Like most compassionate people-pleasing nurse types, I generally keep thoughts and emotions to myself, hidden and safe in my isolation. It’s easy to focus and distract myself elsewhere by taking care of others – patients, kids, pets, family and friends, and the all-important to-do lists. However, I feel a need to share my experiences and in turn possibly provide hope and thoughts for the increasing number of women and men struggling with the same challenges I did.
I struggled for years from brain fog and anxiety. My spouse often told me I needed “help”, and I believed him. So, I went to counseling, for as many years as he told me I needed help. Due mostly to provider availability and insurance, I went to four different counselors in total, over several years. At one point I was even diagnosed with adult ADHD, and prescribed drugs not only for ADHD but for anxiety, eating disorders, and depression as well. Nothing worked for long.
Finally, I was sent to an food addiction specialist, the fourth counselor. After a few sessions, she indicated that although she could not diagnose a person she has not personally evaluated, she wondered if my brain fog and anxiety might be due to the due to the verbal, mental, and emotional abuse that generally accompanies a relationship with a narcissist. She suggested I do some research on the topic. That was the beginning of my self-healing journey.
I believe optimal mental clarity is critical to surviving the turmoil, chaos, and confusion that comes when living with, and especially when trying to divorce, a covert narcissist. The only way to find this clarity is to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. I realized I was definitely going to have to optimize my health if I was going to survive the process of leaving him.
I started and found great success in nutrition, specifically an” anti-inflammatory diet”. Essentially this meant no sugar or processed carbohydrates. This was not easy. I love sugar. I would constantly graze on red licorice all day long. Bread and chocolate were my friends. But I was very motivated. It didn’t take long to notice a significant change, not only in my ability to focus, but surprisingly in joint pain as well. It didn’t take long to start realizing the reality of the situation I was in, my own reality. It’s an amazing feeling to stop doubting yourself and your memories. I realized I didn’t need to try harder, change what I said or how I said it, change how I looked or acted, find a different counselor, or get more medications. He will no longer be able to tell me who I am, who I need to be, how I should act and what I should do with my life. There is hope for you too.
You deserve better. Don’t let him tell you the only problem is you, your ADHD, your depression, that you need medications, that you’re forgetful, worry too much, are too sensitive, or simply that you “need help”. The real problem is the mental and emotional confusion caused by common methods of narcissistic abuse, tactics like gaslighting, projection, distraction, blame-shifting, changing the subject, nonsensical communication, and the silent treatment. After a time, it becomes impossible to determine your reality from his lies.
Brains function best on food that do not cause inflammation, a low carbohydrate healthy fat Ketogenic way of eating. Brains function best when using ketones for fuel, not sugar. Brains function best when nobody is verbally, emotionally, or mentally abusing you.
Learn how to implement a LOW CARB Lifestyle and find a way out of the chaos & confusion.