Positive Feedback

What has happened to me in the past year, and especially in the past few months, is really not hard to understand from an engineering point of view. It’s a classic positive feedback loop.

If you’re in marketing, positive feedback means people like what you are doing. In engineering, not so much. “Positive” just means that the output of a system is feeding back into it in such a way as to produce more of that same result.

More snow on mountaintops melts as a result of global warming. The snowmelt exposes more dark material where snow would have been. More dark material absorbs more sunlight, causing more warmth, causing more snow to melt, and so on. Science is full of examples of such positive feedback loops.

My recent visit to the endocrinologist (who had a cancellation and saw me within a week, much to my surprise) has me trying to think about where I am in a more logical and solution-oriented way. My metabolism developed a serious problem, we don’t know exactly when. I put on weight, which raised my blood sugars, which affected everything from mood to immune system to energy levels. The thyroid issues got worse, which led to more weight gain and more blood sugar issues. The sicker I got, the crazier I got. The more tired and dumb I felt, the more I neglected my self-care and got sicker. Sometime in the past three months the process sped up.

It is painfully obvious that if I’m going to have a chance to survive this phase of my recovery, I have to accept where I am and try to set aside baggage about how I got here. The endocrinologist has given me meds that will address my issues, but it’s up to me to take them. She has told me my sensible food plan should be adequate once the meds have had some time to work, but it’s up to me to practice patience and not go back to self-destructive eating.

I have to take an active part in healing this body, the one I have at this moment. I can’t wait until 10 or 20 or 40 pounds of it is gone. I need to take this body for walks, and feed it well, and give it its medicine.

I don’t talk much about it on this site, but I used to be a scientist. My first degrees were in the field of biological science, and I used to work in labs. I was trained to think like a scientist…and I have to try.

3 responses to “Positive Feedback

  1. Hang in there. The whole “Flowers For Algernon” feeling? Just plain sucks. You can spiral down forever kicking yourself for not being the self you remember being – healthier, clearer-thinking, whatever. It’s okay to feel the situation is crap. But *you* aren’t. I give you major kudos for being able to focus on healing your “body of the moment”.

    Also: read. write. dance. Your body of the moment isn’t the you of forever.

  2. Phoenix @ shadowashspirtflame.wordpress.com

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think you are already on your way to healthier self care because you’re carefully and with kindness, exploring the ways to move forward. You are very brave. Hugs and love for your journey.

  3. You CAN do this.

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