We saw the movie Lincoln a few weeks ago when it was in the theater. There is a line that Lincoln says in the movie. It’s in the middle of the Civil War; he’s composing a telegraph and trying to determine whether or not to invite the Confederate delegates to Washington for a peace talk. He says, “Things that are equal to the same thing must be equal to each other.” It’s a mathematic principal from some ancient engineering book.
It’s as simple statement, yet profound. And its full meaning didn’t sink in right away. I had to keep saying it over and over in my mind.
“Things that are equal to the same thing must be equal to each other.”
That means if x equals z and y equals z, then x and y must be equal.
In Lincoln’s case, applying the theory to slavery, he might have thought that white men are equal to the earth and black men are equal to the earth, therefore white men and black men must be equal to each other. Or white men are equal in God’s eyes and black men are equal in God’s eyes, therefore white men and black men must be equal to each other.
Lincoln held this belief so firmly that he delayed the Confederate delegates. He believed it so firmly that he insisted that abolition become a condition of ending the war. He believed it so firmly that he made it happen. There was no alternative. He made it law.
Where else does the theory apply? Does it apply here and now? To me? To me and my MS? If Dr. Ann Boroch reversed her own MS, that was worse than mine, with the same diet that I’m now on, is it not also true that the diet should reverse my MS? The diet is to Ann Boroch’s MS as it is to my MS? If Ann and I are equal to the diet, and our MS is equal to the diet, then my MS and Ann’s MS must be equal to each other — equally capable of being reversed?
How can I not apply that to myself with this damn diet? There is still a breakdown between knowing that someone else reversed MS and so therefore I should be able to do it too. The breakdown happens because I don’t know that it will work. MS is a complicated disease. Mainstream medicine holds to the theory that the cause is unknown and there is no cure. Alternative medicine offers theories that fly in the face of mainstream medicine, but there is still no clarity or unifying theory that point to one main cause of the disease. There is the yeast theory, per Dr. Boroch. There are other toxin theories. But there are so many toxins — heavy metals, chemicals from processed foods, toxic mold — how can I know which toxin might be triggering my particular MS autoimmune response? It just so happens that I have the gross yeast overgrowth. So I am choosing to target that particular toxin. But could it be the yeast plus something else that I don’t know about yet? I can only hope and pray and believe that targeting the yeast will work. Until there is physical evidence in my body there is no way for me to know — to have certainty — that this damn diet is working.
There is no way for me to measure the progress of the past 12 weeks. I can look at the past 12 weeks and say I’ve been super strict with the diet. I have only had 4 cheat days out of 84. That means I have been strict 96% of the time. But what has it gotten me? Sure, I have lost 20 pounds. So what? A happy byproduct of this damn diet. I want to measure the progress of 12 weeks on a super strict diet in terms of direct impact to the MS. To the thing that I am fighting.
I want to know that 12 weeks on this damn diet will equal a 50% change in the lesions on my brain. Or even a 25% change. Because then, you know what? That means that another 12 or 24 weeks should bring a 100% change in the lesions on my brian. That is the kind of progress I want to measure. I want to know that the time I am investing in this damn diet is going to bring a return that is worth the sacrifice I’m making. I want the math to work for me.
It’s called maximizing. It’s one of my core strengths. But as my therapist put it so delicately in one of my recent sessions, “You can’t maximize your health.”
So I am back to: Things that are equal to the same thing must be equal to each other.
Must be. Must means has to. Must means required. Things that are equal to the same thing are required to be equal to each other. There is no choice, no alternative. It is a law. A mathematical law.
The law was so firm in Lincoln’s mind that he did not rest until it was an actual law of the United States constitution.
For now I cling to the law — to the must. It is all I have.