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Graduation
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I am graduating from my MS program at the end of the month. I am trying to figure out what I want to. For a lot of complicated reasons I'm not sure if I am going to go to the actual ceremony. I have a lot of mixed feelings about graduation. This is the first major milestone for me since I was diagnosed(I was literally diagnosed two months before moving for graduate school). If I do end up celebrating with friends I know it will center around food. I know I shouldn't care if we go out to eat and I have to bring my own food to make sure I don't get sick. I'm so angry that this makes it so much harder. I hate food. I hate having to deal with it. I don't want to be an inconvenience to my friends. As there are two major graduations in my area the weekend I graduate, there wont really be any "non peak" dining hours. I definitely don't have the space or money to invite people over to my (very small) apartment to eat. I don't know what to do. I know we say on the board that celebrations (and social occasions) don't have to center around food, but that isn't really realistic in the society we live in. I want to be able to enjoy without worrying about what I am eating and be able to enjoy my food. I hate my life. I've always been a picky eater, not really cared about what was served (I could always get by on salad at dinners and such). But I was always able to eat something. And if I was going out somewhere for something for me, ie celebrating an accomplishment, there were enough places where I could find food I liked. So it was still special. Now I just feel bitter about food. Whereas before at least I had food I liked (even if it was somewhat limited), now I just want to be able to go back to enjoying food. Instead of having to plan and think about every single thing. I just want to be able to enjoy life and being social without planning everything around my dietary needs.

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Congratulations! Is there anywhere that serves gluten-free food? It sounds like you will need to make reservations no matter what if the area is that crowded. Take the initiative and make reservations for yourself and your friends somewhere you can eat. They will be glad someone is planning ahead and making reservations at all!

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Well, it's YOUR graduation, so you can do with it whatever you want, including celebrating it in a non traditional manner, if you wish. Perhaps instead of a restaurant meal being the focus of a get - together, you could do something else that was still fun, like a trip to go sports, shopping, movies, sightseeing, etc.

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Wonderful ideas Takala. You also could wait a week or so and go out when the restaurants are not so busy. With the weather getting warmer you might want to think about a picnic in a park with everyone BYO food.

Congratulations and enjoy your celebration what ever you do.

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Googles, First off, congrats on your BIG Milestone! Yes, these big events in our lives makes us celiac people a bit crazy.. Maybe a bit insecure ...ticked off , for sure.Understandable.. But celiac is our way of life to maintain our health. WIthout health( good health) we may just be dead...

Many times I wish I didn't have to make & take food! But I do attend every party invited to.. If I know what is being served I make us the same thing gluten-free. If I don't I take what I feel like. People do ask about my food being differnet from the mainstream food. I give a brief explanation about being gluten-free.I also share a taste of my food. It usually stops the questions or opens up questions for others who ask about their health issues & could they be helped by being gluten-free...and several times I have run into others who have celiac & are still in the closet about it & when they see me open & honest about it they finally open up.... I have bonded many friendships over celiac...

And as I see it being celiac for many years; this is a blessing a true blessing.I can control my health & destiny by gluten-free food... No Deadly drugs, No chemo, no radiation, No wheelchair, no ventilator....what other disease can be controlled by such a simple way...Diabetes must be controlled by diet & insulin injections..very common illness--- no injections for celiac....we have eyes that see, ears that hear, a body that moves by itself, ...think about this --- what would you rather have???

ANd we are not alone people have allergies to foods they have to avoid ie:dairy, soy, corn.Then we have people who can't be in a room with perfume, peanut allergies that can kill......we all have something we have to deal with...they feel the same as we do.....

Please enjoy your big moments as they never will be there again.....

blessings

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If you don't want to worry about what your eating then don't. if you can't eat it then be done with it and dont fret about it the entire night, just eat what you can (there should be something there that you can eat) and have a good time with your friends. and as for being picky well, either you have to eat the stuff that is naturally gluten free or starve your choice :)

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Thank you all for your replies. I think to some extent the food is an issue, but really it is a lot of other stuff going on as well. It is just easier and simpler to be frustrated about the food. It is easier to be frustrated about the food rather than angry that my parents don't think it is important for them to come to my graduation, another major accomplishment that they are missing. That coming to this program was probably the worst decision I have made. (Though I am so thankful I am done with it). That I am terrified that I wont be able to find a job. It is so much easier to be frustrated with celiac than have to face all of the rest of this. Thank you all for the support.

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Thank you all for your replies. I think to some extent the food is an issue, but really it is a lot of other stuff going on as well. It is just easier and simpler to be frustrated about the food. It is easier to be frustrated about the food rather than angry that my parents don't think it is important for them to come to my graduation, another major accomplishment that they are missing. That coming to this program was probably the worst decision I have made. (Though I am so thankful I am done with it). That I am terrified that I wont be able to find a job. It is so much easier to be frustrated with celiac than have to face all of the rest of this. Thank you all for the support.

I'm sorry you are having such mixed feeling about you acheivement. I can identify. I had to leave school because I was so ill and was only 2 classes from graduating. It took 8 years of healing before I was able to complete my degrees. I didn't even get a card or any acknowledgement of how difficult it was for me to finally finish. When we struggle so hard to overcome whatever we have to overcome and no one else even gives us a pat on the back it hurts. I chose not to go to my graduation since I would have been standing there alone while others would be getting hugs and well wishes from friends and family. I knew I would spend the drive home crying so it was easier emotionally to skip it. It is easier to be angry with our illness than to be angry with those we love. Think positive about your job prospects. It isn't easy in this economy for anyone to find a job but I am sure you will be able to do so. You have a lot to be proud of yourself for. Reward yourself in whatever way is comfortable for you but do celebrate as you worked hard and you deserve to have a great day and a wonderful future.

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First of all, let me congratulate you for your achievement. Remember, you did it for you, not your parents, so enjoy it for yourself.

Now, for the scolding (gentle and loving, I promise!). If the real issues have nothing or little to do with your celiac, please don't use celiac as an excuse. Part of the issues we gluten-sensitives have with the general public is the perception that we are using celiac as social or psychological crutch.

If you are ambivalent about your field of study, or your family's lack of concern, please work through those issues directly. That is far more productive than throwing celiac in as a red herring. To your credit, you recognize that you are doing that and admitted it.

Now, go out with your friends and celebrate your achievement!

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First of all, let me congratulate you for your achievement. Remember, you did it for you, not your parents, so enjoy it for yourself.

Now, for the scolding (gentle and loving, I promise!). If the real issues have nothing or little to do with your celiac, please don't use celiac as an excuse. Part of the issues we gluten-sensitives have with the general public is the perception that we are using celiac as social or psychological crutch.

If you are ambivalent about your field of study, or your family's lack of concern, please work through those issues directly. That is far more productive than throwing celiac in as a red herring. To your credit, you recognize that you are doing that and admitted it.

Now, go out with your friends and celebrate your achievement!

Excuse ME! I can be pissed about more than one thing at a time. I can be frustrated with Celiac which I'm usually pretty good at dealing with most of the time. But it is much harder for me when big things come up. I can deal with the questions at pot-lucks when I bring my own food. I can deal with having to do extra planning when it comes to eating out with friends. But sometimes I just want to be able to enjoy myself like everyone else.

At the same time I can be upset that my parents aren't coming. I can be upset about two things at once.

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Excuse ME! I can be pissed about more than one thing at a time. I can be frustrated with Celiac which I'm usually pretty good at dealing with most of the time. But it is much harder for me when big things come up. I can deal with the questions at pot-lucks when I bring my own food. I can deal with having to do extra planning when it comes to eating out with friends. But sometimes I just want to be able to enjoy myself like everyone else.

At the same time I can be upset that my parents aren't coming. I can be upset about two things at once.

There was really no need to get heated. Aeraen made a point in a civil manner, and a very good point at that. Nobody is saying you can't be upset, but I have to agree that you need to deal with the other problems instead of blaming celiac. You were the one who came asking for help, and you just received constructive criticism that you obviously did not care to hear. Don't think you can't enjoy yourself "like everyone else" just because you can't eat gluten. Celebrate your achievement, make or order a gluten-free graduation cake, and revel in the fact that you're DONE with grad school

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I totally can relate to you, Googles. You are allowed to be upset. Gluten is difficult for me to deal with because it is a physical representation of my differences. I've always been different, as a person, but the celiac makes it more "real." No longer can I deny those differences, because I need to stand up and advocate for that part of myself... but I still don't like being different. I like to be working "behind the scenes." Maybe you relate?

As far as your graduation... maybe this isn't as big of a milestone for you as you think (just a thought)? You have done all the work along the way... to get to this point. It takes awhile and eventually, our brains tend to take those long-term goals and put them in a place where they are not so prominent, but still seen... if that makes sense. However, it's hard to know what to do or how to react when you get to the point of reaching your goals.

Your parents? I'm sure it hurts, but you can't let them pull you down... and you aren't alone. My dad likes to let all of his anger build up so he can take it out on some small mistake or choice someone made. He doesn't hesitant to tell me that I am 18 now and that means I'm an adult... All the while forgetting that his mom made him breakfast every morning till he moved out at 25. :lol::lol::lol:

It still is a big accomplishment; not everyone makes it through grad school, so: CONGRATULATIONS! You made it. Go celebrate for yourself and do what you need to do to assure your safety and sanity! ;)

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