Friday, January 29, 2010

From Tennessee to Texas in Search of Support

Well, Nashville turned out to be a truncated experience living in Tennessee. While the weather was indeed warmer than Minnesota, with a beautiful environment and nice people, it was just not the right place for me culturally. So, on to Texas! I have moved to Austin. Climate AND culture allured me to this place.

Actually, this is the place where I have wanted to live since 2006 and I am very pleased to have finally arrived- for real this time. I was here for all of three weeks in ‘06 before having to return to Minnesota to work on my health with the only doctor I trusted. The road has been long, and at times very depressing and unpleasant. I can’t count how many times I have looked around and thought, “What am I doing here?” Sometimes that question can only be answered in hindsight after moving on ahead a ways.

This city has the kind of support and resources that I need: arts, music, film, health, and international culture. I am finding many people here who are cooperative in personality with a firm belief in paying it forward. Austinites are well educated, liberal, and progressive. I have already found several groups to be a part of, including SCDiet support.

I cannot overstate the importance of support, especially when a person is struggling for any reason. We all need support, and it is positively correlated with success. What does that mean? The more support a person has, the more likely they are to succeed. The support of one person can make a difference, especially if it comes with real understanding, the kind that comes with personal experience. It is good to share similarities and to respectfully tease out differences.

I don’t know about you, but support is not usually forthcoming from most people when it comes to my diet. More often than not, the response I get is, “that’s too hard! I could never do that!” When so many people put my eating lifestyle “down,” it is easy to start thinking like they do under the peer pressure. “Maybe it won’t be so bad if I just have a taste, and it would make my life so much easier…” WRONG!!! It hurts me like no one else gets unless they have experienced my level of disease. Now I know, without any doubt through repetitive testing, just say NO! Disease is challenging, special diets are challenging, and it doesn’t help to have individuals constantly challenging what helps me to heal on top of it all. I let those comments roll off now because I know it’s not too hard. I’m doing it, and it gets more rewarding every day. It’s more important to find other people who are doing it, too, and to find out how they are making it happen for themselves.

What works for me may not work for you. In fact, it probably won’t. It is estimated that each person has around 500 or so microbes as part of their very own cultural make-up, and we’re all slightly different due to our different contacts and occupation of space. We share some strains that are the most common in humans, but like snowflakes no two of us is exactly alike. Unfortunately, we all suffer from being alone in a sea of people because each of us is unique, just like everybody else. Yes, as individuals we feel the pang of separation from the group, which gives us a collective experience. Esoteric? Yeah. I wish it could be easier to find one’s way in life, but golly-gosh almighty! My way sure has proven to be a doozy several times over. I keep having to readjust my culture, inside and out, constantly re-culturing myself in search of the perfect balance for me. And yeah, not everybody can move to Austin, or would want to, and I am seeking employment so that I can stay here…

Remember, it is only a small space to make nowhere now here. Sometimes, life happens in a rather round-a-bout way. However, I am nothing if not perseverant, persistent, determined, tenacious, or otherwise stubborn. If at first you do not succeed, tend to the wounds with loving care and then try again, a little different!

Trying new things, and old things in different ways, can bring what is desired into reality. One of the things that my doctor told me when I was having so many challenges was, “The better we get your health, the better decisions you will make.” I just kind of looked at him, with my head cocked to one side and eyebrow raised like a curious dog, attempting to comprehend this notion. He was ever so right on, and I’m beyond glad that I trusted him and believed what he was saying. Just trying SCDiet not only improved the quality of my life, it saved my life. I have no doubt that I would be dead if not for the diet, and for my doctor. But, I had to be the one willing to try and forge ahead into the unknown, even if that meant backtracking to MN for a few years of drudgery. Fall down 7 and get up 8, according to Confucius. All that matters is that I keep getting up, I keep trying, and one day I will get it “right.” Almost four years later, here I am, now here in Austin!