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The Emotional Side Part 10: Gluten Free Wishes
What Wish Would You Want The Genie to Grant?
You can’t ask the genie to take celiac away, but he will grant you one wish. What would that be?
There are many diseases far worse than celiac. We can treat our disease with food. Simple, right?
Well, not always. But that’s what this series is about – the things that get in the way and prevent it from being simple at times. Besides the physical health issues when diet doesn’t completely work, the diet itself can be trying on our emotions.
Emotions. Strong emotions. Mild emotions. Emotions that come from nowhere. Emotions that hold us up sometimes. —————–And emotions of complete gratitude.
I’m not saying this is always simple all the time, for everyone. But things have never changed by complaining about them.
The Human Side
We are human. We feel. And so often these feelings are connected to food. It’s real. It’s been over 18 years since I was diagnosed, and while I appreciate this answer (100%) I still have times when I let emotions get in my way.
Having to be strict and avoid even the smallest speck of gluten means we have to be aware at all times. It can be hard to give up what was such a big part of our lives. Yes, food and emotions go hand-in-hand.
It’s not the fact that we can’t eat the meal grandma just cooked. It’s how we FEEL about having to watch (and smell) while everyone else enjoys that turkey and dressing or that apple pie.
And it’s about finding ways to change our own personal world in order to live in this world that isn’t going to change for us. Of course, the biggest way we can change our world is in how we view it, how we accept it, and how we appreciate it.
We Have More Than Just 'Diet' In Common
We cannot change what is. We have to be gluten free, (or a child or other loved one of ours has to be gluten free). And while it would surely be nice to be normal and eat what we want, having a correct diagnosis and living a gluten free life is FAR (far, far) better than having celiac and not knowing it.
Removing gluten for me finally meant I COULD feel normal! Finally! It’s all about where you place emphasis. Are you normal because you can eat what everyone else is eating, or are you normal because you now finally feel good?
*Keep in mind that you are gluten free because your health relies on it. Keep health on your radar. Enjoy life. Enjoy that piece of (gluten-free) cake, but also learn to listen to your body. Fuel it in ways that it enables it to give back to you.
I reached out to the gluten-free community through several Facebook groups and asked, “When it comes to this diet, please complete this sentence: I wish . . .”
Please remember, this isn’t a pity party. This is the human side. Sometimes it’s the heart of a parent. These are expressions. By expressing a wish, don’t think the person isn’t accepting this change or is in a state of constant despair. We each have a right to feel. We are each in different stages of acceptance. Each of us has a different set of circumstances.
*Spelling: Celiac or Coeliac. It all depends on the country the person who wrote their wish is from.
“I wish more food places catered to coeliac children.”
“I wish more restaurants would learn about and adopt strategies to minimize the likelihood of cross contamination so my family and I can feel safer eating outside our gluten-free home.”
“I wish USA restaurants would take this disease seriously. Go to Italy and they pull off the diet with ease.”
“I wish we could go out to eat without fear.”
“I wish I could eat cheesy bread slathered with butter like I could before being diagnosed.”
“I wish I could eat out at more than just a few places and I wish more restaurants would get on board with offering gluten-free choices.”
“I wish safe gf pizza was available everywhere so we can safely eat out whenever we want.”
Every Day Life Wishes
“I wish gluten-free food wasn’t so expensive.”
“I wish my kids could see the carefree, confident individual I used to be when eating out.”
“I wish people knew that this was a lifetime necessary change for a serious disease, rather than us following a fad or accommodating something minor that will be outgrown.”
“I wish we didn’t have to always plan food situations ahead of time and could just go with the flow.”
“I wish holidays weren’t so hard.”
“I wish my kids didn’t have to watch everyone else eat yummy treats they can’t have at school.”
“I wish my kids could go over to a friend’s house without me pre-planning the visit around food/meal times.”
“I wish I didn’t have to wonder if my kids got glutened every time they have an ache/pain or get sick.”
“I wish I could go away for a few days without having to be sure to pack enough food for every meal.”
Social Life Wishes
“I wish I could be as spontaneous as my friends when out.”
“I wish I could join my friends eating out and be adventurous and try new things, and not be the ‘Debby downer’ that can’t join in.”
“I wish that those who choose to be gluten free (without worry of cross-contamination) wouldn’t offer me their ‘gluten-free’ potluck item. For you, a little might not matter. For me, it most certainly does.”
“I wish there was a way to make friends who were just as serious about the strictness and seriousness and safety of being a person with celiac disease. That way you could visit each other’s houses and not have anxiety about how they keep their kitchen.”
“I wish we could diminish the belief/culture that food is the ONLY way to be successful in a social situation.”
Wishes For An Earlier Answer
“I wish I had figured this out a long time ago. I spent so much time in pain because of this. I could have enjoyed life so much more.”
“I wish this had happened to me when my mom was still alive. It might have given her more years of life.”
“I wish we could go back and enjoy every moment of my son’s early years rather than have lots of those memories tainted with the pain and upset coeliac disease has caused our family (and most importantly, our son) and not having to live with the guilt that something could have been done sooner if doctors had just listened to me.”
“I wish it was more publicized so people might understand better. I had never heard of it until the doctor told me I might have it back in April. If I had known more about it I may have realized years ago what was going on. And if I was allowed a second wish, I would wish for anyone with symptoms to have a blood test and for doctors to be more aware.”
“I wish it was me and not my daughter who had this so she wouldn’t worry each time she is invited out with friends.”
“I wish that everything didn’t involve food, especially at school, so that my elementary age daughter doesn’t feel left out when she can’t have what the rest of her class has.”
“I wish I could take this away so my baby girl can be happy and not feel left out at parties, etc, and not be worried at age 3 if it’s gluten free or not.”
“I wish people realized what affect it had on a child’s confidence and how hard it is for them on days out and in school.”
“I wish my little girl didn’t feel sad about being different than her friends.”
From my son, age 14, “I wish I could eat a twinkie or just grab a cookie wherever.”
“I wish I didn’t live in constant fear for my son’s safety. He’s anaphylactic to wheat.”
“I wish people understood the difference between ‘gluten free’ and ‘coeliac safe’ and my little girl didn’t have such a battle ahead of her because of this misunderstanding.”
“I wish my son could go to a friend’s without me packing a suitcase full of food!”
“I wish I had known when my kids were diagnosed (14 years ago) how much easier it would get over time, and that they would grow into young adults who know how to navigate the disease without my needing to micromanage it.”
Wishes for Education and Understanding
“I wish people would be more understanding and not as judgmental about coeliac disease without knowing any facts.”
“I wish more people made us feel included in social gatherings and events. I really appreciate the people that do. I realize they are going well out of their way, and I in no way expect this, but it makes me appreciate, love, and value them even more.”
“I wish people realized gluten free isn’t a fad diet of choice. Gluten free is medically necessary for those with celiac disease.”
“I wish people would stop asking me if he will outgrow this!”
“I wish people didn’t think just a little bit won’t hurt.”
“I wish people weren’t so judgmental.”
And Some Positive Wishes:
“I wish others would not assume something gluten free doesn’t taste good or that I’m missing it. Don’t pity me for no longer eating poison.”
. . . And my favorite wish of all:
“I wish the best of health to everyone.”
What is your gluten free wish?