The Autoimmune Protocol (AKA: Autoimmune Patience)
“Hurry it on up, healing!”
“Am I ever going to get better?”
Ever mumbled (or hollered?) any of the above statements in reference to your autoimmune disease or leaky gut syndrome? If so, you are not alone, dear friend. We all have those days where the patience factor is severely lacking. Its usually when our symptoms are at their worst, or we are having a bad flare day.
The good news is, you are on the right path if you are following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. First off, the diet alone is going to help heal your leaky gut and provide an avenue for you to potentially reverse your autoimmune disease. The AIP diet assists in reducing the inflammation that exists not just in your belly, but also throughout your entire body. (Give me some of that please!)
The news that doesn’t have to be so bad is that the impatience that can come with any long-term illness is NORMAL. Its normal to feel frustrated and wonder when, or if, you are ever going to feel healthy again. Its perfectly fine to occasionally get a little bogged down by your symptoms and the stress they can cause your body and mind.
What’s unhealthy is to constantly get yourself worked up over something you only have so much control over. Whittling your mind down with unnecessary stress will only, in return, produce another flare for you, or worsen your inflammation, or both. I say this because, I myself am guilty of such self-inflicting negative behaviors, and I know their consequences personally.
I have mumbled and hollered all of the above quotes in reference to my healing journey (and definitely much more frequently before starting AIP!). There are days where I am perfectly fine with being imperfect, and realize in peaceful acceptance that this journey was designed for me for a purpose, and all is good with the world of Sam.
THEN there are THOSE DAYS. The ones where I am ungrateful for my progress, lacking acceptance of my condition, and IMPATIENT with the entire process. Over-analyzing. Over-thinking. Just…kind of hatin’ life, ya know?
And guess what comes right alongside all of these negative thoughts and emotions? Virtually all of my original symptoms return with a vengeance: Anxiety. Depression. Fibromyalgia. Joint stiffness. Insomnia. Brain fog. Eczema. You name it. It all comes back. Its a viscous circle. And Samantha is not a happy Sam.
Here is some more good news: There is more than one aspect to the AIP. It’s not all about the diet and the food. The other HUGE chunk of this healing protocol would be best displayed in a well-balance pie chart, with these labels on it:
Meditation (ohm). Spirituality (any ol’ kind will do). Physical activity (mild to moderate). Nature (get yo’ bum in the sun). Supplements (when well-researched and necessary). Personal enjoyment (do YOU). Relaxation (downtime).
I find that when I have all of these other pieces of the AIP pie chart (did someone say pie? *sigh* Now I want apple crumble…good thing I know how to cook!) synchronized to fit my lifestyle, I have less and less of those YUCKY days, and more and more of those LOVELY days. You know…the ones where the sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze in the air, the birds are warbling, and you can feel your inner peace glowing. (Even if its raining and there are no birds floating through the non-breeze.)
Patience is what I am able to achieve more often while practicing the entire AIP. And here’s the rub: Practice makes patience. Meaning: If you consume the rest of the AIP pie chart, you will effortlessly gain patience as a side-effect. When you are meditating, and practicing spirituality, and gently exercising, and soaking in daily sun, and making time for your flavor of play, and fitting in that chillax time…PEACE and patience are going to come naturally.
Plus, there’s this whole awesome community of autoimmune warriors that can guide you via their success stories and blogs containing words of encouragement and advice. You are not alone, and the support is there to help get you through the most stressful and least patient of times. Here is a list of a few posts from my faves to help you out (they have helped me immensely):
Healing, peace and patience be with you, friend.