I’ve been writing this post in my mind for months and am finally to the point where it makes sense to post it. Going gluten free was very similar to breaking up with a serious boyfriend. You know he’s wrong for you, but you love him. You know gluten’s wrong for you, but you can’t imagine life without it, and you’re scared of what the future will be like. Then it happens; you break up and give him all his stuff back. Then it happens; you break up with gluten, donate all your gluten-filled foods, and stop eating out at the places you love. Your heart feels like it’s being ripped apart, and you go through Kleenex like nobody’s business as you cry over hearing your songs, seeing his picture, and all the memories you shared. Your heart feels like it’s being ripped apart, and you go through Kleenex like nobody’s business as you cry over finding gluten in another favorite food (who puts wheat germ in potato salad?!? REALLY!!) and curse this disease out loud and in your mind. You think about him constantly and how you simultaneously hate him and miss him. You think about gluten constantly and how much you miss not reading ingredient labels and how very much you miss bread.
And then one day, it happens …
You wake up, and he’s not the first thing on your mind anymore. You wake up, and you make it through a morning news broadcast without thinking about celiac or gluten. You hear your song on the radio, and you don’t cry. You read a label at the grocery store, and you don’t curse when you see “wheat” on the label. You find yourself checking out that cute tall guy with the glasses. You walk through the health food aisle and think to yourself, “MMMM, this quinoa actually looks interesting.”
And then on another day, you realize you don’t love him anymore. You realize how bad you were together and how much happier you are now. You’re ready to move on. You realize you don’t love gluten anymore. You see how much your child is thriving off it and how much healthier he is now. You’re ready to move on.
When the cute guy with the glasses asks you to dinner, you say yes. You fall in love with him, and you start a life together. And this life is more beautiful than you could have imagined. You realize you can do this gluten free thing. Your boy is growing in front of your eyes, and you have figured out how to create some extremely tasty gluten free meals and treats.
This is my life. It may not look how I imagined it would, but it is beautiful. If I had not been dumped by my old boyfriend, I would not know the deep love I share with my husband. I would not know this wonderful human who is my son. If we hadn’t found out about celiac, he might never have grown. He would still be having tummy issues. So while I miss traditional bread, cookies, and other treats, he is more than worth it. He is better than gluten. And this life we have is more than enough.