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It still feels strange to write 2011. At work I write quite a few letters, an unknown percentage of them wind up in the trash because I have problems remembering that I am yet again living in another year. 2010 was the year that I went wheat free after getting sick from a bite of pasta. I could write a list of things I've given up since then but a lot of websites remind readers to focus on what you can have rather than what you can't. For me this has gone past food, I could now give up any food at anytime although that was not always the case.

I still miss a lot of the food I used to eat. I've lived in Wisconsin since I was five so I grew up drinking farm fresh milk and for a while I lived in the Swiss Cheese Capital of the world. Of all the foods I've left behind I miss cheese the most. I miss butter and milk but since I don't eat cereal anymore milk is less of an issue. A couple weeks ago I cleaned out my pantry. It almost made me sick thinking of all the money I was throwing away but I can't see any benefit to storing food that I can't have. Maybe someday I will write more about that, maybe I have written about it and never posted it.

I do that sometimes. Write things, read them or come back to them at a later point in time wondering what I was thinking while I was typing. Now that I am used to writing it has become a habit and like a lot of habits it is a hard one to break. Today I am thinking about last Sunday which is the day I ate some things I shouldn't have. To most people it wouldn't have seemed like a big deal but I woke up in the middle of the night and called in sick the following day. For a while I thought I could go to work, now I'm glad I had that day to myself.

Last night I threw up in the middle of the night again. I'm sure this is not the case but it does feel like whenever I might have taken a small step forward I've really taken two or three backwards. Last Sunday it was chocolate. Yesterday I think it might have been grapefruit however I can't rule out the quinoa. I love grapefruit and I used to eat quinoa because it was good for me and I was not allergic to it. I get tired of eating the same foods over and over. The more you eat something the more likely it is that you have some issues with it.

I'm not sure if that applies to everyone but it certainly applies to me. When I was in college I was very sick with an unknown illness. I lost quite a bit of weight, I felt like garbage most of the time. I lived in a small private version of what might have been an upper layer of hell. One of my fictional characters went through something similar. All of my characters are small pieces of me, some more than others of course. Initially, this sounds stupid even to me but I wanted to have characters who represented what people in my real life are going through.

My friend Daisy has a son with major food issues. Watching little children suffer is difficult, seeing your friends cry because they don't know what more they can do for their children is heartbreaking. My job has been a very bright spot in my life recently. I'm good at what I do, better than I thought I would be but a parting comment from my boss has me thinking today. I was telling her about an opportunity I have, she said that opportunities were the sales person's heroin which made me smile at the time but now I kind of know what she means.

I am a relationship junkie. I enjoy meeting new people. I like hearing about their personal lives, I rarely feel bad even when my calls don't net me or my company busines. After almost every call I write a little note or letter to the person I just spoke with. A friend of mine is leaving to take another job. The other day I wrote a letter of recommendation for her and it made me feel good when a coworker of mine asked for a copy. Another coworker sent me a friend request on Facebook. Things like that make up for the people who I would rather not deal with.

Toxic people is a writeup that I have written in my head many times. It goes back about two years ago and I always think about the dichotomyboi writeup under April 5, 2008 as a great example of a toxic friend. Toxic people are easy to identify if you use the following formula: after spending time with someone ask yourself how you feel. If you feel good then they are probably good for you however if you don't feel good about yourself then that person is probably toxic. Avoid these people when you can.

Getting away from toxic people is something I struggle with it on a daily basis because life isn't fair and I know that but I still want to rage against injustice and inequality and the people who put others down. Both of the people in my department can read me like a book. Normally this would bother me, I'm typically transparent because I don't see the point in hiding who and what I am but I don't like it when others know my vulnerable spots. The funny thing is I trust these people to look out for me. They've done it in the past and I am so grateful that I am where I am instead of where I was.

Two years ago, three, ten, fifteen, seventeen..., I can remember sitting in the locker room during seventh grade gym class thinking that I wanted to be thin. I couldn't have weighed more than eighty pounds but I felt fat. I used to think that being skinny would solve a bunch of my problems just as I formerly thought being rich was going to change the way I felt for good. My neighbor came over today. Listening to her I started to cry. I've felt so run down after being sick all night I haven't done much today apart from napping and laying around on the couch.

A coworker of mine told me about a woman who owns a house that is currently empty. The house has two bedrooms and a bathroom. Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if I had a place of my own. My sister told me that I was afraid to move out. Fear rules my life in more ways than I would like to admit. My mother always wanted approval from my father. She works hard, she doesn't question things and sometimes I wish I was more like her however I think that evaluating yourself in terms of how others view you is not always a great idea.

A friend of mine told me some things that other day. I really like him, maybe I even wonder what it would be like to go out with someone with similar interests who has a positive attitude even through some of the things life has handed him. That's one part of me, the other part of me realizes I am not really attracted to him I'm attracted to the idea of dating someone who wants to spend time with me doing things that I enjoy. Love is a word I use to describe the way I feel about certain people. I like him however when I think of love in a romantic sense there is no web pulling me in.

There are people I don't like that I am in love with. Call it a fondness for the fallen but just like my accounts at work I see potential in people and am unwilling to let that go. An insightful friend of mine told me that I am persistant and the people I work for would see that. Anything taken to an extreme becomes an obsession. Letting go is another thing I've been practicing. I can't change people however they can't change me either. I'm trying to let toxic people go but I'm always hopeful that they will realize where their lives are going and turn around.

Friday night something happened that I did not expect. There are two men in my life that fill roles I need filled. Both of them are people I can trust, talk to and love. Friday I learned something about myself that I did not know. I'm still thinking it over, what it means, how to address it. This writeup is an attempt to do some of the things I'm afraid to touch. I hate the idea that I am sick and pathetic, my fantasies of being thin included me also being tan and in shape. Recently I read that you need a month of healing time for every year that you've been unwell. Right now three years from now seems like a long time to wait for wellness.

My life has changed for the better, knowing I'm allergic or intolerant of certain foods has improved me physically. It has made me wish I would have gone into the medical profession but I was young and did not think I could handle med school when I was in college. Back in November I talked to a podiatrist who went back to school when he was forty-five. I'm not that young, I'm not really that old either. Right now I have to take things one minute at a time because that's how rapidly your life can change when you have food allergies.

A big thank you to the person who probably has no idea that they inspired this. Maybe that person will never read this however it has been cathartic in a tear filled way. I want life to be good, I want to start feeling better, I miss living without chronic pain but I'm glad that I don't turn to drugs or alcohol. Two people told me I should start smoking pot, one of them even offered to help me get started. For now my life is complicated enough without a drug habit not to mention I can't afford another bill right now.

Back in December I signed up for the 401(k) plan at work. A percentage of my Christmas bonus went straight into it and whenever I get paid that number is hard to look at because I keep thinking of all the bills I could pay with that money. Priorities right now include figuring out what my body wants in terms of food, spending more quality time with my girls, we played Monopoly as a family the other night and that was good for us all. Next weekend we are supposed to go skiing. I hate leaving home and my refrigerator however I can't avoid social settings that include food forever. Wish me luck and I will pray that things go well for you.

Until next time,

jess

P.S. Even my hair is different now.

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