I’ve been mulling over this post for a while and I finally decided to write it. (At least, if you’re reading this, I guess I did.) 😉
May is food allergy awareness month, which is a nice thought for me. If new followers aren’t aware, I have a severe anaphylactic allergy to wheat. For the past twelve years, I’ve struggled with people not knowing enough about my allergy to keep me safe. Taking responsibility for myself and taking the precautions that I need to often leave me feeling hurt and frustrated.
And that’s how I figured it out – I don’t like talking about food allergies.
In the day-to-day, I don’t talk about them. They just . . . are what they are. I live with them and move on. I know the things I can do and can’t do, and that’s normal. I don’t remember living any other way.
But there was a time when we lived differently. We could go out to eat at restaurants, we could share a meal with family at their house instead of ours. We could go to a potluck without worrying – or without bringing a clearly labeled dish.
A couple weeks ago, we went to the first outdoor “barbecue” of the season with my aunt and uncle. We brought our own food, and I managed to stifle most of my anxiety – since they ate mostly gluten-free anyway – until we saw that they’d brought hamburger buns. In that moment, trying not to seem rude, trying to hide the fact that I was only eating our “safe” potato salad and I’d brought my own plate and fork
(possibly overkill, but we’ll never know), I hated my allergy.
And I realized that I don’t like talking about it. Why? Because when you have severe allergies, you’re constantly explaining it, constantly apologizing for it. You don’t want to draw attention to it until you have to.
So if you’re thinking maybe that’s why this blog is so often neglected . . . yeah, that’s kinda what I’m thinking, too. And I’m sorry. I’ve preached so often about standing up for yourself and not being afraid to raise awareness, but apparently I don’t practice it.
So let me just say this.
Food allergies are painful. It hurts to have to say “no” and feel like we’re risking relationships in the process.
Food allergies don’t “go away.” That thing we say no to today we’re going to have to say no to tomorrow.
Food allergies aren’t a choice. This isn’t a new diet we’re trying for a month. This is our normal. Our lifestyle. And we didn’t choose this.
May is food allergy awareness month. Even if you’re like me and you don’t like talking about your allergy, now is the time to buckle down and do it. (And trust me, I will be doing it, too.) If you don’t have food allergies, you can still help us raise awareness! What better time for it! Reblog this post onto your blog. Think of how many more people we can reach every time this post is shared.
Share graphics like this one:
Don’t waste this month. Use it! Whether you have allergies yourself or not, you can make a difference for everyone who does. Thank you!
Peace out. ❤