It started with a google search: "burping disease." That was the best way I could describe it. I spent much of my time high on pot, much of my time sleeping, much of my time crying, and much of my time watching cartoons or movies... I didn't even know what 'acid reflux' meant, and I certainly had no clue that I had developed a stomach ulcer. I had no idea that it wasn't normal or okay to take two to six asprins a day for a couple weeks at a time... I was, however, aware that taking half a bottle was a bad idea. But I had hoped that all that asprin would put me in the hospital or kill me so that I wouldn't have to deal with life anymore.
In 2005, the search results for "burping disease" were bleak. I found one entry that made me cry. A woman had written, "help! my daughter is twelve and she won't stop burping. she burps all the time with no end and she gets these terrible stomach aches. it's been going on for two years." And then I read another that said something along the lines of, "I've been burping constantly for six years now, and no doctor has yet to give me a real solution."
Of course, I went to doctors, but no good came of it. Just some pills that didn't help and some useless advice.
When happiness is so conditional, you can imagine how miserable I felt. To top it off, I was in an abusive relationship with a boy who threatened me and others, who bent my actions to his will, and who didn't even realize he was abusive. (He figured out how awful he'd been after I left him and actually seemed to turn around. He is married with a child now, and from what I can tell – which isn't much – he seems to be a good man now.)
When I went on my very first diet-altering regime, something amazing happened: I started feeling much more optimistic about life. The healthier I ate, the better my mood was, even before I started getting such incredible bodily results. (My first diet regime was similar to a paleo diet or a macrobiotics diet.)
When I switched to raw veganism my bouts of unhappiness were reduced down to a couple hours of crying/sadness per month. And crazier still, I notice that each time I feel so miserable, each time I can link it up directly with a food choice. For example, the last time I felt all teary-eyed and hopeless I had made a really bad food combination (protein + starch + sweet + fat) and I hadn't eaten much of any leafy greens for several days. (Not eating 'much of any' in my book is eating a handful of leafy greens a day or less.)
I have several raw vegan friends who had the exact same experience.
One of them said to me a few months ago – when describing their transition to raw food, "whoa! Since when did I become optimistic? How come I don't feel cynical?"
Another friend, more recently – one of the most upbeat people I know, shared this with me and a small group of raw vegans a small dinner potluck: "It was like I woke up one day and I was an entirely different person. I felt completely unlike myself, and it was the best feeling. The only explanation was the food. Nothing else had changed."
If you want to start feeling excellent about life, I fully believe that diet choices are where to start. It becomes so much easier to do everything else in life when the food is healthy and supporting.
Once you've made a commitment to healthier eating, then there are powerful mental tools we can employ to delve deeper into an abiding joy that lasts minute to minute, day to day and year to year. I have written a few times about that, because "feeling happy" is a something everyone wants, and I especially enjoy learning about the mastery of happiness and the art of love:
Entries of mine on the topic of happiness:
- The Art of Happiness
- Cause & Effect
- ...If Only...
- When You Are Broken You Are Powerful
- Anger Displacement
The divine master within me honors the divine master within you.