I started to change my diet about six years ago when I stopped eating fast food and drinking soda. My thinking was I would eliminate one unhealthy food at a time and add “healthy” foods slowly. It has been a slow process but I think that is why I have been so successful. Since I have been a stay at home dad I have made all the dietary changes that Griffen has because I am with him so much. We do not have “illegal” foods in the house so we do not contaminate our cookware and remove any possibility of Griffen eating food he is not supposed to. As a result I have benefitted by having to change my diet in order to match Griff.
I have seen and felt much change since I altered my diet and more so since I went strict GAPS with Griff a year and a half ago. I have lost the 25 lbs. I was overweight with more than two years ago and maintained my new weight with out difficulty. My skin is so much clearer and healthier looking. If I get enough sleep, which I usually don’t, I look more like me…and it feels great. But the most amazing changes I have seen is with my mind…how I function with in myself and how I interact with the world.
I have had gut issues my whole life with out truly understanding them. I have had my own spectrum issues since child hood but they were never diagnosed and I never knew why I was the way I was…I just always felt like I was on the outside looking in. Not until Griffen did I realize why I was like this. I have spent my life exploring who I am and using most of my energy to grow and fit into a world that I always felt disjointed with; most of the time it felt like walking through quicksand in pursuit of personal growth. I have made huge gains but it was always with so much effort and pain…though the pain made my success so much sweeter. But I have always felt as if my progress was so slow…my peers have gone on to accomplish much more than I have on a personal level while I watch in wonder…knowing I am as bright or brighter and equally if not more motivated for success…but I am left in their wake.
These past two years things have changed though…I have experienced a surge of personal growth….the world seems a little bit easier to maneuver in. There is a clarity that is growing in my mind and it feels…liberating. I still struggle with old beliefs and have difficulty still seeing my path but where there was once so much doubt about my ability to over come my inner obstacle now there is little of it left…when it does arise I can easily push it aside. I believe in recovery not only for my son but for myself…and this I think…this understanding of self…this discovery that I can heal will help me step up and heal Griffen.
Something happened last week that really shined a light on this for me. I was having dinner with someone and she was telling me about her brother. Her brother and she were close but he did not reach out to her all that much it seemed. She told me of how he would come to visit her…and join her with all her friends in some social event. She spoke of how he wanted very much to participate but it would take all of his energy to do so and when it was over and he could return to his own environment he was completely exhausted. As she was speaking I realized she was saying almost verbatim the language I have used to describe myself. Everything she said about her brother I have experienced. The desire to join the world but not being able to…and when I do it takes everything I have just to get through it and being thoroughly wiped out when it was over…on the outside looking in. I wanted to tell her it was me she was talking about…that I was just like her brother but I didn’t. My first thought was because I did not want to be seen that way…I tire of being an outsider at times and just want to be seen as anyone else. But when I had a chance to think about it I realized that I am no longer like that…not so completely. And this is the amazing part…I can contribute this growth to my diet changes…the GAPS diet has been healing my gut. I realized that the description of her brother did not actually apply to me any more. I move around in the world so much easier now…it started a couple of years ago…I do things I never could before…at least not with out so much energy expended. It’s not as if I am completely healed but this realization…seeing it now…my growth connected to diet so clearly…I am in a mild state of shock. I have spent my life searching for a way out of this…clawing at the walls and I have finally found my way.
I find myself with a renewed sense of purpose with the GAPS diet and how it will heal Griffen. I have known and have had faith in the power of the diet but it is such a slow process and change is not always apparent…it is easy to lose perspective and motivation wanes. It takes so much effort and money to manage the diet I have found it hard to move through the stages and be creative with all the cooking…I simply have been in a GAPS rut. But now thanks to that one conversation….someone sharing with me about someone they love…someone who struggles with life….because I shared about my son and his struggles…because of this she shinned a light on something for me and it has changed so much in me…I am deeply grateful for that…thank you J.
I cheat a little on my diet when I am out in the world…eating GAPS is hard out of a controlled environment but I will apply myself to it more so now…there is still time for me to accomplish so much in my life and GAPS is the key to allow me to do that…I will take full advantage. And in turn it will help bring me to a place to truly help my son so he does not have to struggle his whole life as I have….I want him to have a clear mind to in order to reach his full potential. He has given me so much…he has saved me and given me hope for myself…he has blazed this path I am on….his autism is a gift to me. Our children on the spectrum have so much to offer us if only we choose to see it. I am grateful for all that it has brought to my life.