I come to you today, MAD. Mad at the situation that my health and body have put me in and mad that I cannot avoid the things that hinder my health. I strive every day to be good, to stay on the path of health and prosperity. But when that achievement includes isolation and restrictions, then Sir it might be a little hard to achieve it.
As you all know I was diagnosed with the nickel allergy about 4 years ago. So, most of my life I was carefree, I didn’t have to restrict myself from foods or anything else. As my life evolved and difficulties arose so did stress, so that is when my environmental allergies got worse and then it stemmed to having a chronic nickel allergy. If you want to know more here is a full story of how I got diagnosed.
Lately, I have been hearing a common theme of questions, “Why do you eat that when you know you are allergic to it?” Well, let me try to simplify it for the nonallergic folk.
I was never born into this, I was never taught how to live like this. 19 years of my life, I dealt with: what to wear, arguments I had or didn’t have, who I like or didn’t. It all revolved around people and togetherness. It never revolved around segregation or pity. I have had a lot of time to reflect on why I cheat on my diet, even though I know I am going to get sick. But I really don’t have a straight answer, but I can tell you this.
Food is a culture, language, and understanding. It is the center of all relationships: it is the first thing you offer when you greet a guest, the meal you plan on your date and the places you grab lunch. We all understand and talk about food for hours, what we like or dislike. We can share laughter, stories, and memories. We can be with each other and feel like we belong.
Well, my allergy stripped me of all those things. I lost a culture, a language, and understanding. I missed the laughter, stories, and memories. So I am sorry when I want to reminisce about that one more time. I am sorry if I want to forget that I am allergic to this or that. Or if I don’t plan myself accordingly and have to cheat on my diet. I will forever be a cheater and forever striving to not cheat again. Every day is a struggle and a reminder of what I did, didn’t or couldn’t have. The carefree lifestyle was stripped away from me. I will always be the person who will sit there watching you as you eat, the different one, the pitted one, the one who is allergic to everything.
So, now food is centered around anxiety and stress. I don’t enjoy food anymore, it is all the same. There are no varieties, there are no vast options. I am boxed in this restrictive diet dancing in circles trying to make the food more meaningful than the next. So, again if I cheat today, tomorrow or yesterday, trust me I know my risks and I see what I am doing. I just want a moment of silence so I can remember what it felt like to eat freely once more.