I haven’t been writing much about my Hashimoto’s disease lately. (I think ya’ll have noticed that.) It’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s really because there was nothing new to report. For awhile there, things were going swimmingly. I felt good, even great on some days. This is HUGE for me – I can’t really remember the last time I felt good on a consistent basis. (Isn’t that sad?)
Well, the problem with autoimmune diseases is that you never really know when they’re going to say F YOU! (please say that with a Scottish accent like Charlie’s dad in So I Married an Axe Murderer. It’s really more fun – and accurate – that way.) They come out of nowhere. I’ve been really good. But what I’ve discovered is that one tiny little slip and it will take a week for it to hit, and then a week to recover. This is no good.
Without going into specifics, let’s just say that gluten got on something I shouldn’t have been eating in the first place (ummm like cheesecake). Then I got really stressed out at work. My body probably could have recovered from the gluten or stress OK on their own, but the combination of the two was just too much. And now I’ve been in crap-ville for a little over a week. And it sucks.
I’ve discovered that stress is really the worst thing for Hashimoto’s. And of course, it’s a cycle that is so hard to break. For example, you get stressed out at work. Then you can’t sleep (more stress on your body). Then you’re so tired you can’t even think of working out or even moving (more stress on your body). Or cooking for yourself (more stress).
The next thing you know you’re in autoimmune attack mode and you can’t do much more than sit on the couch. I thought I was coming down with something last week until my skin issues popped up again (yay for physical symptoms – I’m actually not being facetious here) and it was a reality check.
I think the hardest part of the autoimmune attack is that it’s so hard to climb back out of it again and not feel either guilty or sorry for yourself. I know the best thing for my body is rest. I need to be gentle with myself. But I’ve only made it to yoga once this week, and I haven’t seen my friends at all, and etc etc etc. You get the idea. The inner monologue is taking over.
I still find it so hard to give myself a BREAK, even though that’s what I really need to do.
So, I need some tips. Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease, what do you do for yourself when you’re feeling crappy? (Physically, mentally, spiritually, whatever. It’s all interconnected.)
Lucky for me, I have a really quiet weekend ahead and get to spend some time with good friends. Even though drinking will be involved, I will take it easy, go to bed early, and sleep in. I’ll be sure to get some sun, to smile as much as possible, and eat well. Most importantly, I’ll try and remind myself as much as possible that these things happen – I haven’t fallen back on months of hard work just because of a little slip and a little stress at work. (That, my friends, will be the hardest part. If you happen to see me in person, please remind me when I’m being hard on myself!)