New and Improved (and Improving) Me

As per usual, the weekend flew by too quickly. I’m loving the rhythm Ben and I are in right now in terms of both how we spend our weekend time (our routine) as well as how we are connecting as partners. I can’t speak for him, but our relationship is feeling really gratifying. Perhaps it’s apropos that our wedding anniversary is later this coming week.

My night was hard because I tried a new food yesterday and it didn’t agree well with me at all, manifesting in nearly every shade of digestive symptoms possible. At midnight, I was sitting on the bathroom floor, rocking to soothe myself as I dealt with terrible nausea. I made it through though and despite the strong vertigo this morning, the symptoms have mostly subsided. There’s another food to cross off the safe list! That said, I’m less pessimistic about the potential of finding workable foods than I was before jumping ship and taking the brave step to radically change my diet about ten days ago. While there have been several foods that have gone terribly, I’m pleased with my good attitude and positive outlook, such that I’m not really letting these sometimes horrendously uncomfortable flops to break my hope that I will find foods that make me feel better or deter my resolve to try other new ones. I’m committed to continuing to be an investigator, a little food scientist, on a quest to diversify and fortify my alarmingly limited diet. I’m so proud and impressed with how I’ve been handling these changes, given my rigid nature, history of severe anaphylactic and adverse food reactions, and the understandable resultant paralyzing anxiety. The me of even just a few months ago would have never been flexible enough or brave enough to make these changes.

The stings are still itchy enough to be bothersome. However, I think they will be mostly just a bad memory in a few days. Ben has started trying to exterminate their hive, but it will be a multi-day process.

One of the goals today will be keeping cool. When I looked at the forecast the other day, I recall that today is supposed to be nearly 100. The house will get pretty toasty, but I still prefer that to the frigid, muscle-tensing sub-60 indoor temperatures I will contend with in just a few months. Because I work from home, the indoor environment of my house is certainly a big factor in my comfort for the majority of the day. In winter, when I’m only in my cold house or venturing out to the even colder outdoors, it can feel like an impossibility that I’ll ever thaw out and be warm. I’d much prefer the excessively warm house; at least my body stays loose and I’m not chattering my teeth.

Other than work, I have my weekly self-directed therapy session this morning. Although I had begun with a focus on anxiety and then moved to depression after being pleased with my progress, I’ve circled back to anxiety. I didn’t make much headway with the depression side of things before the switch; as I’ve mentioned before, depression seems much harder for me to noticeably influence on my own, but also, I reverted back to anxiety rather quickly because of new life circumstances necessitating specific anxiety work (such as the whole food ordeal). Fortunately, I’ve been pleased with how effective the anxiety-based work I’ve done has been. In many ways, inside my head, meaning my thought patterns, feel so reworked and reinvented: I’m the new and improved (and still improving!) Amber. The progress is especially noticeable with my maladaptive thought patterns and behaviors. I won’t kid myself into thinking of myself as “better” enough that I don’t need to keep deliberating working on myself in these ways; I’m well aware of my areas of weakness. Still, I deserve to acknowledge and celebrate my improvements, as well as my self-efficacy for effectuation change.

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