*I’m not saying that I shouldn’t be held accountable for past actions.  I’m just saying that this explains some of my “over the top”-ness.

People with Celiac Disease, wheat sensitivity, and prolonged mal-absorption of vitamins and minerals often experience adrenal fatigue.  Your adrenal glands work over time to try to make up for the things your body is lacking, and without good nutrition to support them, they quickly tire and become less efficient.  One of the consequences of adrenal fatigue is GABA inhibition.  GABA controls your calming factors.  In other words, when one part of your brain becomes excited, GABA steps in to help get you back to a happy medium.  When things like problems at work or home, financial strain, and even every day stressors step in, GABA should be there to help you calm down.  With adrenal fatigue and Celiac Disease, this doesn’t happen.  GABA is poorly absorbed, so your stress hormones remain in high gear.  Your reactions seem extreme because they are.  Here’s a typical scenario…

You’re driving home from work after your boss just told you there is work to be done and you’re coming in over the weekend to help do it.  You’re now very irritated, as you had plans with your family this weekend.  You’re now thinking, ‘Great, I get to be the one to let them down AGAIN.’  On your way home, someone cuts you off in traffic and where you may have just sighed or given them the finger, you honk, scream, and give them the finger, stewing about it all the way home, and vowing vengeance if you get the chance to cut them off, too.  When you get home, there’s a bike in the driveway.  Instead of getting out to move it, reminding yourself to talk to your son about putting his things away, you get out of the car, fling the bike into the yard, and get back into the car, slamming the door behind you.  After parking the car, you scream for your son, demanding to know why he left his $200.00 bike in the driveway where it could easily be destroyed or stolen.  You ground him for a week, forbidding him to ride the bike before week’s end.  As you start to make dinner, the spaghetti sauce bubbles onto the stove you just wiped down, and you curse and get flustered.  When someone asks where the parmesan cheese is, you start crying, asking why it just isn’t enough.  You go to bed exhausted, but can’t sleep, and after tossing and turning, finally fall into an unrestful sleep.  When you wake up the next morning, you’re already/still upset.

Where most people would at least be able to catch their breath, or even seperate the instances because different people were involved and had nothing to do with the fact that you were already agitated, where there is GABA inhibition, this doesn’t happen.  The boy who left the bike in the driveway may just as well have been responsible for you working through the weekend.  Your body doesn’t reset or calm itself, even during your sleep cycles.  The inhibition of GABA keeps your stress levels high.  Elevated stress causes your body to produce the stress hormone, cortisol.  The over-production of cortisol furthers or causes adrenal fatigue.  It’s a vicious cycle. 

This is part of the reason many people with Celiac Disease or wheat sensitivities are thought to be bipolar, manic depressive, or sufferers of other mental disorders.  Their bodies are in chemical turmoil because their production of stress hormones rises exponentially while their abilities to calm themselves falls exponentially.  Upsets beget more, longer-lasting upsets.  Activities such as yoga and meditation help increase the production of GABA, but the absorption is still poor, so the results are not nearly as productive as with chemically balanced people.

The more I read, research, and understand, the more I think, “Wow…  I wonder what would have happened if I had found out a month ago?  A year ago?  2 years ago?  What would I have done differently, or how would I have been better able to cope with stress had I been eating foods that weren’t toxic to me, creating holes in my stomach and intestinal lining?  How would my relationships have changed had I been able to actually calm down after someone or something hurt me or angered me?”

*shrug*  For most things, I think, “It was what it was.  I reacted the way I did because that’s what felt right.”  In a few cases, I know I was wrong, but it was like being a passenger while someone else drives – I didn’t necessarily want to go there, but I had no control over our destination.  For those things, I can apologize.  For those things, I think the people who know me and are learning with me as I go, I think they already know I hated being that way.  I hated wondering when I would blow up again, or be able to sleep normally, or just not wake up feeling like I had already gotten my ass kicked.  I’m not saying they are or should be giving me carte blanche, but I think those that really love and care for, and have watched me suffer…  They get it.  They know it was hell for me.  I haven’t been the nicest person or the easiest person to love and get along with for a long time.  While it hurt me, I can’t imagine how it’s hurt the other people I love…  Along with my physical healing, I am also trying to heal some of the past damage I’ve done to others.  They don’t have to forgive me.  I was wrong.  In control or not, I was wrong.  If I person who doesn’t know they’re diabetic gets in the car, passes out and hits someone else, they’re not completely free of blame, right?  Sure, I didn’t know why I acted the way I did, but I still did it.  I want to apologize, not to make every thing all perfect and full of sunshine, but just to show them that I know I was wrong.  That’s important for me.  If it helps them make sense of things, or they never think about it again, at least I know I did what I thought was right…

In the end, that’s all anyone can ask of us, right?