In an argument with my son a few days before I left Hawaii to live in California at the end of 2018, he asked me if I had ever had myself checked for mental illness.

I was so shaken by the question I had no cogent reply. Looking back on my life, however, I can see how a question like that would have seemed to make sense to him.

He’s seen me go through great bouts of depression, days of crying, weeks of confusion and short-term memory loss, and times where I’d walk around the house feeling purposeless and numb.

What neither of us knew was what caused those experiences was so simple that they could have been avoided completely, and were physical illness, not mental.

Inflammation, insulin imbalance, and histamine reaction.

Those are the key words.

Within an hour of eating yogurt or kefir, or any of the smelly cheeses, I become a mumbling, incoherent mess.

Within a couple of hours of eating bone broth, I start to feel weak, listless and lose interest in a single thing other than getting horizontal and sleeping for a week.

Give me a few brownies, a couple pieces of home made fudge, a cookie, or a bowl of my favorite ice cream, and in a few hours, after the sugar high has passed, I start to cry and can’t stop for days.

How I became so sensitive to food is beyond me, but there it is. It’s a fact.

The shame of it is that it took almost 50 years for me to piece together the whole puzzle, and figure out what sets me off and what allows me to be the naturally sharp-minded, non-stoppable dynamo that I know I am.

I could have avoided 35 years of suicidal depression; all the endless days of crying and not knowing even why I was crying, just that I felt miserable; and all the days I had not one or two, but three or even four one-hour-long naps. Where I’d be OK one minute, and couldn’t stand up without passing out the next.

What makes me so sad is that those are some of my favorite foods! Wouldn’t you know it! Right?

So finally, now that I know it’s the foods that cause the inflammation and/or an insulin spike, or ones that cause a histamine reaction, I can say no to them, and hopefully keep my sharp mind and my hold on the inspiration that keeps me going, and the strength it takes to keep plonking out pieces of art showing what I see in this crazy head of mine.

What foods set you off?

Have you noticed?

If you have sudden bouts of seemingly baseless emotional upset or mental confusion, I suggest that before you look to your psychiatrist, you look at what’s on your plate.

Because if you are as sensitive as I am, those foods have made your life miserable.

I refuse to sing the Blues anymore.

Although it’s so hard to not to choose to eat the foods I adore, it’s way, way, way worse to spend hours and even days in the clutch of emotional upset or massive confusion and short-term memory loss.

prints – PM me if you’d like one.
She is singing It’s A Beautiful World…

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