We all want to be one of the overnight success stories we sometimes see online, and if we’re not, we can start to think we’re not healing at all. It’s important to remember that autoimmune disease doesn’t happen overnight (even if it felt like it did.) It takes many years for the changes to develop in our bodies that create the perfect storm for autoimmune disease to trigger. Then, we’re often sick for many more years before we’re ready to take our health into our own hands. Keep that perspective, and expect change to happen slowly—month by month, not day by day. That’s where a symptom journal comes in handy. Keep track of things like pain levels, energy levels, mental clarity, emotions, sleep quality, strength, and the things you are and aren’t capable of doing. Then mark the changes as they happen. It took a full year before my rheumatoid flare-ups went away, but I was healing that whole time. First, my flare-ups diminished in intensity, then in frequency, and eventually they went away altogether. Simultaneously, my health improved in every way, from regaining strength and energy, to sleeping better and feeling more balanced emotionally. I’ve been on a healing diet for two years now, and I’m still improving each month, feeling the remaining inflammation recede even further. Remember the classic folk tale of the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the race.