Dear Normals

By Joel Montez de Oca via Flickr Creative Commons

By Joel Montez de Oca via Flickr Creative Commons

Dear Normals,

I used to be one of you.  So I get it, I do.  I wore perfume and l loved it when men wore cologne.  I used hairspray, perfumed lotion, heavily scented deodorant, and my clothes smelled “fresh” from the laundry detergent I used.  My car smelled like artificial cinnamon from the air freshener I hung.  I ate and drank what I wanted – mounds of pasta, fast food, desserts of all kinds, candy, sodas, espresso every day…and I loved it all.

If someone had tried to stop me then with facts about how I was harming myself, I imagine I would have resisted.  It would have been hard to imagine life without junk food and chemicals.  In fact, I didn’t even think of it in those terms.  I had no idea where fragrance came from.  I think I must have imagined somehow that it came from plants and flowers.  And I knew I felt bad if I ate too much junk food, but a little now and then?  Come on now!  What could be so wrong?

But then I became ill, and everything I’d taken for granted about my life was up for reconsideration.  I didn’t like feeling sick, so I started to read.  I found some things out that I think I would rather have not known.   It began to dawn on me that there was a sinister reality which had been until now hidden from me: the world is not as friendly a place as I had assumed, and remaining healthy in it would require me to buck the tide, to be different.

For many years I fought hard against the contraction of my world.  I love to belong.  I love freedom.  So I often pretended that I was fine, that I was not being harmed by my choices or the choices of other people.  I forced my body to get my attention with the worst kind of health crisis before I would listen to it.  By that time, my world had contracted to the size of my bed by no choice of mine, something that may not have happened if I had voluntarily contracted my world a bit by eating healthier, avoiding unmitigated stress, and staying away from toxins.  My insistence on total freedom in a toxic world essentially stripped me of all freedom for a time.

So dear normals, I do get it.  I have not always been the strange, food allergic, chemically sensitive person you see before you now.  I  know what it’s like not to want to give up the things I like.  I know what it’s like to want to look the other way when confronted with evidence about the harm my choices are causing.  I know what it’s like to want to question the validity of that evidence because it just seems too awful to be true.  But I can assure you now that it is true.  My sick body is living proof.

Sincerely,

One Who Knows

The Evidence:

Dr. Martin Pall on MCS

Dr. Anne Steinemann on Fragranced Laundry Products

EWG: What the Chemical Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

MCS Under Siege, by Dr. Anne McCampbell

Scent of Danger: Are There Toxic Ingredients in Perfumes and Colognes? – Scientific American

Semi-Sweet: Americans Should Cut Sugar by More Than Half, Says AHA – Scientific American

In Defence of Food, Michael Pollan

Also, see Recommended Reading

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5 thoughts on “Dear Normals

  1. You are doing a good job. Don’t try to change the whole world or you will keep yourself in “fight or flight.” Just tell the story like it is a job, so you can keep on as people learn to understand it and someone else picks up the “job.”

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