Victory moment today: I have spent the last month retracting a GAPS stage after struggling to balance going back to work, losing my husbands father and my hours-a-day healing regimen. An evening of coffee enemas when I feel great? Whaaaaat?!! No way!

I also went back on a small amount of medication to stabilize because triggering stress and the regrowth of pathogens in my gut was starting to send me into a tailspin. I kept my promise to myself from the last time on the edge 5 years ago to stay out of the hospital, but it was dicey for a while. I am taking leave from the work I love once again and focusing on rest and rehabilitation. All this “stepping back” can feel disheartening, but today, I see that it’s proof of how far I have come in the last year.

There are days when GAPS just feels like work and drudgery and I desperately miss the taste of homemade bread and I want to cry after I spill my coffee enema all over the carpet because I already took 10 minutes to measure and boil the water, 5 minutes to boil it with the coffee, 15 minutes to let it brew and 10 minutes to let it cool. There are days when I hate the physical shakiness and headaches caused by medication and dread the process of weaning off them again when the time is right. But today, GAPS is not what I have to do. GAPS is what I get to do.

Sure, I miss cheese and chocolate bars and having hours in my day that I don’t spend preparing and releasing a tube up my butt. But you know what I don’t miss? Anxiety. Depression. Adrenal fatigue and the heaviness of overmedication that would make me sleep for 10 hours and still wake up completely exhausted. Liver strain. Hospitals. Mania. Never ceasing feelings of stress that made my back and neck the consistency of concrete. The fear of becoming pregnant accidentally because my baby could have birth defects from the legally prescribed drugs. Psoriasis, eczema and exercise-induced asthma. Continuing to bloat and gain weight even though I rarely touched fast food and ate the standard American healthy diet, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc, which were causing inflammation because I didn’t know I was allergic to gluten, dairy and nightshades. Looking like my husband beat my limbs because the dulling of my medicated senses + my disassociation caused me to constantly run into things, and my vitamin b3 deficiency left terrible bruises in those places. Hating my body because I didn’t understand or respect it. Hating my lack of life.

Today, I get to do GAPS. Above my sink, where I see it as I wash my stock pot, prepare enemas, etc, I placed my old pill boxes and pill cutter from when I had to take over 750 mg of meds every single day. And the words that are a paraphrase from Deuteronomy 19, “choose life, that you might live.” I am so thankful for the ability to make sacred choices every day. Also, just look at this amazing lunch that I get to eat!

Today, I choose life.

Most of this post happened yesterday in my nutrition support group on Facebook. Today is a Jonah day, and I need the reminder now more than ever. Keep on keeping on!