Mind Games: Living with Can’t

By Paula Bianchi –

I had every intention of writing about ghost hunting, but the theme of “can’t” keeps popping up in my life through myself and others. The more I think about the food I can’t have anymore; the more I find myself struggling with winning this mind game. Not only do I experience the emotions that come with it for myself, but I’m also feeling empathy for others as I watch them dealing with their own mind game of can’t.

When we’re young, we take so many things for granted. We just lived care free eating and drinking whatever we wanted. We played sports that were hard on our bodies with the hopes of making a career out of it. We abused our bodies with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. What we ate or how we treated our bodies definitely catches up to us when we get older. At the time when we’re doing these things to ourselves, we’re never considering the toll it’s taking on our body, mind, and spirit.

My daily habit of having hot sauce on my breakfast every morning, with coffee, has caught up to me in the form of severe acid reflux. When I drank that terrible chalk stuff for the doctor to see what was going on, I could see, on the x-ray screen, as the liquid went down my esophagus into my stomach, only to loop around then come right back out. The valve that closes it off doesn’t work anymore, so all that acid has been coming back up my esophagus for years and that’s not good. It can lead to cancer. Great. Oh, lucky me. But I did it to myself.

I walked out of my visit with a long list of what I can’t eat or drink anymore. I waited until I got home to read it. I’m glad I did because it just made me cry. Everything I love to eat is on that list. I stood in the middle of our fully stocked kitchen, but all I could eat was sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, and cereal. Why? Because everything I knew how to cook, I couldn’t have anymore. So that’s what I ate for the first 3 weeks of my new diet as I watched everyone eat what I wanted to eat. I was in denial of my new reality which made me fall into a deep depression.

My thoughts were pulling me down. All I could focus on was what I can’t have anymore. Any commercial or ad for food I saw, I would get sad because I can’t eat it. I go to a friend or family get togethers’, and all I can find to eat is bread or salads. I considered bringing my own food, but it sure makes you stand out. It’s such a difficult mind game to win.  

What made matters worse was the ripple effect my new reality brought to my husband. His total support of me has been my one shining light. He knew it was hard for me to continue cooking things I could no longer eat, so he started fending for himself. I’ll still make my spaghetti for everyone on special occasions or get togethers’, and I changed up a couple dishes I used to cook, so I can still have something my husband and I could eat together.

As the weeks passed on, I finally hit a wall in my denial. I realized if I was going to win this mind game, I was going to have to accept it as my new norm. I ordered a couple of acid reflux recipe books on my Kindle and found a few that I liked. I lived my new lifestyle for weeks. The food was okay, but it had a lot of new earthy spices that I wasn’t used to. I missed garlic. With that one thought, my mind game started listing off all the things I wished I could eat instead. I was having a hard time liking and getting used to my new food. It was taking so much of my time to plan and cook my new meals, all for just me. My husband is a picky eater, and I had changed my eating patterns to match his, but there’s no way he’s gonna change his to match mine. He just can’t do it.  

After weeks of preparing and cooking my new diet, I started to hate cooking. I was resentful that I had to change.  It was turning out to be a lot of work for just myself. If I had someone, who could cook all the stuff I’m supposed to eat for me, I’d have no problem accepting my new norm. I just don’t want to decide what to eat anymore.

So here I am. Back at square one again in dealing with my mind game. I eat cereal most days because it’s easier than cooking. Some days I get mad over the situation, while other days, I just feel sad. I no longer enjoy thinking about food. I’ve finally reached a point where I agree with my husband when he says, we should just take a pill instead of eating.

This is the mind game that I’ve been living with. It pales in comparison to what others may be dealing with. Some people are living with an even harder can’t. Imagine not being able to use a part of your body, or you can’t rely on your memories, or you can’t control what your body does anymore. You can’t see or hear anything. You can’t breathe anymore because of all the cigarettes you’ve smoked, or your organs are shutting down, so you can’t pee anymore from all the drugs or alcohol you’ve used.

I’m sure many of you can relate to the state of living with can’t in your lives because it comes in many shapes and sizes. Please feel free to share your “can’t” below. Our bodies need to last us a lifetime. How long is that going to be for you?

In my next metaphysical article, I’ll write about them ghosts. Lol. Thanks for your visit and your time. Bye for now.

Email: Remyel@hotmail.com     

25 thoughts on “Mind Games: Living with Can’t

    1. I am fortunate because he could have gone the other way and expected me to just cook two different meals. I need to taste what I’m cooking, though, to see if it needs anything. Can’t do that for him anymore 😦 Thanks for your visit, Paula 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I admire that you were able to just change your eating habits. Im glad your family supports you.

    I try to eat more healthy but hate most veggies and can’t kick my soda habit…. Can’t is always a challenge…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊🌷 This whole eating thing is challenging me to my core. I know what I’m supposed to eat, but I get tired of following it. When I break down and eat or drink one of my trigger foods, I sure pay for it big time. That alone makes me want to avoid those foods. I sure miss chocolate and pizza though. 😢


      1. I’m sorry it’s hard to eat the way you need to. I know I couldn’t give up pizza and chocolate…staples in my diet. I am using moderation though. The fact that you are trying to eat the right things is what matters.

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  2. Change your ‘can’t’ to ‘can’. I see that this diet change is huge for you, but your blog title illustrates how well you know our mind is our biggest foe if we let it be. Staying mindfully in the present is your biggest tool to help you. The book Well Nourished by Andrea Lieberstein may be helpful. It is about feeding your whole self, not just your physical body, and mindfulness is the main focus. I found it a big help in curbing my cookie cravings. My husband is a diabetic and a celiac with an additional corn allergy, so we know from experience that diet changes are possible, and a healthier you will be the reward. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Elaine. It has been tough. It’s a hard mind game, and I do great for longer periods of time now, but it’s challenging at times when my family orders pizza, or I make spaghetti for them, and the smell of garlic bread fills the air. Sometimes, I just have to leave the house. Hard being a foodie with a limited menu. It’s a work in progress, I suppose. Thank you for stopping by. 😊💕 You pointed out exactly what playing a mind game is. Changing my Can’t into Can.


  3. You are not alone, I feel your pain as I often do not understand why in our later years we are forced to eat leaves only, lol. An exaggeration but I try to laugh as I face my new fluid normal.

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  4. Cutting down on sugar is a process for my liver to spring clean
    Unlike you eating cereal for me is a can’t
    I think of my grandmother as I eat steel cut oats
    Porridge is the best way to start the day
    Cereal with an O shape is what I think of while I chew on steely oat bits

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  5. I hear you! It is so hard to see everyone enjoying their food, and know we can’t have any, and if we do occasionally have some, we pay for it.
    My list of no-no foods has grown, too. And the more I can’t have them, the more I want them.
    I crave popcorn & nuts – nothing with hard bits or seeds of any kind (you know how hard it is to pick tiny seeds out of a tomato or a banana)
    No more sugar since over a year now because of diabetes. Sure there is sugar free, but it’s just not the same. Should cut down on all starches like bread & potatoes, but I’ve only reduced it a little.
    Ugh just ugh! It’s not fun at all, but I don’t want to wind up in the hospital again … so …

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    1. That’s exactly it! For me, watching my family eat pizza with tomato sauce or spaghetti really sends me over the edge. This has been the biggest thing I’ve had to deal with. I can’t even eat chocolate anymore. That’s tough too. What do you do when you go to parties? I’m gonna have to bite the bullet and bring my own food for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. 😪

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  6. Well, we don’t go to parties, but just get together with family now and again. Everyone knows everyone else’s no-no foods, like me no sugar or no seeds, others no gluten, or allergies to other things. We’ve all been known to bring our own food. The main thing is the fun of getting together. Oh, I do have s smidgen of cake or ice cream at a birthday party, and it hasn’t killed me. haha.
    We used to go to a movie sometimes, but I just really don’t want to any more – the smell of that yummy popcorn would just be too much. 🙂

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    1. Yes I avoid places now too. The other day I had to go in my bedroom and shut the door, so I couldn’t smell their pizza. I can make pizza with an Alfredo or pesto sauce with no garlic, but it’s just not the same as a pepperoni pizza.

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      1. That sounds wonderful but more than I can afford, so I don’t think I’ll be making it across the pond anytime soon. It is on our bucket list though. Thanks for the invite. 😊💜 Sending light -n-love.


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