Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tantrums, Twitter and Tennis

I lost it with coeliac disease yesterday. Totally lost it. See, my OH is currently having a holiday without me and though it was ultimately my choice not to go (free spirit, can't bear to stay at other people homes, need my own space to do as I please!) I got really wound up at a statement he made.

He said "I'm going out to dinner with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend". Simple statement, nothing obviously wrong there. Unless you're a f@?!£%* coeliac who has had so many bad experiences eating out that you feel you can't trust any establishment.

What wound me up was the fact that this girl - a glutenite I'm guessing - is dining in a situation that I should be in. Not her fault I know, but I don't want to always be left out of these situations. I'm nearly 6 years knowing these people, she's probably 6 months top (I really have no idea but I'm feeling bitchy). I didn't want this holiday but what about the future, am I always going to be left out because I'm Lee the coeliac who can't eat gluten? Is that who I am?

I had to get rid of my old Twitter account because it began to drive me nuts. Yes, this is my blog and it's called Free From G but it's a blog, it's not me as a person, it's my mumblings. That's why the Twitter account had to go. I don't want to be known as Free From G, I want to be know as Lee, the often quirky optimist with a passion for food, tennis and all things mysterious, who just so happens to have a blog that is about living a gluten free lifestyle as a coeliac.

What I was finding with hindsight was that I was defining myself. I hope I usually came across as happy on the old Twitter account but the first thing people would see about me is that I'm gluten free. I don't want that to be the first impression that I give off. I as a person come first, I happen to have coeliac and need a special diet, that very much comes second.

In terms of eating out wherever it may be, I'm not the problem. I'm not and neither are any coeliacs. If you have been trained to cook and that is your profession, if you can't cook me a safe gluten free meal in a restaurant then you can't cook. If someone has been trained in food it should be very obvious what has gluten in it and what does not. As coeliacs we have to gain this knowledge, someone trained in food should already know.

But that's not the case is it? It certainly hasn't been in my experience. Eating is obviously a huge part of life and being a coeliac makes that awkward. If I am going to be left out of situations in the future I would far rather it be because I'm considered terrible company (I'm not I'm actually pretty fun), or because I am disliked (rub me up the wrong way and it'll be easy). I don't want the coeliac card raised. I don't want the whole Lee can't eat this, Lee can't eat that to be the reason why I'm left out.

My Mum is elderly and isn't great on her feet, because of this I always make a point of walking very slowly with her, that's just what you do, right? Well how about a bit of compassion for coeliacs from glutenites? How about they stop feeling sorry for us and actually try to help in awkward situations?

When I'm at home I often forget that I'm gluten free because we don't have any gluten in the kitchen. I just cook what I cook and unless I'm testing a recipe and taking notes for this here blog, or trying out a new ingredient, gluten isn't something I think about. Unless of course I'm on Twitter. Mentions here and there are fine, interesting even, but what I was finding was that my entire timeline was filled with barely nothing but talk about gluten free and after my OH's comment about the meal, it drove me nuts.

I never, ever want to find myself in a situation in the real world where I meet someone new and am introduced as a coeliac or gluten free. I'm not ashamed of it but I refuse to be defined by it. Sure I'll try and educate and promote awareness but it's not who I am, it's something I have. Big difference.

Could be worse, I could have tourettes. Imagine that in a restaurant! "I'll have the f*&%ing salad, with a side order of w£$*er, fries".

It's been really refreshing to start a new Twitter account and have a timeline that reflects my interests rather than my health. Sure I'll follow gluten free peeps if they're interesting, just not 100's of them, most of whom I've never spoken to and probably never will.

It's Wimbledon fortnight, my most favourite time of the year. I have one complaint though. There is not enough McEnroe commentary for the UK. I demand more McEnroe!!! Seeing as my OH has p!ssed of to another continent I don't think this is too much to ask.


  1. I came across your blog from Pinterest, and I have to say that this post really hits the nail on the head. It's so hard to be celiac surrounded by glutenites. Sometimes it's a night with friends and they decide they want to order pizza. Or it's a quick decision to eat out and realizing that one person out of ten just cut your available restaurants from thousands into five.

    I've lost friends over celiac, I've made friends over celiac, and I've discovered that love means not begrudging someone their celiac. But damn if there aren't days when you just want to stand up and scream about it and trade DNA with someone so you can be NORMAL again.

  2. Thanks Brandi, I hear you.

    Your last sentence was exactly how I was feeling when I wrote this post. I felt robbed of any normality.

    Thanks for stopping by! :)


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