Every family dynamic is different and some of us consider our close friends more family than the families that we were born into. Either way, when I am talking about family, I am referring to the people who you love, you you are precious too and who would do anything for you. These people are the most important peeps in your life and you are going to need these people very much in the coming days, weeks and years. So be sure to love them, appreciate them and realize that you are not just changing and helping improve your own health but that you are changing the dynamic of how all these special people are with you. So managing all these peoples expectations, fears, educating them is going to take time. And, it is hugely important to remember that they don’t have to live with this 24/7 like you do.
You are going to be like a sponge absorbing so much information, education, tips, tricks, recipes, going to doctors, etc and it is important to note that if you do not include these peeps in the process because you are very private than you have to find new ways to make them feel important and still connect and very much part of your life. Everything is going to change and they may not always know what it is that you need or how can they help you. So patience, love and communicating here are key.
So here are my Top 3 Tips, hope they help.
Get the basics down cold and understand what is going on with you first.
Learn to become comfortable around food again and start creating yummy gluten-free recipes that you can bring with you to a party or the next family gathering.
Do not assume everyone else in your family has the same issues (even if they do). Just because you are making better choices for your health, you should not expect other people to jump on the bandwagon with you. This is not your place to suddenly become the great educator and look down on the choices that they are making for their own health. It is your responsibility to make the best choices you can for your health, no matter who disagrees.
Do not announce in the middle of a family get-together, birthday party or Holiday that you are now gluten-free. Talk to your friends and family separately.
Make time for each of them. This is the time for you to share intimate details about what has been going on with your health and how you are now feeling. Include them in the process and now is the time that you can help them understand what has been going on with you and how things are going to be a little different now.
Your friends and family love you and they may be extremely misinformed on the subject of gluten, gluten-sensitive and/or celiac disease. By making time to talk to each of them separately you will be better able to answer their questions and concerns.
If you have gotten to the place that you are comfortable, you will put them at ease as well. That you can handle this, that you are on top of your health and that not every day is going to be a great day but every day will be a better day because you know understand what is going on with your body. And you can even ask them and show them how they can support you. What they did before, now won’t work and sometimes they need a little help, how to best support and help you.
Would love to hear your tips on how you told your family and how they have supported you, please share in the comments below. Also, if you have specific tips you’d like to request, click on the question box and I’ll get to yours just as soon as I can.