Hey everyone. I got the following email a few days ago. Being a teenager can be tough enough without dealing with a misunderstood disease like celiac. She’s feeling anger, frustration and even guilt that her sister was also just diagnosed. Please take a read and let’s see what we can do to cheer her up. Thanks.
My life is a wreck. I have been diagnosed since the third grade – that is, let me see, six going on seven years – and I feel like an outcast. My friends do not understand my disease; they are so narrow minded that they judge me for checking labels constantly, trying to find new gluten free foods everyday. They will pass remarks or tell jokes about it and then get angry when I let my emotions take over and go out on them.
Recently, my younger sister was diagnosed with Celiac and I feel like it is all my fault. She never understood my disease and would offer me foods containing gluten, making me get upset; in fact, the world did that to me and it was even worse inside my own home. I feel so terrible that I wished for her to have it, to know what it feels like, and now she does. She is hyper and I think she sneaks the food at school and I do not know how to approach her and tell her that she will only hurt herself in the long run.
Please, if you can, send me some advice! Being a teenager with Celiac sucks, especially in a town full of narrow minded people. I do not know what to do anymore – explaining myself in the past just made it even worse and I do not wish to assimilate Celiac with a gluten allergy or sensitivity.
Your blog is the best thing ever – I read it when my friends are being complete morons and find myself nodding my head at every single post, reading and rereading the posts. The blog is – how should I put this? – an oasis in the desert of loneliness of being a Celiac in today’s world.
SIDE NOTE: Gmail cannot even detect that Celiac is a word!
Hey Anon. Happy holidays to you and your family. A few quick thoughts and then I’ll turn it over to the amazing Gluten Dude community, who may have wiser words than me (ya think?!)
1) While your friends may not be intentionally bullying you, they are being bullies. And let me tell you…getting bullied suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. I got bullied on and off from first grade to sixth grade. The scars run deep. Adult Gluten Dude would give child Gluten Dude the following advice (take it as you wish): Don’t show them any weakness. If they give you shit, give it right back to them. And if they are truly your friends, they will back off. And if not…well I’ll let you make that decision.
2) Your sister getting celiac IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Life can be tough enough. Don’t put that burden on yourself. Celiac is a genetic disease, which increases the odds of others in your family having it. It’s just the roll of the dice. That’s not on you.
3) I’m currently reading a book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“. Some seriously sound advice in there that I think will help you.
Hang tough my fellow celiac. You got this!!
P.S. WordPress doesn’t recognize “celiac” as valid word either. Hrumph!!