During the months it took me to write GAPS Guide, I sometimes felt a desire to quit. It was fussy work, finicky work. Every time I thought I was finished, there was new information to add, or the formatting went awry and I had to start that aspect from scratch. The book has required an intensive commitment of time and energy.
I want to tell you what kept me going.
On one level, it was simply the recollection of how hard I, personally, struggled to get the hang of SCD. It seemed to me that simple, straightforward instructions would make all the difference for someone else. Feedback on my mini-guides seemed to support this.
At a deeper level, what kept me going was the continued introduction of new members to our support list: people with questions, people who wanted to post fifty questions, but politely restrained themselves to their four most critical ones. I felt that folks who’d come around to making a tremendous commitment deserved a guidebook.
But on the deepest level, what kept me going was not so much practicality or even compassion for the parents approaching a new path, but for a whole other sector of people: the ones in the news; the ones committing unthinkable, heinous crimes against other humans.
At my core and all the way through to my surface, I believe we are seeing so very many of these unspeakable attacks because our natural systems have been decimated by unnatural approaches. We have poisoned entire generations. Some –the canaries in the coal mines of nutritional devastation– are affected in critically pronounced ways.
When one such person sits very still in a courtroom and whispers, “Please kill me…” my heart breaks. It breaks for the family of his victim and it breaks also for this man who succumbed to influences he could no longer keep at bay.
I wonder what would have happened if he had been fed true foods from birth. Or if he had found GAPS at the age of 15, 20, 30…Or even just six months before the pivotal date.
At any given moment, I could truly sob over the event I’m particularly referencing and also all those equally devastating. And certainly, when I read the news reports of that particular event, I did. And I did when I read the one of the working family man who called his parents and said, “I think I’m losing my mind…” and they reached him so soon yet too late. And I did when I read any one of the endless other tragedies.
In those moments I felt exhausted and limited. I didn’t want to write. But then I remembered what I was writing and why. I recalled my own worst times and I meditated on the dramatic change GAPS has brought to my son and I. And I considered all the children already diagnosed as violent, who have become beaming, gentle, productive, helpful beings through this program. I thought of the boy in the true story Jeffrey’s Journey, whose mother tried everything else and, broken-hearted, ultimately had to send him to a camp. I thought of a close friend who in her twenties called me one night, in angst, and who I could not find…
When I considered dedicating the book, I though of a lot of different people. I thought about the late Elaine Gottschall, who made sure the program developed by the Drs Haas would live on after them. I thought about Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, who has worked tirelessly to establish a version specific to the brain. I thought of Marilyn, moderator of the BTVC support group, who daily walks others through the diet’s many variables. I thought of Mimi and the team at Pecan Bread, who first established an approach to SCD to make the journey that much more fitting and do-able for kids with autism. I thought of all my listmates at GAPShelp, who encouraged me to write the book in the first place as well as to those who kept saying, “You should write a book!” not knowing I was doing exactly that and that their words were truly carrying me forward in the project.
I do dedicate it to all of the above and more.
But in my heart of hearts, I dedicate my book primarily to the tormented men, women and children who feel deeply and desperately vulnerable to faulty brain chemistry, who were born as babies like the rest of us and whose circumstances gave them a mind they did not want, and who did not find GAPS in time or who might have heard about similar programs but did not have the support to try them.
I dedicate my book to these in my great hope that they will each find the program and the support to apply it.
I believe that GAPS can change our world. I believe that through full, true nutrition, harm of self and of other can end.
And so it was that every day in which I felt too tired to write, edit, proof, tweak or format, I did so anyway.