Thursday, February 28, 2013

Overcoming the Overwhelming

by Judy

Have you ever been forced to learn something new that seemed so overwhelming to you that you  shoved it under the rug for awhile? Did you think that maybe if you ignored it, it would just go away? I did just that recently, and I want to share with you how I finally overcame the overwhelming.

When I found out several months ago that I have a gluten allergy, I cringed, and then proceeded to carry on the same as I always have. A word of wisdom here - not a good decision!

The idea of having to change the way I shop for, cook, and eat my food - well it was just way too overwhelming. So I ignored it. And now me and my stomach - actually my whole inflamed, achy and puffy body, really regrets that decision.

Learning of my allergy, ignoring it, coming to terms with it, and finally doing what I need to do to be healthy and feel good, has been a long process. And it's all because it seemed so overwhelming. I know that many of you have felt completely overwhelmed by something at some point in your life. There are probably some of you reading this right now who are feeling this emotion. And that's why I decided to write this post. No matter what you may be overwhelmed with, there are a few things that worked for me that I'd like to share with you.

First, I finally put my problem into perspective. What at first seemed like something that I would never get a handle on, became clearer to me when I looked at the bigger picture. When I thought of it in the "grand scheme of things" it seemed smaller and more doable. I like to have this thought whenever I'm stressed, totally overwhelmed, or worried. It seems to very quickly make me realize that "this" too can be conquered. 

Secondly, I took baby steps. I researched. Then I bought books and cookbooks, and I've read and read and read. The more information I read about it, the more comfortable I get with it. You know that great saying, knowledge is power.

Next, I've learned to believe in myself. I believe that I can learn all 36 terms for gluten that can be listed on a nutrition label. Even if they all have four syllables! I can learn this, and I will learn this. If you believe that you can do something you will have a better outcome than if you believe you can't do something.

Finally, don't be afraid to reach out to other people. Ask for help if you need it. Look for others who have gone through what you're going through. The magic of the internet has allowed me to find sites pertaining to my problem, and people who know it, who understand it, and who can answer any of my questions as I go along this new path.

I hope that all of you are moving along swimmingly right now. I hope that you aren't in the midst of something, big or small, that is overwhelming you. But if you are, or when you are, I hope you remember what's worked well for me. Maybe it will work for you too. 

"Instead of focusing on the size of the challenge, focus on the size of your inner strength." 


Carol said...

Thanks for sharing Judy. This is so inspirational! For a while I was also told I had a gluten allergy, so I understand what a huge change that is to your daily life. It turned that that wasn't an answer for me, but basically I did the same thing as you -avoid and don't conquer! I felt sorry for myself too! But if there's one thing working in medicine does for you it's put things in perspective. Seeing what some people have to deal with in life, and focusing on gratitude really do help. (Great quote btw)
Good luck on your new resolve -we all want your around and healthy for a long long long time

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I hear you dear!! My sister refused to think her diabetes was REAL and kept ignoring it. It killed her way too young. I applaud you for seeing how you need to embrace this. Change is hard for sure!

I really really love your photo... its so soothing and perfect! A great shot for a kitchen huh?


Jeanne said...

Such a good post, and very good ideas for overcoming the overwhelming. I well remember steps like this when I was getting my masters degree... and would like to add to this by saying look at this minute... succeed with those baby steps "right now", and the big picture falls in to place in the end. Good for you in making forward progress!

Kim Stevens said...

Big sigh...first I'm so sorry that you have to deal with that, but so glad you are on the right track to feeling better! xo

Another big sigh...yes I feel completely overwhelmed by EveRyThinG right now, which is not normally like me. :( Trying not to look through the keyhole right now....

kelly said...

something i totally needed to hear today! such great advice judy. sorry to hear that you've been struggling with this (i have a couple friends who battle it also and i know from their experience what a challenge it can be), but so glad to hear that you're feeling better. thank you for sharing and for the inspiration!

AFishGirl said...

This is such a postive and uplifting and encouraging post. Bravo to you for your steps in dealing with all of this and for the kindness you send in this post to encourage us all to not turn away from the overwhelming. I needed to hear that today. Thank you, Judy.
Pam oxoxo

terriporter said...

So sorry to hear you've been struggling but happy you have a handle on things now. Isn't "denial" the first stage of grief? It seems to be our first reaction to something overwhelming but hopefully it quickly turns into acceptance. We have to accept before we can really deal with something. Your wise advice to put things into perspective is a wonderful first step. You have touched a lot of us with this post, Judy. Thank you.

CarolHart said...

Thank you for such an honest timely post! You most certainly will learn to manage your allergy... actually sounds like you already have. You are an inspiration.

Dotti said...

This is such a powerful post, Judy. Thank you for empowering us with your story. I'm so sad to know you have to deal with this dreaded allergy but I know you'll overcome it even though its not easy. Always remember ... we're all behind you in spirit. And this is a post we should all bookmark ... we'll need it for reference.

Thank you!

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

WOW, tough ... i hope the path will continue to go ok. i wish you well. i know plenty of folks who have a similar issue. i can only imagine your thought process would take to make a meal. thinking about ya.

not that it makes it better or anything - but it has to get better. life only goes up from here. promise. hugs. ( :

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