A few nights ago, I was catching up on my Facebook feed, when I came across a post about an upcoming article in a national magazine. This article was about someone who had put her autoimmune disease into full remission after following the paleo diet. Excited, I read on about how she was chosen for this article because of her success in putting her disease into remission. As I continued to read, I learned that the magazine had turned away others who were still struggling to heal, despite them having improved their health significantly. The magazine considered them too glib and depressing to be interviewed. Instead of being encouraged by this person’s success, I felt sorrow for those who would not be able to share their stories, because of a technicality, they weren’t in full remission. So, does that make me an AIP failure because I haven’t reached full remission?
Don’t get me wrong, we’re all happy about stories of full remission. But, I’m also happy about stories of any improvement in health and quality of life. Is my story less relevant because I’m still writing it?
Truth is, we have one, or sometimes more, autoimmune disease(s). And, some of these take time to heal. Even the smallest improvement in symptoms is a success for some of us. I have completely healed a stomach ulcer, various psoriasis rashes, inflammation in my intestines and colon, butterfly rash, fibroid tumors, bleeding gums, leaky gut, and the list goes on. But, I still have improvements to make. I still have symptoms to deal with. To these magazine writers, I am an AIP failure.
The reason I’m writing this post is not for me, it’s for you. See, I’m a tough old broad. I don’t let articles like this bother me. Some of you, however, may feel discouraged after reading something like this. Don’t let it stop you from achieving better health! Some of us may never reach full remission. We have more severe cases of autoimmunity, or simply have other factors that prevent us from reaching that goal. Remission should be your goal, not a barometer of your success. Your journey is not less important if you do not reach that goal. Your story still needs to be heard. I can bet there is someone out there who is experiencing a very similar situation as you. They need your story to help them not feel so alone in their battle.
This magazine article is the very reason I tell everyone on the AIP to interact with our community. There are wonderful podcasts, like those from Phoenix Helix and The Paleo Mom. There are informative videos, like The Autoimmune Connection. And, there are so many supportive and “living the AIP lifestyle” bloggers to go to for help. You will find a list of The Paleo Approach Approved bloggers here. These are the people you should be interacting with. They will all give you the encouragement and congratulations you deserve. They will never make you feel like an AIP failure for not reaching full remission.
I think the real AIP failure here is the media. Anyone who just wants to tell the easy, happy story is a fraud. Autoimmune disease is messy. It’s unpredictable and usually a pain in the butt, sometimes literally. The struggle is real! We have to tell the true stories of our pitfalls, disappointments, victories and successes. It’s far better to give a variation of success stories than one hand-picked story, wrapped up in a pretty bow, that was created to sell a cookbook.
Alright, I better wrap this up. I’m starting to get snarky.
I just want you all to know that I’m proud of you, whether you’ve reached remission or not. You’ve taken a huge step towards healing by following the AIP. I’ve come to the realization today that I may never reach full remission; and, that’s okay. Nevertheless, no one has the right to make me feel like a failure. I am a success! You are a success, too! Don’t ever let anyone, especially the media, judge who’s successful and who’s not. We are all AIP success stories in my book!
Tell me your AIP success stories in Comments! Let’s spread the word about real AIP success stories!
As always, I wish you all good health…..and, good food!