After 517 Blog Posts…a Little Reflection…and a Little Frustration


Just between the two of us, I’m in a bit of a weird state with my blog right now.

After 3.5 years and 517 blog posts, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m losing my edge a bit. I’m currently overwhelmed with work (and life) and I haven’t had the time to put my full effort into this community.

Not only that, but I’m also starting to overthink things a bit. What will people’s reaction be if I write [THIS]?? What will they think if I write [THAT]?? That is SO not my style. And it’s bugging the crap out of me.

For all you’ve given me (and you’ve given me more than you will ever know), I feel like you deserve better and I’m frustrated.

I appreciate your comments…and I read every one of them…but I don’t have the time to respond to many of them.

I appreciate your emails…and I read every one of them…but I don’t have the time to respond to all of them.

I appreciate your feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…and I read every one of them…but my responses have lately been of the one or two word variety.

The last thing I want to do is go through the motions. It’s not who I am and it defeats the purpose of why I started this blog in the first place.

But where are my poems lately? Where are my mailbags? Where’s my creativity?

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself yourself
My God!…What have I done?!

Ok…I’m back.

Mrs. Dude and I have had a tough stretch, no doubt, and though it’s all part of who we are, perhaps it’s clogging me up a bit. Maybe I’m just…I don’t know…tired? Overextended?? Maybe it’s just that simple.

When I sat down to write my blog tonight, I had a completely different topic in mind. I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile whose young son was recently diagnosed with celiac. After years of issues (behavioral, physical, etc.), she told me that the diagnosis has saved him. All of his issues have gone away. And it only happened because Mrs. Dude and I mentioned celiac to her, a disease she had never even heard of before talking to us. And I just thought…this is why I advocate…this is why it’s important we all advocate. Because people out there need our help. They need to be educated. And they need to be listened to by their doctors.

But that takes energy and consistent effort, something that seems to be lacking with me right now.

My point? I have no frigging idea. All I ask is that you hang with me while I break through this stage.

And if you’re able and willing, keep being the best advocate that you can be.


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45 thoughts on “After 517 Blog Posts…a Little Reflection…and a Little Frustration”

  1. Dude,

    Take a break, step back and get your wits back! You are awesome! You have had to deal with so much over the last few months I’m not surprised that you are at this point and I don’t blame you either! You just need a little time to get back to you is all. We love and appreciate everything you do, but you need time for you and your family too! So take it if you can, we will be here when you get back!

  2. How about guest bloggers? What you do best, is just keep blogging. You’re like a one-man celiac support group, and your blistering honesty is what helps the most.

    Also, if you recycled posts, we wouldn’t mind–a lot of the good stuff is worth remembering.

    Personally, I got my diagnosis sixteen years ago–and yet, reading your blog, I became that much more careful about being gluten free. (I always ask, I don’t assume, in restaurants; I bring my own food, if anyone other than my gluten-free family is cooking; I stopped eating anything made in a shared facility, unless it’s certified gluten-free; I even went through my makeup.)

    I’m healthier than I’ve been in several years. The advocacy, and the reminders to be gluten-free are what matter. You don’t need to “produce.”

  3. You are a valuable part of the celiac community, but your affinity to your health and your family should always come first. Go on a blogging vacation. Take a Facebook break. Tell twitter to clockoff. 🙂 Chill out. Rest. Restore. Find a good gf probiotic (I emailed Nature’s Bounty, a girl needs to know). And we’ll all be here when you return!

  4. Seems to me you have helped so many people that its time to step back and breathe a little. Take care of yourself, your wife and your family. We appreciate everything you do for us, fellow Celiac’s.

  5. It has been a hell of a year for you and your family. That takes a lot out of you. If you need a break….. step away for a bit. We’ll be here.
    The Dude abides.

  6. Dude, you are MORE than welcome to take the LONGEST break you want! You deserve to write only when you feel like it. You deserve to take a huge break. You do not owe anyone anything when it comes to blogging. We love you for YOU. And being YOU means taking time for YOU. 🙂 xoxox to you and the family

  7. Hey, if you need a break, take a break. If you need income from your blog during your break, ask some people to guest post, I bet you could find some takers. 🙂

  8. Hey GD,
    I’ve recently gone through a bit of a rough stretch myself. My dad is in and out of the hospital. I’m not feeling 100%, and work has been brutal. So I stepped back from doing my radio show.
    I miss it. I love doing it. The six people who listen miss it too. I’m hoping I can get back to it.
    But priorities are called that for a reason.
    Do what ya gotta do, Dude. We’ll be here when you get back.

  9. Take all the time you need. I really enjoy your posts, tweets and general advocacy for the community. You have influence that most of us don’t. We all have been overwhelmed at times and completely understand. Take care of yourself, and we’ll be here when you get back!

  10. Gosh…you read all of these comments & you’d think these people love you or something!

    You’ve certainly earned a break Dude…do what makes you happiest and is best for Mrs. Dude & the Dudettes. I’ll miss you but we will certainly understand, appreciate all you’ve accomplished and will be here regardless whether you take a break or keep on going at whatever pace works…life is a marathon for most & not a sprint.


    “I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
    A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
    When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
    No one recognized me, I didn’t look the same.

    But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well
    You see, you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself…

    Lott-in-dah-dah-dah, lot-in-dah-dah-dah…” – J Fogerty

  11. Have you ever considered becoming Gluten Dudes?? Maybe create a little team… What ever you need, Dude, we’re behind you!

  12. Dude, you were my first “celiac friend” after getting my diagnosis 2 years ago this month. I thankfully stumbled across your blog soon after being diagnosed (and my teenage son shortly after that), and when I had my first really bad, really embarrassing celiac related meltdown (at a military hospital days before my husband was deployed), I turned to you – a stranger, yet someone who totally got it. And you asked your community to help me out and man, it was the coolest thing EVER. I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support you and your awesome community gave me at a time when I was scared, pissed off, confused…it was the actual beginning of my recovery – more so than being gluten free, but knowing there was a place I could “go” whenever I needed to lean on someone, to laugh, to learn. Corny, but true.

    Reflection is good…time with your family is better…take your time and stop by once in awhile to let us know you’re ok and come back when a bit of the weight has lifted off your shoulders 🙂

    Cheers from Texas

  13. Maggie Patience

    Take your time….regroup….breathe…..smell the coffee or roses if you prefer…..but come back! We will be patiently awaiting your return. With love and understanding!

  14. You have certainly earned a rest. Some good suggestions here about repeating or guest bloggers. Or do nothing and don’t worry about it. Life can get overwhelming for all of us, especially with this crazy disease. We understand and will still be here. Take a break and you will get your edge back.

  15. Hey, Gluten Dude. I feel your pain and frustration. I have been on a break for over a month. My elderly mom started having dementia. My beloved dog died. My son (the one with celiac) graduated from college and while a happy occasion, I got a little–a lot–mopey because my sons will never be returning home. Bad, bad funk. Every time I sat down to blog, the words wouldn’t come. I thought I had a lot of followers, but no one has seemed to miss me. I’m sure if I made some big announcement that I was leaving the blogosphere I’d get a response. But if I simply disappeared, would anyone care?

    That started me wondering . . .why am I spending so much time on the web. Am I really helping anyone? Is there something else I should be doing with my life? Another way I could help people with food allergies and celiac?

    Still asking those questions . . .

  16. We are here for you just like you’re here for us!! Who would we be if we could not support you during this phase.

    (I will however, be expecting a reply to this comment 😀 )

    Hang in there.

  17. Hey Dude!

    First off love your post on Facebook. I follow you there and get your blog in my e-mail. Take a break if you need to. We will be here. Maybe as someone mentioned have some of us guest blog or play Dear Abby and respond to e-mails like you do?? Wishing you and your family well days ahead.

  18. You deserve a break!!! You have done so much for the Celiac community. Someone mentioned in their reply, that you should recycle your older posts. I think that would be a great idea. More people are getting diagnosed and more people will find your blog. If you repost older blog posts, they will still be new and relevant to the newly diagnosed.

  19. Please don’t fret or worry. Stress, as we know, is a killer. You will be missed if you decide to go on “vacation” from this blog. You will have MANY happy Celiac campers awaiting that first notice of a letter from The Dude awaiting us in our emails. Don’t lose your perspective, truth is hard to come by nowadays. I, personally, gravitate towards it as do all of those who “love” what you write. As Indio said to his “peeps” in For a Few Dollars More, “Stay calm!”

  20. Hey Dude, We’ve all been through slumps of this nature. Don’t forget, of anyone out there, folks with Celiac understand times of low energy and difficulty with focus!! Good heavens man, you and your family have been through a heck of time over the past year or so and throughout it all you have remained supportive and committed to both family and the enormous, swirling community of gluten ‘affected’ folks out there. We thank you and we totally understand the occasional need for a break. Speaking for myself, I have been extremely grateful for all your blog posts and your website has been a great help of information as I negotiate the world of Celiac. I originally stumbled across your posts when my husband brought home some Omission beer for me and I felt a bit nervous to try it and did a little online research. Thank you for saving my subsequent 3 months on that one! Don’t second guess your posts, my favourites are the ones that obviously come from the heart and contain a little ‘zing’! Take the time you need! S.

  21. Betsy in Michigan

    I second what everyone is saying – recycle blogs (even Click and Clack – the Tappet Brothers on NPR’s Car Talk – do that), take a break, guest bloggers, whatever works for you and your family. We love you, you empower us, don’t burn yourself out.

  22. We all need a break once in a while! Sometimes we get burned out and need to take a step back. Life can throw us a curveball and overwhelm us. Hey–welcome to the human race! I love your blog but I won’t die if you take a needed break. I agree with the former statements–repost old blogs (I haven’t seen many of them) or have guest bloggers. We want you healthy and happy so you can come back refreshed and renewed. Take care of yourself, then you can help take care of your blog followers so much better. Thanks for all the work you have done!

  23. Everyone has pretty much told you to take a break and they understand and we can live without your posts for awhile. And that is true … to a point. Your blog has sustained me through some pretty hard times. YOU are the reason my husband finally got it! And my life has been made better because of YOU. So, of course, you deserve a break if you need one, but I will really miss your blog posts if you take one. Will I live? Yes. Look, it is Summer, and it can get very hectic this time of year for everyone. I wish you would reach out to your readership for some help because we are so grateful to you, and we would love to help you any way we can. It is a two street, GD. Just remember that.

  24. Don’t ever lose who you are behind the computer. If that means signing off for a week or slowing down the posting schedule, so be it. If you need a blog vacay then take it. We know you wouldn’t abandon the GF community and I’m sure we all support whatever choices you need to make right now. We have your back Dude.

  25. GD-

    I get it. Seriously. I have been fighting the last year to keep my job after my medical leave was taken away. I am tired too, but I will never quit. Advocacy isn’t easy but it is crucial. Take a month, assign your followers 30 days of guest blogging and all you have to do is post it. You are loved and respected.

    Jersey Girl
    “You will not break me…”

  26. You made me smile…thank you!! We all feel this way at times & to hear it openly stated and with a bit of humor peaking through made my day! Cheers to you 🙂

  27. My son was just diagnosed with Celiac – he’s 15 and it’s scary. It’s hard to find a way for him to approach it and still be able to do all of the things 15 year old boys do. As a mom, finding your blog was such a relief. Here’s a guy who’s talking about Celiac like a guy. You are realistic and vigilant while letting us know that this is totally doable. Your voice is one I don’t see online anywhere else and it’s important. Like others are saying, take all the time that you need, but please know how much of a lifesaver this blog and your perspective have been to this family.

  28. As I suffer through with brain fog, fatigue and gut issues AGAIN I am happy to know that I’m not alone. Thanks dude. Freaking gluten.

  29. Take a break and think about all of these great suggestions. You can’t help anyone else if you’re not healthy.

  30. Breaks are always there for a reason. I can totally relate to the blogging fatigue – sometimes the words that people need to hear just flow right out into the computer keyboard. Other times they need some rest, reflection and rumination before they’re ready to be shared. Either way, we’re here for you just like you have been for us. 🙂

  31. Tandra Goodwin

    Take a break and don’t be so hard on yourself! Mrs. Dude, you and the family need to heal after all the health issues. We appreciate you and all your work. Others can also do the advocating and sharing the message. It’s wonderful to know you’re there with your love and support. Because of you and Jennifer Espinzido my life and health have been enriched. I went to a party today and they had a gluten-free section for 2 celiacs at the party. Now that is progress! I also sat and talked to several people at the party about celiac and the special needs and how it feels when we’re not supported.
    Anyway, cheers Gluten Dude…….you’re fine and just need to relax.

  32. Yvonne Chisholm

    Hi Dude

    This is the first time I have commented on your site but I couldn’t not today as you now need the support of others.
    Take the break you need – remember listen to your body and mind it’s acting like this for a good reason. So take some time for yourself and family.

    I have been reading your posts for the last year and half since first diagnosed and well it’s been a hell of a time really but you have been such a great inspiration and help me so much throughout this time. So I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all laughs, support and teachings.

    Now just step any from the computer until your mind settles and come back refreshed whenever you are ready.

    Thanks again dude

  33. Dude, everyone is right. Take a break! You have touched so many lives, and are truly appreciated. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t come across you during my diagnosis and treatment phase. Everyone needs a break. I actually thought you would be taking a break during Mrs Dudes diagnosis and recovery. My brother ran a blog for a while in Philly, even winning best blogger, but he got burned out too. Social media can be overwhelming at times. Keep Calm and Break On:)

  34. Yes, we will stick with you! Advocating, cussing the bad guys, supporting the little people, holding each other up when we fall, praising each other when we shine. You do all that for us, GD. Take that much needed, much deserved break, we will still be here awaiting your persnickety, snarky, amazingly strong dudeness.

  35. Dude-
    This too shall pass, hang in there. You are awesome, as you are. We’re not going anywhere and maybe we can help you in return 🙂

    Virtual hugs-

  36. Hi Gluten Dude. I have always loved reading your blog. You have an amazing way of advocating for celiacs. This blog definitely helped me to feel less alone. But we all understand that everyone needs a break sometimes. Your health and family are the most important. So if you are feeling tired, take time to recuperate. We will all be here when you get back, however long it takes for you to feel better. If you feel that you want to keep the blog going, perhaps you could ask others to take turns with writing posts. Perhaps have a team of people from this community who could help with the task of keeping the site going. I think that’s what community is for.

  37. I’ve always read your blog without commenting ever. Maybe I was too shy or felt I had nothing to say. I do have many questions and I yearn for the time I can ask them. Take the time you need, Dude. You truly have been (with the generous help from Mrs. Dude) a one-man band of awesome, especially for an angry young man celiac such as myself. Here are my feelings summed up in Haiku. The number of syllables are fudged, but the gist is there:
    Thank you Gluten Dude
    Go get some well deserved rest
    …It’s snowing on Mt. Fuji (?)

  38. Dear Dude – As a breast cancer and health advocate, I find my self in the same position as you have reflected upon. But when I do, I look to those like yourself who are doing the same thing (different but the same) and know that this gift was bestowed upon me for a reason. I am to keep fighting. And you are too, my friend. Hugs to you and Mrs. Dude, Holly

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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