Everyone just wants to belong.
Social life impacted by health then by diet.
Social life was impacted first by health (physical and emotional) that was impacted, unknowingly, by gluten. And then, following my diagnosis, it was impacted by a strict diet, (which was much more difficult in 2000 than it is now). And it was impacted by a marriage that wasn’t improved as I had hoped it would be, along with my health; instead, it continued to disintegrate. This can be a difficult journey for anyone who is in a strong marriage; for me, I was alone in more ways than I cared to admit at the time. (And I felt a whole lot of guilt for not being a better, healthier, more energetic, happier person for the person I was married to. Two people, living “alone” is not a marriage.)
Give up the gluten -- Keep the friends
I was still very new to this diet change, still showing and feeling the effects of a body that was starved for nutrition for years; a body that still craaaaaved certain foods. I needed fat, I craved fat, and I craved fried foods. Most people like fried foods, but I absolutely craaaaaved them. Eating ahead did not help much. The food still smelled great and I felt isolated with only a beverage while everyone else dove into the variety from this new menu.
A pivotal moment
My goal was to release a little of the steam, pull myself up by the bootstraps, and then go back in and enjoy some laughs and beverages and good company. My (then) husband came out. A hug would have been nice. An, “it will be OK honey, I’ll stay with you for a bit. What can I do to help?,” would have been nice. But what I got was a, “stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
Yup, that was it for the night. The tears came out full steam, tears that now had a lot more reason behind them. There was no going back inside at this point, and there was a whole lot of me feeling very foolish.
If you are reading this as someone who requires this (or any) strict way of eating, you can most likely relate (with the emotional part of it; hopefully not to the lack of support). If you are reading this as a friend or family member of someone who needs this (or any) strict way of eating, please know that your understanding (even if you don’t “understand”) is so very important.
It takes time. It takes time for many reasons. For me (yes, it’s all about ME! Haha) for example—I had been undernourished for such a long time and food cravings were powerful. Not only did the food look and smell good, but my body was screaming, “give me that food/fat!”
Plus--I just wanted to be part of the group.
No one should have to isolate themselves from others.
Hey, you went gluten free and could finally get off the other pot--you can get off this one as well.
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