Living on a coast in Canada I am surrounded by water. Do you know what happens when you are bordered by water? You get fog — lots and lots of thick, cloudy and grey fog. On these days, if you are driving, and attempt to turn on your high beams you will not cut through the cloud. Instead, you make matters worse by even further impairing your capability to see.
I can apply this analogy to what my thought process often feels like. When this sort of dense fog encroaches on my brain affecting my mental capabilities I become frustrated. No matter how many lights I turn on there does not seem to be enough illumination to cut through my clouded judgment and murky memory. I have spent the last three years coming to a better understanding of what I am experiencing. I was very fortunate, as it only took about 8 years to be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
Now I face a struggle that will take a life of commitment. I must learn how to deal with my disorder and listen to what my body needs. In a sense, I am incredibly lucky to be so self-aware and be given the time and resources to learn what my body and mind needs to be able to work at my full potential.
I have taken dozens of medication for a slew of different reasons, for my fainting, headaches, hallucinations, depression, anxiety and psychotic episodes. I no longer take medication of any kind. To clarify, I still have all of these symptoms. They are not nearly as frequent as before, but they do still occur. I am not admirable for not taking medication or foolish and selfish for not using medication as a resource. I am simply a person who is finding what works me through self study and therapy as well as trial and error.
It can hurt and be offensive when I am given unsolicited advice on what I should be doing to make myself better. I have been told countless times that I should be proud that I am “resisting medication” because I am “stronger than that”. Sometimes the exact opposite of this will happen. I have been told that it is my fault I have down periods and memory loss because I am not taking medication. This has taught me to not look for encouragement from external sources and not to apologize. We all must do what is best for ourselves.
With time and confidence I am gradually learning how stand up and have clear conviction for what I believe in. I think that medication is a tool that can be wonderful and helpful. It has improved the quality of life of so many and for that I am thankful. However, this is not to say that in some circumstances alternative means of treatment are not as justifiable.
My goal is to get rid of, what I feel to be, my most destructive symptom; brain fog. I need a clear mind so I can deal with all of the other symptoms I deal with on a day to day basis. Without this, I feel as if I am driving with my high beams on, lost, confused, and only making matters worse.
The last 6 months of 2015 have been very difficult. I lost a dear friend, I went back to school and I had to re-learn many of my coping strategies that I had developed due to a change in lifestyle. Although these adjustments have been difficult, I have persevered once again and am determined to continue on looking towards my bright future.
I am refocusing my message and with this change I am renaming it! Starting in February my sites name will change to clarifyingfood.com. I want my focus to be more about the battle of mental illness and healthy lifestyle. Regardless of your beliefs or restrictions regarding food I feel that many of us are simply looking to feel the best we can and live the most productive life possible with the limitation we all individually face.
As a wise man once said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. Hypocrites knew what he was talking about. Not because he necessarily understood the ins and outs of organic chemistry, but rather, because he knew that he felt healthy and strong when eating certain foods. That is my what my journey is all about!
My name is Clara, my name literally means clarity. Clarifying Foods is my journey to heal myself through diet and mindfulness. I will let you in on tips for dealing with anxiety and depression using coping mechanisms I have found useful. My favorite part is the food I eat! It is beautiful, colorful and allows me to think clearly. Let’s face it, life is full of uncertainty, so I put a little clara-ty where I can!
Changes you can expect to see in at clarifyingfood.com :
-Once a month I will post about dealing with my symptoms and how I deal with anxiety and depression.
-More options than purely vegan dishes! I will talk about brain food and focus on eating whole foods. This is food that has been scientifically proven to help people deal with depression and anxiety.
-I will share helpful literature and videos that I have personally used with coping with mental illness.
I can’t wait to start this next chapter in my journey!
See you there,