Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mentally tackling your allergy

Having a food allergy changes your life in more ways than you would think and also the lives of those around you. For some it is as simple as one tiny bite to eat that could ruin their week or even end their life. The point being; People with allergies can’t just eat what they want. Trust is a huge part of anyone’s life but even more so for someone with a food allergy. Anyone with a severe allergy is putting their life on the line when eating any food products.

Five years on I am still trying to get used to this whole new ‘free from’ lifestyle. Having a social life when you have an allergy isn’t as dandy as you might think. I have been struggling mentally to learn and understand my feelings when in certain situations. For example: Its times like when you are hanging out with your friends and ,of course, more often or not, food is included! These situations often bring up those awkward questions along the line of… Would you like some? Take one, pass it on? When someone notices that I always pass on the food and don’t take any, they always question why and when respond with the excuse " im allergic to them", that is when the comments come flooding in. (When I say comments I don’t necessarily mean horrible comments.) 

I’m normally quite confident in explaining and telling my story, whilst ignoring comments, such as ‘ so that means you can’t have Galaxy bars, ice cream or even whipped cream, that’s crazy!’ 
Sometimes i wonder, do some people realise what they are saying? I honestly don’t think enough people take a second to think before they speak. It’s the most horrible thing hearing someone get so excited and hung up on what I can’t eat but they can. Not enough of today’s society realise that an allergy can affect your life in so many other ways other than what you can or can’t eat. It’s mentally exhausting and sometimes depressing.

 However my biggest mental problem arises when I am socially sat with friends whilst they are tucking into the most amazing Pizza from Pizza Hut or Cheese burger. We are human, we all enjoy our food, some more than others, but this results in us talking and discussing how great or not so great our food is. This is what I mentally find so hard to block out, listening to my friends state how delicious, juicy and cheesy there Pizza is.  

How does one sit there and listen to how great someone’s food is when they aren’t even allowed to try it themselves? How does one say ‘No thanks’ to a food they really wish they could eat? How does one join in on the conservation when they are down in the dumps and wishing they could eat the same food as their friends? I’m definitely not saying that people shouldn’t be able to discuss their dinner or food, its human nature to do so, but at the same time I would love to feel connected with what they are talking about and having an allergy sometimes discourages me to do so. 

At the end of the day it’s not my choice it’s my way of life and I know there are thousands of others out there who feel the same. I don’t want others to continue remembering people by what they can’t eat.

If you have an allergy or maybe you restrict yourself with what you eat, it would be so comforting to hear from you so I know I’m definitely not alone, drop me a comment below! 

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