As clean as I've made my diet over the last 3 years, I've struggled with giving up a few vices: namely lattes, wine, sugar, and chocolate. Many advanced detoxers, including my mentor, have been able to keep some or all of these things in their diet while continuing to improve their health.
A little over a month ago, I realized, this wasn't me. I could clearly connect the times when I increased these stimulants to times when I felt an increase in anxiety and stress...mostly irrational stress. I've known for awhile that at some point these things would need to go, but I pride myelf on working with my clients to NOT feel deprived, and I felt that without these things, I WOULD feel deprived.
It took a dark night of intense anxiety, and my husband's courage to turn me around. He was willing to tell me the truth, that what I was experiencing was not rational. I had to, (not without a fight), look within and really come to terms with what was going on. I realized that this dark night came after a vacation where I drank wine every night, indulged in chocolate and all kinds of things I don't usually include in my diet like refined white sugars etc. There was, once again, a direct correlation.
I cried, and got angry, and yelled into my pillow, and then I breathed. I knew that the time had come to listen to my body, and my brain chemistry. We are made up of a complex cocktail of chemicals, and our moods are directly effected by our diet. For me, the pain of unnecessary anxiety, and the consequences of fighting that anxiety, AND dragging my family into it, became too much. Wondering why others could get by without suffering any consequences to a cozy latte or a relaxing glass of wine was no longer fascinating. The fact was, if I wanted to thrive, these little vices had to go.
I cold turkey'd it, and gave up all stimulants. In the last 39 days, I've cheated with 1 margarita, two bites of chocolate, 1 latte, and 2 desserts...all of which made me feel so bad, that it reinforced my commitment to being stimulant free. This has been a HUGE change for me since I was eating chocolate daily, and having espresso at least 3 times a week, and wine anywhere from 2-4 times a week. The result? So far, I've felt grounded and calm. Even when stressors have come into my life, I've had an emotional stability that feels natural and solid.
There have been a few moments of really wanting something and feeling deprived. But I have also been amazed at how that "desire" can simply be a desire for re-connection. I've usually been able to reconnect with a swim in the ocean, or some deep breathing, or lying on the grass.
Tonight I'm writing to you from a little lakehouse, watching a roaring fire dance, as I get ready to envelop myself in a down comforter next to my husband. Breathing the cool summer night air and listening to the crickets reminds me how important the connection to our natural environment is. It is a huge support system that feeds my body, mind and spirit. I don't know how I didn't realize this before. Discovering nature as a natural stimulant, with side effects of joy and wonder, has been an unexpected gift. It validates the idea that when we are really willing to surrender that which doesn't serve us, light floods in...often in abundant and unpredictable ways.