I would say one of the biggest obstacles I've had to overcome in my life so far (other than my parent's divorce, and learning to be a well-adjusted human being despite my lack of a father growing up) has pertained to my health.
In high school I was diagnosed with depression, and then anxiety disorder (the anxiety was causing the depression, which is pretty common) after test driving a few medications, including Zoloft, before finding one that worked. I was on the anxiety medication (I can't remember what it's called now, it was so long ago) for over three years.
Now, if you know anything about prescription drugs, especially ones that alter chemicals in the brain, you'll know that they should only be taken as needed for short periods of time; as in, a few months. This is because these drugs wreak havoc on your liver, which is the storage unit of your body, and storing prescription drugs for more than those few months can turn hazardous (everything in the body is a revolving circle; everything effects everything else).
Shortly into college—probably close to a year into taking the medication—I started having problems digesting dairy. I knew dairy was the main culprit because ice cream had the worst side effects. I went to numerous specialists including a kinesiologist, who told me my liver was highly toxic. This really made me realize how long I’d been on medication (and had since been on others including Lipitor). So I went off the medication on my own over the course of a few months.
In addition to turning lactose intolerant, from my senior year of high school and through college, I also gained 30 pounds, had supposedly developed asthma (right around the time my boyfriend broke up with me my senior year) and was on medication for that, and my skin broke out in rashes when I got too hot or my skin came into contact with any kind of irritant.
(As a side note: I never had asthma. I discovered on my own years after going off any inhalers for asthma that I was actually having panic attacks. Very similar symptoms, I'll give you that, but that just goes to show how much Doctors really know. And my skin rashes went away years ago when I started dealing with all of the emotional stress I went through over my breakup, my weight-gain, going to college, and many other things I won't even get into. Funny how our emotions that we've been ignoring finally break out and give us a wakeup call. Well, not that funny.)
None of this is a list I have of complaints for my life. I have simply come to realize very recently that every single one of these symptoms I had over the last decade could all be linked back to the medication and the condition of my liver.
This all came to light because I did a cleanse last month, which reminded me (at least I'm an addict who's past the stage of denial) how much sugar I consume on a daily basis and how hard it is for me to stop eating it. I am addicted to sugar. Chocolate is my brand of heroine. It has become the ongoing evil nemesis to my liver and health. Or maybe I shouldn't be blaming the sugar. Perhaps the blame lies with my self-control, or lack thereof. I don't know.
What I do know is this:
More and more knowledgable, influential people are starting to realize that sugar is making this country sick. It is causing cancer, and obesity, and it is killing us. If you don't believe me, or think it's silly that something as "child-like" or "innocent" as sugar could be dangerous, then listen to this:
(For more on sugar, and where I found this video to begin with, visit Meg Fee)
I suppose what I have admitted thus far is that I have an addiction, and that is my "lot in life". I do believe that everything that has led me to this point has made me who I am; a stronger, more intelligent, more aware, more capable human being. What am I doing to overcome this?
Well, that is a whole other topic, but is banning sugar everywhere I go in my daily life too much to ask?
I guess that would be a bit dramatic. I suppose learning self-control would be a good place to start. Or going here. Nothing like going cold-turkey to kick an addiction.