when you can't eat a lot of stuff

a few weeks ago, i was diagnosed with this chronic disease called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. people call it SIBO. this is what i felt like when i received the news.

i’ve been dealing with a lot the last four to five weeks. i know i haven’t really been present on here, and honestly, that space has been relieving. i think what is overwhelming me most is the abrupt and almost instantaneous changes that are happening in my life to cure what has seemed like almost six years of health problems.

what does that look like? bouncing between 2 different “diets” that have opposite restrictions (note: “diet” in this context = limiting certain foods to keep me from relapsing into SIBO, not trying to lose weight). seeing 4 doctors regularly— 5 after today. beginning my cycle of antibiotics for what i thought would be 3 months. explaining to people what i can’t eat and why i can’t eat it. having to prove to people that my health matters.

i think it is honest to say that i am frustrated. i’m slowly acknowledging these “setbacks” as progress— that this is what i need to push through, deal with, accept to get better. i am getting better. it gets easier to make this distinction as i see improvements in my health.

for me, the struggles that i am facing in recovery have had more of a mental impact than a physical one. i don’t want to restrict my food, but i am being asked to. i don’t want to check labels on the back of containers, but it is heavily recommended that i do so. in minor ways, i am being asked to return to disordered habits. i know that i cannot let that happen.

sibo recovery has been a test of my recovery from previous disorders. i dismiss disordered thoughts as soon as they enter my head space. i try to think less about why i am eating something even though i have to make sure i know what i am eating. i’m starting to practice mindful eating. i just have to slow down.

i have proven to myself that i am stronger than whatever i was going through many years ago.

and i am so incredibly proud of myself for that.

i’m getting better. i’ve been coping with the stress of my fluctuating health the best way i know how: cooking. i make breakfast in my dorm every day. you can find out what i get to eat every morning as i document my meals here.

i’m getting stronger.

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