Many of you know that I lived in New Orleans for about 15 years. They were amazing years, and in the end, my time there represented the best and worst of my days thus far. The Mardi Gras season just came to a close and I’m thinking about my days in New Orleans but more importantly I’m thinking about FUN.
Hurricane Katrina was the catalyst to my autoimmune disease. I believe we all have an event or experience that kicks off our illness and surely the stress of this particular experience and how I chose to deal with it pushed my tired and fragile ecosystem over the edge.
What many of you may not know is that Mardi Gras is more than Fat Tuesday. There are close to 100 parades that roll through the city in the weeks leading up to the big day. As I sit and scroll through my Facebook feed these last few weeks all of my New Orleans friends are posting pictures of their parading and I’m thinking, “where did all my fun go?”
So much of my life has changed since my autoimmune diagnosis and I’m realizing that at the top of the list of things I’m missing is fun.
My fun has pretty much disappeared.
One of the reasons that the New Orleans experience entices so many is that the city and local culture embraces and encourages people to be who THEY are, not what society thinks they should be.
Costuming is embraced year ‘round. If you wanted to dress up in a Superman costume in June and go to the supermarket, no one is going to bat an eye. You’ll likely get some nods and smiles and probably some folks will chat you up.
You just keep being you!
Autoimmune disease has been the “serious” wedge that has slowed my fun down to an unacceptable pace. I have struggled greatly with finding my space among those who don’t understand the choices that I make for my own health and well being.
So many of my relationships have changed since my diagnosis and few (if any) have changed for the better. The ones that have survived the tough times mean more to me than I can possibly intimate here.
When did the fun seem to stop?
When I stopped eating and drinking what everyone else consumes. Yeah, pretty much, that’s when.
The grim reality is that when you put your entire life under the microscope for viewing and you decide how you are going to modify it in order to maintain your health, what you learn during the process makes you get serious very quickly.
- When you learn what is really in our “food” and what it is doing to our health, it’s hard to find fun consuming things you know have a detrimental effect on your health.
- When you learn about the chemicals we are exposed to daily that are harming us, it’s hard to find fun.
- When you see the hold that the medical industrial complex has on your ability to heal, it’s hard to find fun.
- When you realize that big pharma has more to say about your treatment than you or your doctors do, it’s hard to find fun.
- When you realize what plastics have done and are doing to your life daily, it’s hard to find fun.
- When your illness and your desire to treat it without becoming a pharmaceutical junkie drives you to medical bankruptcy, it’s hard to find fun.
- When you realize that your opportunity to socialize around restaurant dinner tables becomes more and more of an impossibility, it’s hard to find fun.
- When you see husbands leave their wives because they can’t deal with their chronic illness, it’s hard to find fun.
I am here to declare that I now take full responsibility for changing the lack of fun I’m currently experiencing. I’m tired of all of the NOs I have allowed to impede my ability to pass a good time.
I had to create change in my life on many levels in order to take my health back. So did you.
If you want to change from no fun to F-U-N, that too, will require some effort.
And…like your health, YOU are driving the bus. If you don’t do it, no one else will.
I’m not having enough fun and I NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
What about you?
Are you ready to turn the volume up on some fun?
How are you going to make it happen?
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