I’ve got real mixed feelings about the below email I received.
This person is real down in the dumps and is looking for some encouragement.
I want to help him, but it seems a lot of his wounds are self-inflicted.
Take a read and let me know what you think.
Dear Gluten Dude,
I have been gluten free for > 10 years.
I’ve had a healthy 10 years on the diet until about a year ago while I was away at university at college.
The kitchen staff at my hall were really careless about the gluten cross-contamination and I told them very regularly about how serious the CC issue is. The head chef made some pretty rude remarks, particularly when I asked about the deep fryer situation at college. (“Look, mate! That very little bit of gluten honestly shouldn’t hurt.”) (this was about 2 years ago).
6 months ago they decided to no longer provide gluten free bread or cereal for me due to *their* budget concerns (I was at a fully catered college).
One reason I decided not to press the issue is because I tend to be a fairly easy person to please and I generally don’t tend to want to be a hassle for anyone else. People describe me as a gentle and compassionate person and I didn’t want to change that. I figured that if I at least tried to be gluten free (i.e. not intentionally ingest gluten), I’d be fine.
Slowly but surely over the first several months while at this college away from home I started to get increased abdominal discomfort and brain fog. I tried to not be accusatory so I would often try and blame it on something else (like sugar, spices, etc.)
On the other hand, I noticed I was feeling sick and tired a lot when I ate the meals at my residential college (prepared by the aforementioned kitchen staff). I now suspect that gluten contamination had something to do with it.
I also found that I was behaving abhorrently in many aspects and couldn’t think one bit clearly at all.
It was interesting because in the past every time I went home for holidays and my mother cooked for me for the few weeks break I would gradually feel better again so that by the time uni started I would be back in order.
But this time things just got really out of hand for me and I fell apart. My dorm room was a mess, I lost friends and I was a in quite a mental mess. I failed all of my courses for the whole semester and due to a previously poor academic record at university (probably partly due to the food issues) I will probably never be able to attend university again. I have been kicked out.
Has anyone here had a similar experience? I’m in the process of trying to find a job and am back home and really discouraged.
Any advice or warm words of encouragement or others’ venting and understanding would be appreciated.
Here’s the honest truth: You can’t blame everything on gluten.
I feel for you…I really do.
But it seems you’ve taken some missteps along the way that you need to be held accountable for.
You’ve got to forget trying to “please people”. I’m learning that as the years go on.
It’s your health we are talking about and if somebody else isn’t taking it as seriously as you need them to, you need to figure it out.
Sometimes, gluten is not the problem. The problem is us.
Sorry for the tough love. It comes from the heart.