For eleven or so years, I did a lot of trial and error to figure out what was causing some of my health problems, and how to fix it. Lots of doctors, lots of naturopaths, lots of getting very very frustrated, lots of searching the internet for ideas. As it turns out, my symptoms fit a lot of different conditions -- and all of those conditions have conflicting if not complete opposite ideas for how to reduce pain and flare-ups. There's the low acid diet, the IC (interstitial cystitis) diet, low oxalate diet, low glycemic diet, anti-candida diet... and if you compare them, foods that are definitely okay on one diet are absolutely not okay on another.
Since I didn't know what the cause was, I had no idea which direction to go. I'd try a diet associated with a condition I thought, maybe, I might have, I would feel like I was eating "healthier" and doing things "right," and I would end up hurting more. And then I would bang my head against the wall and wonder if I needed to try harder, give it longer to work, or go a different direction.
When I finally got a diagnosis, the best part of it was that I finally knew which diet to follow. As it turned out, I had been making things worse while trying to make things better.
When I was describing this to someone earlier today, I started seeing similarities in other situations.
How often do we tend to try and change the circumstances around us without really addressing why we're unhappy with our surroundings in the first place? What if all the stuff we try to change around us is the wrong stuff? How do you go about figuring out the right course of action for you, without knowing quite where the cause for discomfort really falls?
On the other hand, I did just talk yesterday about how trying the things that don't work is helpful, too.
Again, I guess it's all about balance. Trying things to improve your situation is always a good thing, even if it doesn't work the way you'd like. But keep digging -- sometimes finding out why you're having difficulty and addressing it can help you move forward more productively.