No, not the book or movie. This is more personal than that.
Hi, My name is Rootie, and I Am Proud. There. I admitted it. Here’s the back story:
I have always been a quick study. I grasp concepts faster than the average person, and retain information better than most. Or at least, I used to. I was very, very proud of my mind. I looked down on lesser mortals for their slow stupidity and inability to understand (what I considered) even the simplest concepts.
Then, when I was 27, I was diagnosed with a mental illness. The doctor said to me (in effect), “You have a deeply flawed mind. It’s screwed up and you’ll have to take this medicine that slows your thinking and makes you forget everything. Learn to write it down.” Talk about a slap in the face. I ripped my clothes and dumped ashes on my head and whined long and loud to God about it. “Why me? Oh Woe Poor Poor Pitiful Me!” Then He said to me (in effect) “Deal with it. It’s what you are.” So I realized that I had no right to be proud of my mind anymore. It was kind of a release, because pride is a heavy burden, even when you’re used to bearing it. All of a sudden, I *wasn’t* better than everyone else, and it became easier to be patient and kind. Which turned into something kind of nice.
Here’s the current story:
I have always been a careful shopper, food-wise. I wanted the biggest nutritional bang for the buck and always ALWAYS bought very carefully. Whole grains, unprocessed, fresh fruits and vegetables, the most wholesome foods I could find. Because that was Good. It was what Good Mothers Do. I would stand in line at the grocery and feel very, very smug, supercilious and proud of what was in my buggy versus that Obviously Uneducated Hick Woman in front of me, with her white rice and Froot Loops and white bread and all that overly processed stuff I could barely bring myself to consider Real Food. What a TWIT I am! Seriously! Someone smack me upside the head NOW!
Because, 2 days ago, I was told that, due to Chronic Kidney Disease in the form of Diabetes Insipidus, I was going on a medication that would require me to remove potassium and sodium from my diet. Sodium, ok, cut out the salt. Potassium, tho? I was clueless. Dr. Courage gave me a list of pretty much every thing I normally eat: whole grains, leafy greens, fresh fruits. Then he told me not to eat any of this stuff. This required (after a couple of days of sitting on the floor and spinning in circles) a trip to the store, to buy…white rice, white bread, processed cereal, non-dairy coffee creamer (as a milk substitute), and a bag of apples. When I was standing in the line, I was looking (rather sullenly) in my buggy and realized *BAM* I had been a very Proud…Prideful…sort of person with my food. It was as if God had pointed at my pride and said “BEGONE”.
I’m still kind of sulky about the whole thing. Last night I realized that doughnuts weren’t on that list, and got a little excited, so I bought one at the store this morning. 2 bites into it I decided I didn’t like it, but the knowledge that I *could* eat one if I wanted to is still there. It kind of (but not completely) makes up for the loss of the Organic RaisinBran Crunch that I love with yogurt (also a no-no), but I have to look for encouragement where I can find it.
I talked with the pastor’s wife (her name’s Peaches, can you believe that? How perfectly Southern!), and she told me how she had Type 2 diabetes, and had to cook special, too. She said I’d learn to cook regular food and not feel tempted, but it would take practice. “You know those brownies I had on the counter? Those were for my husband and son, and I didn’t feel tempted at all to eat even a crumb, but honey, it took a lot of practice to get there.” She said I’d learn how to manage it and in time it would become second nature. She said everything I needed to hear. Bless her heart.
So, today I’m going to experiment in the kitchen. I have a recipe for a cream chicken soup,using non dairy coffee creamer (I made sure to get the regular kind, not the Hazelnut Mocha Vanilla stuff) and just a wee bit of chicken. I also bought low-sodium broth (I just remembered I have some homemade no-salt at all stuff in the freezer. Silly me)…so we’ll see how it goes over with the peanut gallery. It would be nice to be able to make one pot of soup instead of 2, but if they don’t like it, then 2 it will be.