It means you have to learn how to prioritize your health.
It means you have to learn to be prepared all the time.
It means you have to learn to speak up for yourself.
It means learning how to read labels- really read them probably for the 1st time
It means becoming a food detective because just because it doesn’t have wheat or gluten in it doesn’t mean you still may not have a reaction to another food.
It means you have to constantly be on guard - for the rest of your life. There are no cheat days. there are no vacations from your disease it is with you 24/7 - 365 days a year.
It means that one mistake (1 crumb) will lead to 3 months of a comprised immune system that will attack itself.
It means 1 mistake leads to more pain, more sickness, more inflammation and feeling worse than you did just minutes ago.
It means being difficult to deal with, with every freaking thing in your life.
It means people losing patience with you because you have a hard time keeping plans
It means disappointing yourself and others
It means having tough conversations with family and friends and sometimes losing then because they chose not to understand and support you.
It means feeling isolated and depressed because you made yet another mistake somewhere.
It means getting angry, upset and sometimes inconsolable because people don’t get it and think that this is a dietary choice not a freaking disease.
It means falling into the ‘gluten funk’ and not realizing it because your body is not producing enough serotonin on its own because after all 80% of our serotonin is created in our gut and are guts are seriously compromised.
It means navigating days through brain fog and sometimes not even remembering where you parked your car 10 minutes ago.
It means becoming the List Queen so you don’t forget important things
It means missing birthday’s, holidays, get-togethers and fun because some days you just can’t push your body any more.
It means eat out much less.
It means not being able to go to intimate dinner parties because you can not expect anyone to cook food correctly for you, unless they have this disease too - because even with the best intensions you will still get cross-contaminated.
It means having to learn to cook and bake (from scratch) to get healthy.
It means you have to find your voice and maybe stand up for yourself for the 1st time ever and that may not sit well with your friends and family.
It means creating your own support group.
It means creating a safe place to let your guard down for 5 minutes.
It means holding on to anything that is positive in your life - like it’s your lifelong praying for it to rub off into more of that in your life.
It means having to learn patience with yourself, probably for the 1st time in your life.
It means learning to respect and love your body - it is doing it’s best to protect you and really understanding that.
It means honoring yourself enough to make a better choice today and if you mess up getting back up and trying again tomorrow.
Having an autoimmune disease can be so hard. Some days it can be overwhelming and somedays it can be so darn exhausting yet we find a way to crawl through it - because we are stronger than even we knew.
As celiac awareness month begins, it’s important to take time to honor ourselves. It’s important to do some things to full ourselves back up and not deplete ourselves.
Do some things that make your heart sing, that feed your soul as well as your body. Go for a walk, get a massage, a mani - pedi, a yoga class, listen to some great music and dance around the house, listen to a meditation, take a gluten free cooking class heck you can even participate in my gluten free party over on Facebook late this week - where we try out some gluten free goodies in preparation for Mother’s Day (yet another difficult holiday because food is involved). Click here to join us on Facebook
It isn’t until we learn to cook some yummy things and bring them to family gatherings or host these events that we will truly feel whole and like we are enjoying life again. If that’s not for you, that’s totally fine but do something that makes you happy, truly happy and honor that moment, that activity, that day because there are many more of them to come - once you create them.