to find a reason that will make me understand why this has happened to me. After all, if there’s a reason, an endgame, that would make it more bearable, yes? No one likes to think they’re suffering for nothing.

And last week, after years of searching… I found out why.

I’ve been unable to work full time for years because of the severity of my condition, and once it escalated a little over six months ago, I stopped being able to work altogether. Naturally, this induced a month or two of woe is me and why, God, why. Then I got to the point where I knew I’d have to accept my current limitations and learn to contribute grace and beauty and art to the world, even though I couldn’t leave my own house. So I began writing. Not only this blog, but a YA fantasy novel involving a girl named Amy Wells. And last week- I finished it. The first draft, that is. And I know there’s still several months ahead of me where I’ll be editing it and making it as fabulous as possible- but I don’t care. Because during a time when I couldn’t do much more on my own besides fix a meal or take a shower… I wrote a book!!!! And that, my friends, is something I’ll be able to leave behind in the world. That will be part of my legacy. That is a great WHY. Because I don’t think I’d ever have delved into writing had I not gotten sick. I was happy with my life. But now I’ve accomplished this huge thing- despite all my limitations.

In your face, Lyme!!! HA!

And you know the funny thing? The other day, I was sitting outside with Mandalf, soaking up the sun, and he said: “I bet you’d give up this book in an instant if you could go back and take away the past thee years of being sick.” And you know what? I hesitated. And it was in that moment that I realized how important this accomplishment was to me. Not just because it’s something most people never do- but because I did it in the face of adversity. And when dealing with a disease that often makes me feel weak and “special” for all the wrong reasons, I really needed something good to come out of this so that I could define myself not just as a girl with chronic Lyme Disease, but as a girl fighting for her health back who used her journey to create…..THIS. 

So what I want? Is to get healthy. But what I needed? Was to find a way for my life to matter while I wait.

And now? I have that. And it feels freaking AMAZING.

So hold on, dear readers. And ask yourselves- what do I need right now to make me feel proud and empowered and valuable? And then go for it. Use your difficult journey as fuel. Because it feels SO good to accomplish something despite the odds. Kind of like Han Solo flying into an asteroid field. “Never tell me the odds!” And look how that turned out for him? Spoiler alert: totally nailed it.

Novelly yours,

The Foda

Episode XXXIV: Lyme SpyWalker: Superhero

Episode XXXIV

Lyme SpyWalker: Superhero

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Superheroes were born in the minds of people desperate to be rescued.”

~ Jodi Picoult, The Tenth Circle

The Foda’s Take: Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and while I agree with this quote, I also believe that what people most want is the ability to rescue themselves… it just takes some longer to find the necessary empowerment to try. If you could be a superhero, what would your name be? And who/what would you fight?

 Happy Easter, Friends of Foda! As you know, I’ve been obsessed lately with the topic of journeys and everyday heroes, and this has inspired several day dreams wherein I’ve thought about what my life would be like if I was, in fact, a superhero. If for nothing else, to give my brain something fun to do while my body is house bound…. Oh, what do I mean? Why, thanks for asking! As an example, I have taken the liberty of preparing a sample script for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Setting: Around dusk, shadowy casts of light creating slices of grey across the living room carpet, all somber and zebra-like. Pan in on lone girl sitting solemnly on a brown suede couch, staring off longingly into the distance. Body propped up between obscene amount of homemade throw pillows. Girl looking wistful. Grey and white cat sprawled lazily  beside her.

GIRL: Oh, woe is me. I want so badly to go out and be a part of the world today.

CAT: Don’t be silly. You know you can’t do that.

GIRL: (sighs) I know. But I miss being normal.

CAT: Normal is a far-fetched fabricated fantasy.

GIRL: I guess. Good alliteration, by the way.

CAT: I know. I’m brilliant. That’s why I pretend to not understand you when you tell me to stop jumping on your keyboard or use your toes for teething toys.

GIRL: (scratches head) Huh. Good call.

CAT: (yawns) Indeed. Besides, no one can know your true identity. For the good of the galaxy, and all.

GIRL: Yes, that’s true. I just wish someone would someday see me for who I am.

CAT: Superheroes don’t have that luxury. You know that to be true, Lyme SpyWalker.

GIRL: I do. (taps fingers together in contemplation)

CAT: You want to put on the cape again, don’t you.

GIRL: Mayyybbeeee????

CAT: You know, you’re pretty unique so far as superheroes go. You don’t even have to leave the couch to fight your arch-nemesis.

GIRL: Well, that’s because my arch-nemesis is hiding inside me. Stupid spirochete.

CAT: You’ll have your day, Lyme SpyWalker. The enemy is strong, and numerous, but you will conquer all.

GIRL: I know. <puts on cape.> Hey, Cat. Do you think… you might????

CAT: Fine. I’ll sing your theme-song again. But this is the last time.

END SCENE

 You know, something like that! Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of imagination and child-like zeal to take a challenging situation and turn it into an empowering journey.  And a great place to start is deciding what your superhero name would be!

Just don’t take Lyme SpyWalker. That one’s MINE. <Thieving little womp rats.> Ooops! I saw that muscle fasciculation, leg! I know you’re in there, spirochete!!!! Sorry folks, time to go. I have some bacteria blasting to do.

Come back here, you!!!!

Lyme SpyWalker Signing Out,

The (Lyme SpyWalker) Foda

Episode XXXIII: Journey (Not the Band)

Episode XXXIII

Journey (Not the Band)

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 The Foda’s Take: This concept has taken some time for me to get used to. I first heard it  several years ago on my honeymoon in Hawaii, where my husband and I rented a jeep wrangler and began our three hour trek through the lush mountains and beautiful (albeit sometimes super dangerous) roads (you should never have to beep on a one-car lane just to make sure someone isn’t coming straight at you from around a blind corner when the “other side of the road” is really a vertical drop-off down a cliff….ahhh!!!!!) where was I? Oh, right! We were on a three hour ride to Hana- a place I was told I just had to see. Mandalf kept stopping along the way at all these beautiful little beaches and overlooks and I was all like: “Where’s Hana? When will we get there? What will I see?” And my husband- who had lived in Hawaii for a while before we started dating- looked at me, smiled, and said: “The Road to Hana isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey.” And I was all like: “Damn. Less than one week of marriage and he’s already winning.”

 The Journey.

Okay, I’m going to be super real with you right now. I just stared at those two words for a solid minute without writing anything. Why? Because the only way my brain wanted to finish that sentence was “The Journey: Sometimes sucks.” Then I decided to stop censoring myself and just go for it. Because let’s get real. Sometimes, life as a process? Not so much sunshine and daisies. But with that being said, I also believe with all my heart that anything difficult and uneasily won usually brings the most important changes into our lives. And it’s also what makes a life interesting to watch. After all, you wouldn’t go see a movie if you walked in, saw the exposition, and then two minutes later it cut right to the final scene in the movie where everyone ends up, right? I mean, c’mon, that would be, like, the worst movie ever. I do sometimes wish that we had an edit button for life, though… I mean, I’m pretty sure this chronic illness would be a lot easier for me to handle if I could cram it all into the space of two hours before getting my happy ending. But I digress.

I’ve really been making an effort lately to think about my difficult life as a “journey” with all the obstacles in my path “adventures.” I think that’s because twisting my thinking to use these words helps me find strength and empowerment in my illness- an illness that often makes me feel ashamed and weak if I let it get inside my head about what I can and  cannot do. But if I change that shame over how little I can accomplish physically (right now, that is) into pride over how a lesser person perhaps wouldn’t be able to weather these obstacles with the perseverance and determination I work so hard to have… well that makes it a bit better, doesn’t it? That makes my journey okay… because although I’d love nothing more than to jump straight to the finish line, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that I am on this path to learn things and become someone I could have never hoped to evolve into, had I gotten healthy right away.

So I guess I’d like to end today’s words of wisdom right where we began.

The Journey: Sometimes sucks. But sometimes it’s the parts we like the least that lead us to places we never imagined.

Just ask The Emperor. OH, wait. You can’t. Because he died while giving Luke 1,000 volts of premium blue lightening. And then that Force-fried victim two shakes from a shallow grave wound up being the savior of the galaxy and leader of the new Jedi Order.

Bet he didn’t see that one coming. Stupid Emperor.

Safe travels,

The Foda

Episode XXXII: The Everyday Hero

Episode XXXII

The Everyday Hero

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”

~ Joseph Campbell

 The Foda’s Take: Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and Princess Leia’s reaction to first seeing the Millenium Falcon rings in my ears: “You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought!” We don’t usually refer to our bodies as vehicles, pasted together with hope, some hard work, and one freakishly loyal Wookie. But when that vehicle begins to sputter and protest, leaving you stranded on Cloud City… well, that’s when a doubled bun-ed beauty ought to come over, look you up and down and say: “You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought!”

 Heroes. We all have likely fantasized of being one at one time or another, or at least wished that perhaps one of the tall, dark, and handsome variety might come along to sweep us off our feet. (Yes, boys, handsome used to be universally applicable to women, too… oh, you’re taking point on the “tall” part? You don’t want your lady love to be taller than you? Why you gotta hate on linearly luscious lassies?) But I digress.

The typical perception of heroes is that they’re rare and more likely to be found on the pages of a comic book than the streets of (Fill in Your Home Town Here.) But it wasn’t until someone introduced me to Joseph Campbell’s theory of “The Hero’s Journey” that I started to view heroism- and heroes for that matter- in a very different way.

In Campbell’s model, the Hero is the everyday man or woman who receives a “call to adventure.” (Since Campbell wrote the model using the male pronoun, so will I… but ladies, don’t you dare think this doesn’t apply to you!!!)

Now, of course, real Heroes wouldn’t be human if they jumped up right away and said “Sure! I’ll leave everything behind and throw down with some scary monstrosity! Let me at ‘em!” So, naturally, the Hero is reluctant. Then the Hero meets a mentor, guiding and supporting him to cross the threshold of ordinary life and begin his journey. Here he faces tests, enemies, and struggles, as he begins the approach to the big obstacle in his path. I like to call this the Labyrinth- although it’s more commonly termed the “Abyss.” (But for me, the vision of a maze is more appropriate when applied to every day life. After all, life isn’t one endless dark hole, but a series of choices we often make blind, turning this way and that, hoping we’ve made the right decisions as we try and find our way to the other side.)

At the end of the Labyrinth, the Hero finds his reward, and begins to make his way back home. It is on this final leg of the journey that he turns full circle, crossing back into the realm of ordinary, reflecting on all he’s learned upon his journey, and returning a better and wiser man.

Now this story line may sound very familiar to you. Why? Because it’s the model George Lucas used when he wrote Star Wars! Think about it. Luke, our reluctant Hero, agrees to go with Ben once his aunt and uncle are incinerated into black crisps, and from there begins his journey to save the Galaxy, fighting rancors, Snow beasts, and the Dark Side along the way…. Sigh. Love Star Wars.

So how does this apply to me? you may be asking. Well, because I believe we all have the ability to be a Hero in our own lives. And if you, too, are dealing with a chronic illness, you may often feel beaten down and lost in the Labyrinth, vehemently attesting how you never wanted this journey, just wishing for a Hero to come and show you the way home. But what if we are the Heroes? What if learning to live through the struggle and come out the other side a better, wiser person is the most important, character building thing we’ll ever do? What if all we have to do is change our thinking from “this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me” to “I didn’t choose it, but I accept my call to adventure to plunge into the unknown.”

So today, I’m officially redefining the term Hero. It’s not just for some far-off mythological creature who battles Poseidon or moves mountains with The Force. A Hero is anyone who faces the Labyrinth, the Abyss, and presses on, despite all fear and all doubt that the light at the end will ever appear. This is true courage, and bravery, and perseverance, everything a Hero should have.

So today, I hope you ask yourself- am I a Hero?

And if the most Heroic thing you can do today is breathe… maybe that’s okay. After all, we never know what’s coming around the corner…..

BOO!

Just kidding :) But I bet you were totally ready to ninja-chop the computer if need be. You go, warrior-hero!

Hiiiiyah!

The Foda

Episode XXXI: The Adept Adapter Chapter

Episode XXXI

The Adept Adapter Chapter

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

~Albert Einstein

 The Foda’s Take: This popular quote seems intuitive, but it can really clash with human kind’s imbedded resistance to change. It goes back to our hunter and gatherer days: if you feel relatively safe camped out somewhere, you don’t want to move. The problem with this is that we often wind up accepting what we have because we’re scared to risk landing somewhere worse while reaching for something better. Kind of like a monkey. We don’t like to let go of one branch until we can clearly see the next. Stupid monkey.

 Top o’ the morning to ya, Friends! It’s a super foggy day out today, all damp and white skies. In my house, we call this a MacBeth day. So I’m sitting here with my sweet little apple computer, listening to the birds outside my window, and thinking about my upcoming doctor’s appointment. And suddenly, just like in the end of Return of the Jedi, Yoda and Ben appear on either side of me like my very own special shoulder angels! I KNOW. Crazy.

“Why do I always get so nervous my treatment’s going to change?” I wonder pensively.

“Maybe because you know what you’re getting into with your current regimen,” Ben muses.

“That’s true,” I concede. “It’s still scary, though.” 

“But mostly every method possible of treatment, done, have you not?” Yoda croaks.

“Yup, yup, that is true, I have done a lot over the years,” I agree.

“So why be anxious about change?” Ben persists. “If something isn’t working, shouldn’t you be embracing that?” 

Sigh. “Alright, be gone, Jedi, you’re getting a little too smug for your own good.” I wave my hand, and they disappear, back to wherever… dead Jedi masters… go……

I know it’s silly to want so badly for your life to change and still be scared of where that journey can take you. Maybe because I’ve been on the lower end of the roller coaster for a long time now, and I’m getting used to expecting the other shoe to drop. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn how to adapt and roll with the punches, even when I’m physically restricted, right?

My physical shell just can’t be flexible right now. Once Upon a Lyme… (heehee? get it?) Once upon a Lyme, I was an athlete. Now I’m sidelined… but that doesn’t mean I have an excuse to stop training or evolving. I’ve just been thinking my muscles aren’t able to handle it right now. But I was counting out one of the biggest muscles of all. MY BIG BRAWNY BRAIN, BABY! You see, I can’t run barefoot through the surf or sprint up the steps all “Rocky” style. <30 second break while you hum the theme song in your head….Da doo-doo dooooooooo. Doo-doo doooooooooo…….>  but I can train my brain! After all, life has already set up the obstacle course for me. (So kind of you, life-y!) Liiiike, you know, getting out of bed. Or taking a shower. Consciously focusing on the positive. Or, well, moving.

Sidebar- Mandalf laughed his rump off the other day when I said to him: “Sorry honey, I need a minute. Taking that shower really tapped me out.” Sometimes we just gotta laugh about these things… Which brings me to announce the coming soon arrival of my new segment for this website called: The Chronic Funnies. Each week, there will be a new picture, cartoon, or life quote relating to a chronic illness with a dash of humor. Like I said, sometimes when you’ve cried enough, it doesn’t hurt to give laughter a try! Coming Soon to a Galaxy Near You! 

But I digress. The point is, my physical obstacles are already set up. And while there’s only so much I can do about it body-wise, I do have a choice of how I approach them mentally. And if you believe anything about the existence of the mind-body connection (and with all the placebo studies out there proving the power of the human brain, how could you not) then the hope is that the more you train your brain to adapt and work within your parameters, the healthier and happier you’ll become as a whole.

Now I know what you’re thinking, those of you who have conditions that come with excessive fatigue, brain fog, and/or chronic pain. I already have to work so hard every moment of my life just to get through the day- the idea of having to work out my brain as well is just too overwhelming to even contemplate! Yeah, I hear you. I felt this way for a long time. And to be honest, the only reason why I’m here, willing to go for it, is because after 3 years of being sick, and the past 6 months of being debilitatingly so, I’m finally ready to take control and put the effort into what I can do, instead of being overrun by what I can’t. So if you’re not there yet, you have my permission to click away….. NOW.

Oh, you’re still here? Aww, you big sugar-muffin-honey-fly! High five! <THWACK!>

So this week, I’m going to do a few things. I’m going to stay curious, even when my symptoms scare me. I’m going to be conscious of how my mind can adapt to situations to help balance the inflexibility of my condition. And I’m going to cake it until I make it… oh, sorry, I mean fake it until I make it. Because sometimes starting a new habit and making a new choice just takes some time and repetition before it feels organic. Besides, I’m off that sweet, sweet, sugary goodness…. Mmmmm. Cake. Yummmm.

Anyway, I hope you join me in trying to find ways to swing, bounce, and slide to home plate around your mental obstacle course this week. And as always, if you find a method that works well for you, share the love, people! And if not, well, if you’re not on a sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free diet like me… well, there’s always cake. :)

Sayonara, sweet thaaaannnggg!

The Foda