Article courtesy of Brynne Cramer, Gluten Free Hungry Girl
I’ve been debating whether or not to write this post for a while now. I guess I decided to go for it, even though I’m not 100% convinced it’s a good idea as I sit here typing.
A little over a week ago, I experienced my first mental breakdown concerning my gluten-free lifestyle. It was very surprising to me, because I didn’t even get emotional the day I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I’m not sure why or how, but the reality of my disease hit me like a ton of bricks. I started crying, and then I cried myself straight to sleep.
My husband was right by my side, and I truly empathize with him. This wasn’t exactly the ideal situation for him – having a wife with ‘special’ dietary needs. But he does his best to support me in ways he knows how.
I try very hard to not let celiac disease control my life. In fact, I attempt to make it fun (thus the blog). But the truth is, it is not always as easy as I make it look.
I often think that if I make my lifestyle look fun and easy to others that it will be just that for me. For the most part, it works! However, there are a lot of times that are neither fun nor easy.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about why being gluten-free is tough. But I will say, it’s not the eating gluten-free part that is hard for me.
It’s all the people around me that are living regular lives. Those that try to be super accommodating make me feel guilty, and those that don’t remember or care make me angry.
You can’t win.
I told my husband that I think I just need to feel more appreciated. Though I normally don’t let anyone (including myself) recognize that being gluten-free is emotionally draining, it is. It would make me feel better knowing that my loved ones appreciate the work that I put in each day.
My loved ones are already super supportive in so many ways. They do everything from making gluten-free options for me to choosing gluten-free restaurants to eat at when we are together.
But sometimes, I just need a little affirmation. Every once in a while, I’d like to hear, “Brynne, you’re very strong. You do a great job managing your gluten-free lifestyle. I’m proud of you.”
I wrote this post, not because I wanted to throw a pity party, but because I hope it will help those who are reading it.
If you are gluten-free, let me just say that I am proud of you. I know it can be hard, but you are doing a great job!
If you know someone who has celiac disease or gluten-intolerance, I encourage you to give him or her this type of support.
You have no idea what a positive impact your simple words could have on them.
I can relate to you my daughter inlaw has a gluten problem I kept forgetting it and made thing with gluten one year later I had to stop eating gluten a discovered how hard it really is. Friends and family of a gluten free person should try to go with out gluten for one month just to see what it's like
Jamie Lynn says
Its not easy sometimes for sure. I get frustrated and feel alone sometimes. I just want to eat a sonic burger so bad but then remember it will not like me back. So here comes all the fruits and veggies i can eat. I really need to start using these great recipes but im just so lazy. But i sure have lost weight since i found out im gluten intolerant in Dec 2013. Thanks for the encouragement and you keep up the great work.
Proud of you … telling it like it is! Nice job with the letter too, I'm sure it will help many 🙂
My 16 yr old daughter was just diagnosed about a month ago. We look at natural food stores, looking up gluten-free recipes, got her own cooking supplies so there us no cross contamination. Sometimes it's frustrating for her, she is just a teenager, but she finds a way around it. We all try her meals or snacks she prepares too. Even her younger sister, who has Type 1 Diabetes, likes some of the food she prepares. I love my girls & find any way to support them. Sites & stories like this encourage my daughter. Thank you.
Thank you for your post. I echo. A lot of what you said. I have the most difficulty eating out. My co-workers are not very supportive when it comes to lunches out so I often just do my own thing...bring it usually because its easier. I find myself frequenting the SAME places because of the risks.
It's nice to be understood.
Donna L says
Funny thing that you posted this today. I have been living with celiacs for a short time. And had my first real breakdown today. I'm glad to not be alone. I don't like to have pity parties either.
Thank you for posting this! I have had a very difficult time with gf and I really try not to let it get me down as well. I have been gf for over a year and still find myself getting teary eyed every once in a while when I go somewhere to eat and have to get a cheeseburger salad or a plain salad again. I've not had a total breakdown yet, but in these small moments I feel like no one understands. I also have been frustrated because I read posts from so many saying that they've lost weight and felt better when they went gf and I have gained weight and don't feel any different! It is emotionally and mentally draining and something you can never get away from or take a break from. Thank you it's nice to know I'm not alone.
Oh Brynne; I couldn't agree with you more! Only my weakness is hot sourdough bread! I was diagnosed in 2006; it is better but restaurants are still a problem. I hate not being normal anymore.
G-Free Foodie says
Ann, check out Bread Srsly! Best Gluten Free Sourdough bread EVER!!! Stay tuned to G-Free Foodie for a coupon code too! 🙂
I completely relate to everything you said. Thank you for putting out there all the thoughts, feelings and emotions I've been trying to deal with unsuccessfully. I used to be so outgoing and social and now I have isolated myself from family and friends and new people because if I have to explain one.more.time. why I can't eat this or that, what gluten is, when or how this happened, I think I'm going to go postal. I have actually had people look at me like I've grown a third eye when I ask about gluten free items or said I have an allergy to gluten. I feel like saying, "I am not a freak of nature, I am a human being, like you, I just can't order the onion rings."
I am so glad I'm not the only one who cries my eyes out in frustration over what is now this gluten free life. It's not just the food issues so much as the alienation from the life I once had. It also shows you who your friends and family really are.