Don’t You Know That It’s Toxic?

Recently, I made a major discovery in regards to my health. Many foods that I enjoy have been poisoning me thanks to a very common allergy. Unfortunately, it’s an ingredient that’s in pretty much everything; so, my main task in life now is primarily reading nutrition labels. It’s unbelievable just how easily you can get toxic shock syndrome just by eating your favorite foods, all because of something that’s practically invisible and used as a filler in most products.

It’s incredible to me that I suffered deep inside for so long. It feels like it was essentially suffering for no reason, somehow being too dumb to realize something was obviously slowly and silently killing me. Soon as I came to this food allergy realization, I realized that there’s a lot more toxicity in my life that I yet need to cleanse. In fact, the very ingredients necessary to get ahead in our society are often toxic, especially when it comes to performing well on social media, an absolute necessity if you want to get ahead in this world.

In recent months, I cut myself off from the world, occasionally posting something on my site about a favorite game just to garner hits on my website. I stopped commenting on videos or articles, though once I was a prolific commenter. Not only were my remarks not being seen by the authors most of the time, but someone always took issue with something I said. It took a long time for me to come to the realization that it’s often nothing I personally did wrong; there are trolls out there who get their kicks from harassing people for no good reason. Yet, it weighs on my conscience when I obviously word something in a way that causes someone else discomfort or leaves my words open to interpretations I couldn’t have possibly predicted.

Most of the things I’ve felt the need to express lately are extremely uncomfortable for me to write about in the first place; for this reason, I’ve neglected to write most of my thoughts down. Some of them I know for sure will bring me hate were I to express them publicly. Still, letting many of these difficult thoughts fester within my mind space creates its own sort of toxic shock to both my state of mind and my ability to handle my severe social anxiety disorder.

As days pass and seasons change, perhaps the hardest thing for me is watching my body grow ever more hypersensitive to common processed ingredients. With each passing quarter year, it seems I uncover yet another thing I find toxic, whether it’s something I ignorantly ingest or something I encounter that rubs me the wrong way. I watch as people I counted on to entertain me cheat for their own benefit, only to have it come back and ruin them in the end; these are the same lengths which I refused to go to myself, ending my hopes and dreams as an aspiring public relationist. It seems like honesty is simply too inconvenient, and being snarky and rude is the way to go to get attention; no, thank you.

Yes, even with my severe anxiety, I decided forcing myself to be a PR person was the best vocation for me. Sure, my skill sets are nearly perfect for such a job with one glaring exception; I simply can’t handle toxicity, which is certainly a skill in itself that I will never master, nor do I feel like I should. I refuse to sacrifice my overall well-being just to make a pittance in comparison to what those parties who remit me payment for such services actually stand to benefit long-term.

Unfortunately, for many years, I had little other choice but to give in to what little work I could find, while flipping collectibles on the side to make ends meet. Now that I’m finally financially independent thanks to some amazing unforeseen circumstances, I still yet feel like I must contribute to society in some positive way that will make a difference in the long run. That’s where I’m stuck lately, and why I simply continue to blab on about trading card games and pocket monster collecting, just to have something to say that won’t offend anyone.

Now, I find myself suffering from two types of toxic shock syndrome; one is purely physical and avoidable with close scrutiny of ingredients, but another that is much more abstract and often hard to pin down. Much of my anxiety is refusing to engage much with the online realm anymore because I simply have great trouble in dealing with a continuously degenerating state of affairs with the human species.

Perhaps, it is a blessing in disguise that I discovered this serious allergy, which has apparently been plaguing me for many months and perhaps even years. It forces me to take a hard look at the complacency with which I regard things that should be as paramount as my own physical health. I suddenly have to care because succumbing to toxic shock caused by a severe and avoidable food allergy is not the way for me to depart this earth, not when I truly need to stop being silent and say what needs to be said. To go out with a whimper because I have refused to let go of certain processed foods is simply wrong. To simply walk away from reality and live in a sad, lonely fantasy world isn’t the way to go out, either. Sure, I now avoid the vast majority of social media, only posting links and occasionally re-sharing something positive, as I feel that the massive time sinks involved in being a social media influencer are no longer worth my remaining days on this earth.

If you feel yourself slowly being poisoned by something you can’t pin down, seriously take a step back and carefully analyze everything that you eat, drink, do, say, and think about. There is likely a pattern that you need to break, if not more than one, in order to remove yourself from a situation that will become deathly toxic. I have long shrugged off my physical discomfort, believing it to be something I could do nothing about; but, that was merely because I had lost the will to break unhealthy patterns. It’s quite unfortunate that I didn’t at all recognize my ailment until I realized just about everything I put in my mouth made me feel ill, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Sometimes you truly have to watch your life on the verge of slipping away to finally come to terms with the truth.

A pattern I did recognize within the past year, however, was that I was involving myself too deeply in social media. I began to let influences towards trends and constant cries for something fresh for hungry eyes to consume hold me back from truly performing my art to the best of my ability. I could no longer bring my best written work to the table, and my compositional skills began to decay due to a severe lack of drive and purpose. Still, I have so much to say, some things much more damn worthy to put into print than others; yet, I continued to focus on the things that distract me, rather than the things that should motivate me to become better and make positive strides towards doing my best.

On a mental note, I also made a critical observation that the push to be number one at anything is what creates such a toxic competition in any field I try to break into. The truth is being at the top is overrated. True long-term success comes in being persistent and consistent, staying the course when you know you have found your lane. But, you also need to learn to know full well when it’s time to shift gears and take another road. You need to be honest with what skill sets you have, which skills can be learned, and which are better left to those more attuned to those skill sets.

About a year ago, I found myself on the right road when I set up my own domain once again to publish my often meandering abstract thought processes upon a weblog. Now in recent months, I have once again regressed. Partly, I often become extremely unmotivated, even to the point of remaining in bed well into the afternoon; it’s because it seems there is absolutely no reason for me to take part in a struggle for first place that no one truly wins.

No matter what you do, no matter what heights you may reach in your niche, there will always be a new challenger. Some one will one day emerge who will outshine you, even if you take every precaution to ensure your top position. This often involves tearing someone down who is just trying to make something of themselves. You enjoy and accept when you have success but the failures will be many; learning from them and becoming a better you from learning from those missteps is the true victory.

My writing may not be as eloquent as I’d like, but it will have to do. Some will likely take issue with how I phrase certain things; in fact, I am entirely confident that I am missing remarking on something that is plain to you. My greatest mistake is to not be constructive and point these things out when I see them in others’ work, out of the fear of being judged and harassed for no good reason. Even if I know I’m right, the natural reaction is to let negativity get the better of you and shrink away. I wrote long ago about if there are those poor souls who begin to pour on the hate, then you’re probably doing something right. Why I fail to take my own advice continues to elude me, but often in the moment, we forget our better judgment and give in to unbridled emotion that you must learn to curb if you want to retain any sort of sanity.

Don’t you know that it’s toxic to give in to simply grabbing the low hanging fruit, leading you to bash down anyone who gets to it before you? That’s what I’m seeing far too often in today’s world, and if you find yourself participating in this dog-eat-dog madness, chill out, and seriously take a hard look at your own life. Stop leaving nasty comments on people’s videos and blogs, sending long emails full of vitriol and flat-out lies, and find your own truth. You will feel a hell of a lot better and reduce the overall toxic shock that too many of us find plaguing our daily lives.

Sure, I’m extremely overwhelmed with the fact I must rebuild my entire diet. It’s not because I am lazy, which I often blame myself of being, or being in any way ignorant of the exact changes that need to be made. The majority of my anxiety surrounds how today’s world is quite unforgiving in just how blissfully unaware of how we often poison ourselves in what we eat and drink for the sake of convenience. There are many inconvenient truths that we often gloss over, not because we aren’t aware of them, but because acknowledging them will somehow take more of our attention than we would like. What I need to cook up is not a recipe to be the best, but instead something consistent to keep me from suffering from toxic shock ever again, both within the confines of my flesh and within the abstract realms of the mind and soul.

Photo courtesy of TomSlatin.com, “Forlorn”

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