My Grief Diet: Saying “No” To Emotional Whiplash

Apparently, one of the keys to managing this lovely autoimmune condition of mine is to lower the amount of stress I experience on a daily basis.

Anyone with even half of shred of humanity right now is feeling the massive suck of the deplorable gravity that is the greater wide world right now. Our collective grief is splashed in crimson slashes across every facet of the web, but especially social media.

I find that, as the world turns and the fresh daily hell that is 2020 strikes, I first experience my own version of debilitating grief. Then, I switch on social media to check on my friends, and with every new post, I feel it differently as I read and see each fresh hell through every friend’s unique eyes. Their resonant perspectives are insightful, brilliant, and absolutely agonizing. One after another, then another. And another. And another.

Everyone’s story is unique, and we are experiencing–and expressing–a collective trauma. The varied shapes of the shards burn. Before I know it, I am stuck, mired in a social media death spiral, whip-lashing from the abiding love I have for my little nieces back to DEEP PAIN back to the cuteness of a dear friend’s adorable cat back to DEEP PAIN. Over and over.

Every friend’s new post is an adventure: Agony and Back Again: A Social Media Tale.

There is only so much yoga, breathing, and mindfulness that I can perform before the crushing sensation twists, knife-like, in my gut. And then I can’t remove it; it sticks deep in my intestines all. day. long, then wakes me up with nightmares rife with damning metaphor.

Is it any wonder my Hashimoto’s antibodies have been off the charts since 2016?

I am seriously, seriously stressed out. I find myself simultaneously desensitized to the heinous crimes being routinely committed against humanity and then also deeply, deeply horrified by the next novel travesty on a near daily basis.

The amount of inflammation I’m experiencing based on my lab work is… kind of next level. I often wake up in the middle of the night, aching, sometimes so much that I have to take a hot bath at 3 a.m. I’m dragging, exhausted, in a way that has nothing to do with a lack of T4.

Basically, I must calm it down; if I continue to let this consume me, I am even more likely to develop another autoimmune condition.

So, here I am. Writing my truth. Going on a grief diet because the consumption of it from all corners of the world is destroying me. My focus will still be on what’s important; black lives matter whether hashtags are trending or if I’m looking at them. Additionally, there is more to any person’s story than their trauma. Evolving science will continue to be posted regarding the pandemic, but I am making the choice to responsibly seek it out rather than letting it steamroll me hourly on the daily.

The lashings don’t have to continue until morale improves; I can choose when and where I will take my beating rather than allowing myself to be flogged with it all day, every day.

So, here I go: my grief diet has started.

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