This Gluten Free Love Story was lovingly submitted by Darla
When I met you, you had recently been diagnosed with celiac disease. You hadn’t started removing glutenous foods from your life yet, and we were both going through dietary changes. I had just ended nine years of voluntary vegetarianism with a sandwich of organic cold-cuts for reasons of personal health and well-being.
I understand how dietary choices and restrictions frame parts of our identity. The food we eat and don’t eat can make us feel at home in our bodies, or like we’re on an alien planet.
You and I became new kinds of eaters together. I already knew a lot about gluten, because my best friend had been diagnosed with celiac a year earlier. I was already a support network for you, with medical and nutritional knowledge, as well as with the experience of witnessing the tougher social changes of adjusting to a new gluten free life.
It’s been a struggle towards health ever since I met you, but it’s the most rewarding struggle of my life. I see us growing better, together, healthier all the time. Two years ago when we met, you were incapacitated by celiac disease, underweight, and there were times I thought you might not live through it.
I was there with you in the ER.
I was there at the restaurant when you decided you’d rather not eat than send back the plate which accidentally contained gluten.
I was there when you turned down the pot brownies at the party.
I was there when you cried about it later.
I’m here because I love you! The struggle is worth it because you are 110% supportive in all of my struggles, and it is unfathomable that I would treat you with any less love and support than you do me.
Living gluten free is not scary anymore. It’s hard sometimes, but really, it’s not that bad when we have each other.
You are the strongest person I know. You can overcome anything – especially a measly little protein molecule.
Happy Valentines Day!