I have been eating raw for awhile now, but when I lost my job I began eating more cooked food again, mostly because it was offered to me for free, and not having a job, I felt I was in no position to turn down free food. It took me a few weeks of feeling crappy physically and emotionally to realize I was reverting back to living in fear - using a scarcity model for living, instead of the loving, abundant model I adapted to when I first went raw. I knew I needed to get back on track with what I was putting into my body because even though I had lost 20 pounds and my depression was gone and I was feeling overall pretty incredible until I lost my job, my acne has still not cleared up, I still have another 20-25 pounds to lose, my mood swings started come back a little because of the stress of being unemployed, and my PMS reappeared. For the last 2 years, it had been lasting about 10 days, but when I went raw it went down to 7, then to 5, then to 3, and then to 2. This past month of eating more cooked, it was back up to a week. I don't know if I will eat 100% raw forever, but I do know without a doubt that right now, I need to continue on my healing journey and not give into the fear based thinking that caused me to stray. I will deal with the rest when it comes.
So I have started getting back to my 99-100% raw intake, and am feeling much better, but I am noticing a lot of emotional things coming back up again, like peeling the layers off an onion. I am feeling a disconnect from some of the people in my life who don't quite understand what is going on. Most of my non-raw friends are very supportive, but there are a few people who it is just hard to talk about. I think maybe they don't understand that this is not just a way of eating - it's an entire lifestyle change. I don't feel like a "new" me - I feel like I am simply becoming the me I was all along; the person I always was inside that was just hidden under a pile of health issues, depression, mood swings, excess weight, psychological trauma, acne and the insecurities that resulted from all of the above. So as I shed all those physical layers, it is only natural that I would continue to shed more emotional layers. This happened when I first went raw too, but it's way more intense this time around and I feel like I am shedding so many layers of self. I think this might be scary for some people in my life, because they have this idea in their heads of who I am, and who I have been the last 14 years that I have had these problems. I think perhaps they, like I at my most defeated and depressed moments, just began to think I would always be that way and now that I am changing, perhaps they feel they don't know me anymore? I am not quite sure. I know for a lot of people, eating raw seems like such a drastic measure because it is so different from what they know, but to me, eating things that make me feel bad seems completely insane. I don't try to push my raw agenda on people, but I do speak openly about it, because people are always curious about what I eat and how I get my protein and all the other questions raw foodists always get. I want to educate people about it if they want to know. And while I do not push it on anyone, I do talk about it a lot because it is so amazing to me. I feel great about it and after feeling like absolute hell for 14 years and thinking I would never find a way out of that dark hole, finally finding an answer, especially one that showed me signs for several years before I was ready to really link it all together, feels so amazing to me, so I am excited and inspired and it is a big topic with me. No, it's not all I talk about - I still love art, music, books, spirituality, nature, travel and a ton of other things - but it definitely is a big part of who I am now, and I guess for some people, it can be overwhelming. For me, it's really only when I am dealing with people who are skeptics and try to put down what I am doing that I have an issue, and I think that is not their intention most of the time, but it still comes out that way. So what I am trying to do with those people in my life is to just keep my mouth shut about it as much as possible. They will continue to be skeptical until they experience the benefits for themselves, and many of them will probably never try it anyway and there is nothing I can say or do that will make that any different, and that is OK too. As thrilled as I would be to see them try it and feel the amazing benefits themselves and remove their skeptical feelings towards this different way of eating, I know it is not my place to convince them of anything, and if they cannot accept that what I am doing is best for me, that is fine too. As one of my dear friends said,""When something like this becomes an integral part of your life, it is almost like a religion because it is a whole different way of life. Not everyone will understand the faith that you have in it." And so I should not expect them to understand it. The most I can do is keep living this way for me, and to just be a positive example as I go deeper into transformation. Through the friends that are supportive and curious about the raw lifestyle, I have learned that as you make positive changes in your life, some people can't help but notice and be drawn to making healthier choices themselves, and this works best when it comes to them naturally, because they have the desire to change themselves. So thank you to all my friends and family members who have been open to the changes I have made, and who have supported and encouraged me on my journey and made me feel like less of a Pariah. I had almost given up hope that it was possible to feel good, happy, positive and normal after so many years of fighting this battle with depression, and your strength and support is immeasurable. I hope I can one day find a way repay you.