Five Minute Friday: Try

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

I’ve been about a 97% vegetarian for the last year-and-a-half. At first, I craved meat, sure that I wasn’t getting enough protein. Slowly but surely, my body adjusted. Liver function improved. I pushed back against the bad cholesterol that runs in my family. I’ve tried around 100 different recipes, give or take, mostly found on Pinterest. Every two weeks, I stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

This does not mean, however, that I’ve morphed into some “oh, I could never eat junk food again” kind of person. I continue to love junk food. My palette may have been forced to expand, but, at heart, I still want to eat like a teenager.

Today, I ate the biggest Arby’s sandwich I could get.

It was glorious.

Red meat is the biggest “no-no” when you’ve got a crappy liver, but, once a year (on my birthday) from now on, I will throw caution to the wind and have the roast beef (and, let’s get real, the curly fries). There’s enough struggle and striving in life. I believe that God encourages us to find bright spots of enjoyment as often as possible.

For me, it’s the roast beef.

And now all my ethical vegetarian and vegan friends/followers have fainted in horror.

Linking up with Kate and the authors (that sounds like a band name). We:

Go

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Wisdom from a galaxy far, far away.

We like to hedge our bets – try to do better, try to be there, try to commit, try to pray. What we really mean – I probably won’t, but I want to give off the impression that I will. Because we don’t want to disappoint anyone, ourselves included. We want to say “no” without actually saying “no.”

I’ve experienced this recently in the context of exercise. Having battled extreme fatigue and other ailments all year long, there are nights when I go to bed and promise myself, “I’ll try to exercise tomorrow.” Instead of just being honest – “I am too tired to do anything intense, but I can do gentle things and make time for rest” – I played mind games with myself. I rationalized and justified.

There’s only “do” and “don’t”, “yes” and “no,” sometimes “maybe,” if we really, honestly don’t know if we’ll be able to do something.

But there is no “try.”

You don’t try to write a book, you just write it.

You don’t try to build a business, you put in hours of hard work.

You don’t try to have a good marriage, you commit to your spouse.

You don’t try to love the Lord, you ask Him to give you a new heart.

It’s making choices and taking responsibility.

It’s that whole,

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

– Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)

And it’s knowing that the “yes” and the “no” are sufficient.

Stop

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Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo

Also linking up with the Ra-Ra Writers.

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The Detox Diaries: Results

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Gentle Reader,

Mildly elevated triglycerides (a type of fat, released by the body for energy between meals). Liver enzymes a couple of points above normal (indicates inflammation or damage). The presence of some extra fluid in the abdomen. A “remarkably inconclusive” ultrasound.

My doctor’s nurse called me last Friday morning and filled me in on all this. The elevated enzymes and the small amount of extra fluid are, at this point, being attributed to the elevated triglyceride levels. The radiologist recommended some kind of special MRI, but since cancer is still considered unlikely, that’s a step I’ll take down the road. In the meantime, I’m to stick with the Cymbalta weaning schedule, never go back on birth control, develop a love of cooking, watch for signs of an enlarged liver and spleen (including jaundice) and go back in August to have the blood work done again.

I’m battling the sense of being a ticking time bomb.

It doesn’t help that I’ve entered the super-anxious phase of withdrawal, which is likely going to last longer than anything else. Anxiety was what caused me to plunge into depression and seek out treatment in the first place. I’ve got a good support system and lots of tools in my belt, but I can’t stop my brain being flooded with chemicals. I pray (boy, do I pray!), spend time in Scripture, listen to uplifting music, and am working on dietary changes. (Hence the above comment about developing a love for cooking. I don’t see how I’m going to do what I need to without that). Too many times a day to number I remind myself that I must operate out of what I know, not what I feel.

But that doesn’t make the anxiety go away. That doesn’t stop the chemicals and synapses from going all wonky.

I wish people understood that without having to experience it. It’s truly wearying to feel physically upset or like you need to run away while knowing you don’t have any reason for it and that you can’t give in to it. The battle here is real.

My mom suggested I take one Valerian Root capsule yesterday afternoon, to see if that would help. I was wary at first, because Valerian Root is something I typically use as a sleep-aid. I didn’t really want to go to sleep at 4 p.m. She pointed out that three capsules are for sleep; maybe one would just be calming. It was. So I have that if I need it. Thankfully, today I am not quite so amped up.

As the days progress and I begin to sift through the piles of information, I am driven ever more to God. I don’t understand how people do life without Him. I really don’t. Is that weakness talking? Oh, you bet. Being honest with oneself leads to an admission of weakness. I’d rather keep being honest and keep walking with God than try to be…whatever it is the rest of the world thinks we’re supposed to be.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.