Today I live in the dark…

Dang. I swear I’ve been meaning to start writing every day. My friends and family have been encouraging me to share more often because my journey might help others. But honestly it feels weird to be posting less then super happy posts, just not my style but then again, not much is my style these days.

I’ve been trying my hardest to focus on how I can contribute to my health improvement. About six or even eight weeks ago, I started an elimination diet to identify foods that cause inflammation in my body. And more importantly, identify foods that don’t. It’s called The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas. I have to say the food and recipes are AMAZING, and I’ve felt pretty damn proud of myself for learning to cook, trying new foods and sticking with it. It’s been HARD because the grocery shopping and cooking are exhausting when I already feel deeply depleted but I keep at it. I’m down 10 pounds and have found foods and recipes I love and that work well with my body.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the pain reduction I was hoping for. The doc keeps telling me to be patient, it takes time, but I had really hoped this was going to be the ticket. That within a week or two, I would start to feel my body coming back into its own. That pain would release me from it’s constant, never ceasing clutches. Alas, not yet.

I’ve also joined a low-cost gym here in town. I go three times a week for a very light work out (20 minutes cardio and some light weights through a circuit). The gym has a hydro massage bed, which was really the motivation for joining. It’s delightful.

And I’ve started meditating twice a week to learn better stress management techniques. I gotta say this was the thing that has surprised me most – how much I absolutely LOVE doing it. It’s like a dream. Feels. So. Good!

To help me keep on track, I’ve implemented a buddy system. I am doing to the eating plan with my Dad who bought the book and is following The Plan with me. We get together weekly to try new foods and talk about our discoveries. For the gym, my gal pal Jennifer has joined me at this unsuspecting torture chamber. Jen is also helping me research about plant-based eating and…we started JUICING. Julie lending me the juicer to try and always at the ready to help walk and exercise the pups and lend a shoulder and ear. Laura with her limitless compassion, love and support encouraging me every single day….helping me to fight the darkness with understanding. And of course Mom, a meditation guru, is teaching me to meditate. We get together twice a week to zen ourselves into relaxation oblivion. Mom has also graciously signed us up for a weekly plant-based cooking course starting in November. And my amazing coworkers/friends with messages and text letting me know they have my back…

Not to mention hubby who is my champion, my strongest supporter and my world. He eats my food, offers to cook, cleans up after I destroy the kitchen, listens to my complaints and wins with equal interest. He who runs my baths, tickles my back for hours and pulls my hair just perfectly…his endless tender hugs, massages and limitless love…he who never gives up…he is my bright light holding my hand through the darkness….

All this work and effort and the pain is still as excruciating as ever. In some respects, worse because I know I am doing all the right things, but it feels like I am just banging my head up against a brick well. Hanging on by a thread. Frustration and anger threatening to swallow even more of my fragile spirit. What’s the point? I have such little energy and mental capacity to draw from, without seeing vast improvements, it’s hard to stay motivated. It’s hard to find the will and strength to keep trying.

I know it doesn’t help that yesterday and especially last night was an especially bad one. My back….my ribs (new pain that started a couple weeks ago)…my feet and ankles…my legs…and a migraine from hell just to top it all off. By 8 pm, I felt utterly consumed by pain. Unable to think, unable to breath, unable to move…my body torturing me for hours none stop. No matter what I ate, medication I took, relaxing breath I took…the pain wouldn’t stop, wouldn’t let up. It feels like I live constantly in its clutches…in the dark. Endless tears sliding down my cheeks as desperation fills my soul. I want to crawl into bed and never get out.

How does one stay centered on doing “all the right things” when bad days still outnumber decent days??? When the results you need to see, ache to experience, yearn to feel…are as elusive as winning the lottery…

Today I give in to the darkness…today I wallow in self-pity…today I give myself permission to throw in the towel and just be in pain and sadness. Today I allow myself to wonder if I’ll ever come out of this on the other side…today I eat McDonald’s and cry.

Tomorrow, I’ll hit the gym, cook and meditate. Tomorrow I’ll hope for better…



  1. Catherine says:

    I think you are amazing. This painful journey is horrible. You are doing all the right things, and I admire you greatly for making all these efforts. I have crawled into bed to have a wallow day. They are what is needed some times. Take care, reach out if we can help.

  2. I will share my favourite ever quote with you, that I have shared with many bloggers over the years. It’s a Chinese proverb I believe – “When the road of life makes you weary of walking, remember your wings.”

  3. Natalie, I knew you as an amazing, bubbly and fun person. I did not know about your struggles. I have had my moments in the dark and like you had to search for the light. Meditation, mindfulness (living in the moment) and time, were just a few things that helped. Proud of you for sharing with others that it’s OKAY to have a down day. The sun does eventually shine through. Hugs.

  4. It’s been on off week for many, some that are particularly sensitive to the energy are feeling it. This week I was very exhausted, had some crying…and McDonalds ! hugs

  5. Donna McGuire says:

    Oh Natalie. I have read the last couple of your blogs and my heart goes out to you. You are an amazing woman. I am so sad to hear of your pain. I am also proud of you all the attempts you are doing to treat yourself! Sending you much love and hugs!

  6. And despite all of this you send messages to those you love telling them that you are thinking of them. This is what makes you a beautiful person. Xoxo big hugs to you Nat.

  7. karenmcfarland says:

    Oh my dear Natalie, this is just awful. I am so sorry you’re having to deal with all this, I can hardly stand it!!! Well, your support team is here for you! First, please do listen to your doctor. It is very important to be patient. Just think, it took quite some time for your fibro to appear. So it only makes sense that it will take some time for things to turn around. I understand auto-immune issues. I’ve got it, my son has full body alopecia. But the good news is, it can be reversed. Many studies have shown that auto-immune problems start in the gut. I know in a previous post Julian Dodd mentioned “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” I think every other person on the planet has it because if you’ve ever taken an antibiotic, you have it. Antibiotics tear apart the gut. They eat away at the good flora along the lining of your gut and create holes which toxins leak through and are re-released into the blood. So we invariably get stuck in a cycle, or should I say recycle of the same crap our bodies were trying to rid itself of. And where does this stuff go? Into the blood stream, the lymph system, fat cells so that our body can store it until it can rid of it at a later date when the body isn’t so overloaded. Like I said, a cycle. You are doing great girl!!! The food elimination diet, the juicing (so good!), exercise, it’s all working towards a common goal. But you need to take this a step further. And I say this NOT to discourage you. But if you want to heal your body and feel better faster, I promise you this will kick start your recovery into high gear. What am I talking about? I’m talking about “Bone Broth!” Homemade Bone Broth. The healing properties in bone broth is astounding. And you will see the effects of drinking the broth right away. It’s so easy to make in your crockpot. You cook it for a couple of days to get the all the good stuff out of the marrow bones. But I’m telling you, you won’t believe how much better you’ll feel. Please look up the info on the web. I have a really tasty, easy recipe I make. If you want it, you know how to find me. And now that we’re heading into cooler temps, it’s the perfect feel good prescription for what ails ya! You are on your way girl!!!! LOVE! 🙂

    • All the things that Karen says – We Are Here For You! You can do this, even if you have a periodic McDonald’s day. It took me WEEKS to get the gluten out of me. I didn’t see a significant reversal of the inflammation for almost two months. But try the bone broth, and some probiotics. If you don’t want to make it – look for a place with traditional pho. They make bone broth for the pho and you can probably buy a few bowls of that to get you started.

      We love you, darling!!!

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