Day 4 of 14
This email just came in yesterday. And while I wanted to respond to those who have been waiting the longest, this 12-year-old fellow celiac’s email just broke my heart and I didn’t want her to wait any longer than she had to for support. And you know what they say…age before beauty. If you could find it in your heart to leave her a message of support and some advice, I’ll be your best friend. Pinkie-promise.
Here’s her email:
my name is Leandra. I am 12 years old and have been battling Celiac Disease since the age of seven. I feel really left out at birthday parties and at social events. I recently went to a birthday party and everything was gluten-free. It was Heaven. I am also allergic to nuts, shell fish, soy, garbanzo beans, and lentils. If you could please make a post about a Gluten-Free middle school life I would really appreciate it. Please Please Please respond. I feel so alone in this battle.
Hi Leandra. I’m so sorry that you are struggling. No one, especially someone your age, should feel left out all because of food. It’s not fair. So let’s see how we can help. I’ll give it my best and be sure to keep checking back to this page and my Facebook page. This community is pretty awesome and I’m sure they’ll have some great advice for you too.
Do your parents know how you are feeling? Do you have an older sibling you can talk to? Getting these feelings out to the people who love you most is the best way to begin to feel better. Having someone you can talk to about these things will make you feel less alone. Heck…I’ll even be your pen-pal…honestly!
Between you and I, I had a real hard time at your age too. Not because of celiac disease. Just because of my life at the time. Please know that what you are feeling now won’t last forever, even though I’m sure it feels like it will.
Leandra…please take a minute and read this awesome email that I received from another 12-year-old girl with celiac, just like you. She may be able to lift your spirits, and she gives this wonderful advice: “For parties, I bring my own stuff and I’m always different. It gets easier not to be sad when I’m offered food that I can’t have. I get angry when people don’t understand I can’t have it. No one is perfect. I just remember that.”
You won’t be able to control how other people act around you. All you can control is how you react to it. People your age can be mean. Heck, people my age can be mean. As you get older, you begin to realize that mean people are mostly just unhappy people and it is no reflection of you. Whatever they say, don’t let them get to you.
Lastly, I have a forum on my website where you can connect with other people with celiac disease your age. Maybe you can find someone who is about your age and understands what you are going through. It always helps when you know people who are going through what you do. Here is the forum.
Hang tough my fellow celiac. You got this.