If you have celiac disease or think you have celiac disease, you can’t help but go through denial at some point in this journey. For me, it was both before I was diagnosed when I had a million different health issues and then about 6 months post diagnosis when it really hit me what this meant.
In a quick internet search on denial, of course Wikipedia was the top search result but it also was the thing that hit home the most – specifically the term abnegation:
Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychologicaldefense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
Turns out, it wasn’t denial after all. It was abnegation.
I’ve never heard of this term before but man does it hit the nail on the head. Let me explain…
You see there was always a suspicion in the back of my mind that I might have celiac after a coworker was diagnosed who was having the exact same symptoms as me. I didn’t want to have celiac and I didn’t believe that was the case. I said things to myself like “it’s such a rare disease” or “but I don’t get sick when I eat bread.” She repeatedly would tell me I should go and get tested but I never did. I didn’t want to.
There I was going from doctor to doctor trying to find an answer. Trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Continuing to hear from my friends and family that I was a “hypochondriac” or “always had something wrong with me.” The answer was right in front of me for years, yet I didn’t want to believe it.
The first few months after diagnosis were a struggle. I ate the same foods every day because I knew they were safe but I was so busy opening my business that it worked out well that way for a few months. But after the shock of diagnosis ended and my business calmed down a little, the denial and abnegation reared its ugly head again.
It really hit home for me that I would never eat the foods I loved ever again.
That I could never eat a delicious piece of sourdough bread at my favorite restaurant.
That I wouldn’t be able to grab a bite to eat just anywhere anymore.
That I couldn’t enjoy foods with friends the way it used to be.
That eating fruit and cheese at weddings was my new reality.
That celiac was my new reality.
I was sad, angry, anxious, depressed and in denial.
Maybe I didn’t have this life long disease. It was a wrong diagnosis. I should find another doctor and get a second opinion. maybe I could have gluten a little bit, every once in a while. Maybe I could just do what I’ve always been doing and hope for the best in the long run.
Yup, all of these thoughts ran through my mind. I was sad for about 2 months. I’m lying – I was depressed. July and August of 2012 were just awful for me. I started blogging September 1st and after starting to find all of you online, that’s when I realized I wasn’t alone and my life wasn’t over. I could turn this into something positive and wonderful.
I want you to know it is totally ok to go through these emotions and have these feelings. A few weeks or months is ok, if you are finding it lasting longer than this, it is ok to seek professional help to get over the celiac sadness. <– This is a real thing. It never really goes away.
Celiac Sadness: The temporary feeling of sadness when you encounter any of these scenarios:
- You get glutened.
- You realize at a social event there is nothing for you to eat.
- You make an awesome recipe only to find out it’s disgusting and you spent $75 on ingredients.
- You get upset when you see someone make fun or mock gluten-free anything.
- You go to dinner with a friend and they constantly make comments about how you order, what you are eating or how delicious their own meal tastes.
- You hit your third grocery store to get all the brands of gluten-free foods you enjoy.
- You are on a road trip looking for a Wendy’s or Outback Steakhouse but settle for almonds and a bag of kettle chips at the gas station.
- You get angry when another dumb ass celebrity says they are going “gluten-free to be more healthy.”
- You realize how many years you spent sick because our medical doctors aren’t properly educated on celiac disease.
- You finally come to terms with yourself that this is your life now, you can never go back and you will be okay.
Do you ever have Celiac Sadness? Post below!!