Today’s post is for my fellow celiacs who have lived with this damn diagnosis for awhile now (five years for yours truly) and are well and truly over it. This isn’t a “yay we can do it!” post – this is a “yeah but WHY” post.
I had thought that I was ok with this. All of this. I had thought that it wasn’t that big of deal, that it was something that I could live with easily. In fairness, it sometimes is. It usually is.
But lately, I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I don’t want to hear the words “gluten free.” I don’t want to deal with it anymore.
It is hard, constant work: thinking about every. damn. thing. I eat every. damn. day. Constantly explaining myself. Constantly making excuses. Constantly playing the part of the pleasant celiac, only too happy to educate the entire world or pretend not to be offended when people ask inappropriate and intrusive questions about my symptoms (“yeah but what REALLY happens? Like if you ate this piece of bread in my hand right now, like what would happen?”). (WHY is this a thing that EVERYONE wants to know? It’s gross, annoying, painful, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, except for maybe Joffrey from Game of Thrones. But he’s dead now, so whatever. Spoiler alert.)
The other day, my partner wanted to make a suggestion about what we were going to have for dinner and all he said was “Hey, I found this new gluten f-” and I had to stop him right there: “I can’t talk about anything that has to do with ‘gluten free’ right now. I don’t care what we eat as long as it’s safe.” Because he’s amazing, he agreed and dropped it. And I felt a rush of relief: I don’t have to always be willing to talk about this. Even if I have to live with it for the rest of my life.
It’s not always terrible, but lately it is.
Looking forward to the day when science creates a pill that will give me all the nutrients and calories I need so that I no longer have to worry about eating and will never have to think about this again. Until then, I guess it’s a carousel of anger and acceptance.
(Also, because it’s Celiac Awareness Month – don’t forget to talk to your doctor and ask to be tested for celiac if you have any of these symptoms. You can join my awesome club. I know you’re thinking about how much fun it will be. You get your own “special” section of the grocery store! A list of “exclusive” restaurants to eat at! Your life will never be the same again!)