Sunday, June 12, 2016

What you need to know about people with food allergies

Eating and cooking used to be my favorite thing to do. I started to really jazz things up when I started watching Food Network. I have watched Food network now since 2005. I watched hoping to find recipes to bring joy to my husband and to keep me sane. Now I am no Martha or Julia Child's in the kitchen. I make lots of mistakes. One in particular still makes me laugh to this day. I made my Grandmas tamale pie that she would always make at Christmas time. She is gone now, but her recipes are here to pass down to the next generations. When I made it  I was so excited! I was like a kid at Christmas really. I made the cornmeal and added the meat and tomatoes. Next I poured the spices.  After I did I started to cry when I realized I put too much pepper on it. I don't know how I saw Tablespoon instead of teaspoon! I didn't know how bad things were with my depression but this day was like so many others. I was just so upset and of course crying. Well my sweet hubby ate it anyway and tried to comfort a very inconsolable creature of a wife. We had just had a baby that was very colicky and cried a lot. I was really just beginning to scratch the surface of what was wrong with me. Now that I look back on it I should have gotten help then. Back then food was such a comfort and passion of mine.

Now I feel more like I am eating in a dungeon every day.  I am tortured by the smell of food that can never touch my lips or melt on my tongue. Food is also a very social thing for me. Socially I feel like an outcast when I can't eat anything. People ask why I can't eat this or that but it makes me so sad. It is like asking why someone doesn't have a baby yet when they can't have kids. It is painful to talk about. I don't like talking about it but I do because at least I am being social and people are talking to me. I love being around people and having a good time but I feel like I am in chains the whole time while I am doing it.

Food allergies are becoming more and more common everyday. My youngest still can barely eat anything. He is so itchy and uncomfortable. I worry for him and when he goes to school. Will he sit alone? Food allergies are so isolating. These allergies are so frustrating. They are like a ball and chain. It gets tiring trying to live in a allergy prison. Who wants to worry what they could put in their mouth could be fatal or cause their stomach to ache? Yet that is how it is for me and many others I am finding out. I am like that kid eating alone because I am different. My friends and family don't treat me bad or anything. They are understanding and concerned but this is how I feel regardless.

I was talking with a concerned friend the other day and she told me about one of her grand kids who can't have peanut butter. He can't even be near to it so he sits alone to be safe. Then she proceeded to tell me that it wasn't long before other kids told their parents not to put peanuts in their lunch so they could sit by him. I started to cry. Her words of hope calmed my aching heart. I told her how much I had to opt out of this week because I couldn't do it. Sometimes it really feels like I am eating alone at the table of life. What she said next has been on my mind all week. She said just opt in people into your life and pretty soon they will want to sit at your table.

Again I had been looking at things all wrong. I was isolating myself and pulling myself down. This woman made me feel special and like I was one of the cool kids. It doesn't matter if you are 6, 16 or 36 there is still that need to feel included and feel special. Some times we feel like we have to go it alone. It is better to avoid what is uncomfortable or embarrassing. I put on a brave face and act like I am okay that way. Who am I kidding? Isolating myself is the worst I could do. Yet I still do it. Why is that?

I don't know why I keep battling these inner thoughts day after day. I try to challenge them but they just keep coming back. I have noticed now that if I am in a room I look for other people standing alone. I am drawn to those who are hurting like me. Somehow knowing there are others makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I can leave the dungeon or find cell mates who have the same life sentence of Chronic illness that I do. For those of you who think I like being alone, I don't. Please don't pass me by or leave as a friend. We are alone because we feel like we have to, not because we want to be. When someone is sitting alone or they say they are okay look deeper. Look into their eyes. Look at their posture or what their hands are doing.

I still love food but it is not my passion. I have found other passions. This blog is one and helping as many of you as I can. I know what many woman feel these days. I have been through a lot of pain. I have worked hard a lot. I have forgiven much. I have also let go of a lot. But I still feel deeply and many things are still sensitive for me to talk about. But I want to help. Just thought I would let you know what its like to not be able to eat what you want or do everything you want. I am not ready to embrace the bland foods I eat everyday but I will get there.

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