How do you accept a diagnosis of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance? How do you go through the grieving process of losing control over what you can put into your body?
Acceptance comes from within.
Whenever we experience a drastic life change, our first reaction is often anger or denial. It is, in a way, like experiencing a death; the death of a former lifestyle. We go through a similar grieving process.
The first emotion we often experience is denial. We might have been diagnosed with celiac disease, IBS or non-celiac gluten intolerance. We deny our test results. We think the doctor is wrong. We go on eating foods that can harm us because we can’t believe this is happening.
Then, the anger sets in. We are furious that we have to give up foods we love. Bread, pizza, pasta; the list goes on. We can no longer dine out with confidence. The social engagement will now have to be missed. This throws a monkey wrench into all of our plans. Everywhere we go, and everything we do now has to revolve around foods we can eat. Why now?
We bargain with ourselves. I will just eat one biscuit. I will only eat a spoonful of grandma’s stuffing at Thanksgiving. Just let me have one slice of pizza. Please….let this be a mistake. One bite of that cupcake won’t hurt me!
We get depressed. We watch our friends and families eat whatever they want, in front of us. We don’t want to leave the house again, ever. Why go out when we will be deprived? What is the point? Our favorite dish at our favorite restaurant is no longer an option. Why go to our friend’s house for dinner when we can’t eat that fried chicken? Why me?
Then, finally comes acceptance. It might take a month, it might take a year. But it does come. I know. I have been on this journey for over two years now. It took me a long time, but I can finally go out to dinner, and be happy with what I can have, and not mourn what I I can’t. I found that the people I am with are far more important than what I am eating. I can watch my husband eat his favorite pasta and not be jealous. I can watch him eat bread and not get angry.
I have learned to be able to replicate almost anything I desire in a gluten-free version. I have created delicious cakes and savory dishes. I have learned new skills, and I am helping others. This all comes from acceptance. And in time, it can come to you, too.