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glutenfreeheather

Am I The Only One Who Feels This Way?

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Okay, I just passed the one year gluten-free mark and just when I thought I had everything under control....I start feeling depressed, really depressed. I thought I had accepted my diagnosis and had just learned to deal with what I've been dealt, but apparently I hid my true feelings even from myself.

There are days at lunch when I just bawl my eyes out b/c I'm eating my third lunch of french fries for the week (and it's only Wednesday) or b/c I can't go out with co-workers b/c they are going to the local mexican restaurant that has NOTHING I can eat b/c even their salads run a very high cross-contamination risk, or b/c I am sitting in my office smelling the aroma of the pizza that was just ordered in the office for a lunch meeting and then have to tell 5 people "no thank you" when they offer me some. Other days I get upset b/c I'm sick of having to special order everything. A few weeks ago the manager at Ruby Tuesdays came out to my table and said "do you come here often?" and I said "yes, b/c you all let me special order the chicken breast meal I get here" and he said "well, I just wanted to meet you b/c you have celebrity type status in our kitchen...we call you "foil lady" b/c of how you order your chicken and I just had to meet you" he then must've noticed the horror on my face b/c he said "I mean all of this in a complimentary way" and I just smiled and pretended to appreciate being "infamous" for my disease. After that I just cried and cried b/c instead of feeling complimented that they knew me and always fixed my meal right, I was devastated that I had even been talked about in the kitchen. I just pictured them in there joking around about "crazy foil lady" who always gets her chicken grilled on foil to avoid the contamination risk of the grill. Sigh.

I also get sad when I see my husband eating things I cannot have. Poor guy, he doesn't understand (and if the shoe was on the other foot I know I wouldn't either). Sometimes I take it out on him too. The other day I dared him to go gluten-free for one week just to see what my life is like. He of course politely refused. I've tried to explain it to him with this illustration...Imagine everywhere you go to buy food or eat out you see a "POISON...Do not ingest!!!" sticker on most everything that you love eating.....the bread aisle in the grocery store is draped with a banner saying "POISON...Do not ingest!!!", the Krispy Kreme is draped in a black cloth saying "POISON...Do not ingest!!!", the same for Bojangles "POISON...Do not ingest!!!", the Pizza delivery section of the phone book has a sticker over top saying "POISON...Do not ingest!!!". I also said that imagine that some foods have labels on them that say "POISON???? Taste and find out". And elaborated on "imagine if you could NEVER have another chalupa from Taco Bell, or you would never again go to Olive Garden and get the chicken parmesean and breadsticks, or you would never...." I went on and on in a crying fit and afterwards he said he finally could understand what it must be like. I know you all probably think I'm either psychotic or mean, but he just wasn't getting it.

One day I talked for 30 minutes in the car on a road trip about what I would eat if I found out that I didn't have celiac afterall or if they found a magic cure for celiac. I told my hubby what I'd go eat first and then planned out this whole elaborate week of eating all of these glutened foods. Has anyone else ever thought about this kinda stuff or am I just crazy?

I guess to make a long topic short....

1) Does anyone else feel this way?

2) Is anyone being treated for depression since their diagnosis?

3) If so, what type of treatment have you been given? Who is treating you...your gastroenterologist, a counselor, a pyschologist?

Thank you for listening to my rambling...and for responding!

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Hi,

Just wanted to say that I know how you feel. I've also been gluten-free for about a year. The stress of a long term illness can really cause mental havoc, as can the stress of dealing with this disease. I wouldn't say I'm depressed, but I definitely have times when I feel like I'll never get well and that's hard to deal with. I just get really frustrated because I've felt bad for a long time and it's only somewhat improved since going gluten-free.

And then there's the whole gluten free thing. No one can understand how hard it is until you do it. The other day my boyfriend said something like, "our lives are pretty easy." I said, "What!!! your life might be, but mine certainly isn't." Then I went off on a tirade about dealing with a new disease, how hard this stupid gluten-free diet is and how my job is stressful, blah, blah, blah. I guess he won't say that again anytime soon. :-)

Socially this diet is very hard. I had no idea that it would be so isolating. But, my friends and co-workers have been good about it. They'll always go to restaurants that I suggest. I normally tell people about it, especially when they offer me somehing to eat, like pizza at work. They are usually sympathetic, but it still sucks. It's manageable, but it really sucks.

Anyway, hang in there, you're not alone.

S

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At the risk of having bread thrown at me, I'd like to chime in on my outlook.

This is geared towards the average Celiac, apologies to people who suffer from multiple illnesses.

We do have it pretty easy. Yeah its a PITA to be gluten-free, and we have to pay alot more attention but...

We don't have MS or LUPUS or any other degenerative nerve condition, that is incurable but doesn't have a DIET that fixes it.

We know what makes us sick, many people never find out.

Celiac and Gluten Free are just now hitting the spotlight, and being gluten-free has gotten easier just in the last six months that I've been on the diet, as far as products and accesability.

We have a support group.

We live in places where we CAN go get things that are Gluten Free, for the most part, sure its three stores now instead of one, and shopping takes twice as long, but its THERE for us to go get. I know people on this list who live in places where the only thing available is mail order.

I'd rather have this, than the Lupus my cousin has, who has no health insurance, so can't get drugs to make her feel better, so when she has flare-ups she's just down for the count, with a 6 year old kid.

I'd rather have this than the condition my other cousin has, which led to them removing half of her small intestine, because it just stopped working.

I'm not saying I don't get irritated when I accidently get sick, or that I don't cry sometimes out of frustration, but most of the time I think of how worse off I could be, and how lucky I am to know whats wrong and be able to deal with it, and that gets me through the day, and keeps me smiling.

Just my 2c

Elonwy

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At the risk of having bread thrown at me, I'd like to chime in on my outlook.

This is geared towards the average Celiac, apologies to people who suffer from multiple illnesses.

We do have it pretty easy. Yeah its a PITA to be gluten-free, and we have to pay alot more attention but...

We don't have MS or LUPUS or any other degenerative nerve condition, that is incurable but doesn't have a DIET that fixes it.

We know what makes us sick, many people never find out.

Celiac and Gluten Free are just now hitting the spotlight, and being gluten-free has gotten easier just in the last six months that I've been on the diet, as far as products and accesability.

We have a support group.

We live in places where we CAN go get things that are Gluten Free, for the most part, sure its three stores now instead of one, and shopping takes twice as long, but its THERE for us to go get. I know people on this list who live in places where the only thing available is mail order.

I'd rather have this, than the Lupus my cousin has, who has no health insurance, so can't get drugs to make her feel better, so when she has flare-ups she's just down for the count, with a 6 year old kid.

I'd rather have this than the condition my other cousin has, which led to them removing half of her small intestine, because it just stopped working.

I'm not saying I don't get irritated when I accidently get sick, or that I don't cry sometimes out of frustration, but most of the time I think of how worse off I could be, and how lucky I am to know whats wrong and be able to deal with it, and that gets me through the day, and keeps me smiling.

Just my 2c

Elonwy

Believe me....I know it's not as bad as it could be and have been reminded of that countless times by well-meaning family and friends. I do count it a blessing that it's not worse than it is, but that doesn't make the difficult days any easier and the difficult days have become more and more frequent. I appreciate your optimism though. I used to be that way and that is why I know that something is wrong.

I guess I should've also mentioned that I just found out in December that I have a degenerative disc disorder and arthritis of the spine. I sprained my back at work during the last week of November and ended up being bed-ridden through Christmas. An MRI revealed that the sprain was an indication of the more serious conditions. The doctor told me that the progression of the degeneration of the discs in my back would only get worse over time and since I am only 25 years old, there is no telling what condition I'll be in at 35, 45, 55, etc. Let's just say that 2005 was a pretty difficult year for me.

I'm seriously not looking for a pity-party and I hope I'm not coming off like that at all...I really just want to know what others are doing in regards to treatment so I can know what avenue I should pursue, that's all. Thank you all for your responses!

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I'm sorry you are having such a rough time of it. I know how it feels to have been the "positive" one and then all of a sudden, everything is grey. I have not been treated for depression. I have considered looking into it, but when I was diagnosed with celiac, about 2 months ago, I decided to see what happens with just the diet. The part where you talked about daydreaming about what you would eat if you could.......I have done that for years. I would watch my husband eat Tex-Mex or Italian, and wish I could eat it. I thought I had ulcers, I did actually, but now I'm hoping things change. I guess I just want you to know I know how you feel. There have been times when my husband brings something in the house,like a beautiful chicken pot pie this past weekend, and I just want to kick him as I eat my rice again......I actually mentioned to him that if I could have anything I wanted, it would be what he bought for himself.....I felt a little bad, because he couldn't eat it after that. I don't tend to be a mean person, but it's like the celiac brings out the worst in me sometimes. I try to look ahead, I try to count my blessings, I try............

Hang in there, you are not alone. I think the depression is just part of having a life long disease.

Lollie

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I have had a lot worse things than this in my life and maybe, I have had them to set me up to handle this. They could have all be prep for this disease. At least that is how I think of it because actually for me personally managing this so far has been relatively easy. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I will fall apart at the seams. But this is nothing compared to some of my past problems, which I still have.

Depression is all part of this and I would not sit here and declare I don't or am not depressed because I am a bipolar with SAD but I am still better off than most.

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Okay, I just passed the one year gluten-free mark and just when I thought I had everything under control....I start feeling depressed, really depressed. I thought I had accepted my diagnosis and had just learned to deal with what I've been dealt, but apparently I hid my true feelings even from myself.

Has anyone else ever thought about this kinda stuff or am I just crazy?

Okay, yeah, there's a lot about this disease to "get depressed" over. But it sounds to me like you are DEPRESSED. I'm all about the pity party (throwing bread at Elony! :lol: ) but the intensity of your angst sounds like more than just the average frustrations of a Celiac. Do you know of a good psychiatrist? You might want to talk to him or her about getting you some meds. I hope you feel better soon!

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I agree with celiacruz. I've had celiac disease for a long time and while sometimes it is hard to see people eating things that i can not eat, I just think that their is soo much more to my life than food. I ahve 2 beautiful children and one more on the way :) and I try not to really focus on the disease anymore. I know what I can and can't eat so I 'm no longer sick. And believe me when I say I have been sick. I was soo sick at one point, i could not walk up my stairs and my legs were swollen, due to dangerously low levels of potassium and magnesium. I was admitted into the ICU because they thought I was going to have a heart attack. And then I had to spend the next week and a half there. :o My muscles did not have the calcium and vit d to work right. I think as long as we know how to keep ourselves healthy, that is all that matters. There is still a lot of food that we can eat!!! I think that what you are feeling is true depression and might not have a whole lot to do with the celiac disease. You might think it is, but it could be something deeper than that. Good luck and try to look on the brighter side. ;)

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Adding in the chronic pain, then you have more to be depressed about or by than just Celiac. There are different kinds of depression, those caused by chemical imbalance, and those caused by situation.

I went to a therapist for years ( my childhood sucked) but never responded well to anti-depressants, so don't take them, even though they've been shoved in my face for years. I would recommend starting with a phychologist ( the ones who don't prescribe drugs) and moving to a phsychiatrist ( the ones who prescribe drugs) if they recommend it. Chemical depression is nothing to mess with.

Chronic pain can very easily lead to depression, I've had it happen to me, and despite all my uplifting "Yay our lives really rock" it is important to make sure you're doing all you can for your well being.

Good luck, feel better.

Elonwy (dodging bread)

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Believe me....I know it's not as bad as it could be and have been reminded of that countless times by well-meaning family and friends. I do count it a blessing that it's not worse than it is, but that doesn't make the difficult days any easier and the difficult days have become more and more frequent. I appreciate your optimism though. I used to be that way and that is why I know that something is wrong.

I guess I should've also mentioned that I just found out in December that I have a degenerative disc disorder and arthritis of the spine. I sprained my back at work during the last week of November and ended up being bed-ridden through Christmas. An MRI revealed that the sprain was an indication of the more serious conditions. The doctor told me that the progression of the degeneration of the discs in my back would only get worse over time and since I am only 25 years old, there is no telling what condition I'll be in at 35, 45, 55, etc. Let's just say that 2005 was a pretty difficult year for me.

I'm seriously not looking for a pity-party and I hope I'm not coming off like that at all...I really just want to know what others are doing in regards to treatment so I can know what avenue I should pursue, that's all. Thank you all for your responses!

Hi, Heather,

Wow, what a difficult year you've had! :(

I don't know how to direct you to a GOOD chiropractor (there are some who are total quacks out there), but if you haven't been to one, that could make a world of difference for you. I"ve been to both(total quack and a good chiropractor); I dragged myself into the good one's office unable to stand up straight from the pain (I'd fallen down a flight of stairs and knocked a disc out of place and fractured my tailbone) and walked out again standing straight and nearly pain-free after the first visit.

I would question the DX of degenerative disc and arthritis because now that you're gluten-free, you should be able to absorb calcium better (that malabsorption from before you were diagnosed with celiac may have been part or all of the cause of the bone loss int the first place). Maybe the doctor was right--but then again, they make mistakes far more often than they ever admit. If a good chiropractor (ask around and see if any of your friends or coworkers have one they really love) can alleviate enough of your pain so that you can exercise regularly (swimming would be good), that should improve things for you significantly, both physically and emotionally.

As far as being able to eat out with your friends, is there a way you can talk with the chef of that Mexican restaurant ahead of time? Sometimes they can be very accomodating if they know your situation in advance. Another alternative is to ask the hostess (again in advance), if, because of your allergy, you could be permitted to bring your own lunch so that you may eat with your friends, and you'd be happy to order a drink, leave a tip, etc.

Hang in there!

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Hi, Heather,

Wow, what a difficult year you've had! :(

I don't know how to direct you to a GOOD chiropractor (there are some who are total quacks out there), but if you haven't been to one, that could make a world of difference for you.

Better yet, find a DO (doctor of osteopathy) which is a chiropractor that has additional medical training and can prescribe medications, and he's board certified. They are often more open to holistic options.

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Guest Robbin

Heather, I know how you feel, too. I have had major back problems and fibromyalgia and now this, and I feel overwhelmed sometimes too and just need to vent. I have always had to be the strong one too and it came to major depression some years ago when I had to be in the hospital. I had a sick husband, sick kid, and trying to battle my own illness was just too much. Not many close to you will understand, I know, but we do and you can safely vent here I've found. Hardship makes you more sympathetic to others, so there are a lot of sympathetic people here. I know what helps for me is to just go to a park or when I lived on the shore, sit on the beach. Nature somehow grounds me and helps me get my emotions/thoughts under control. I recommend a really good gripe session with a friend (like us), warm bubble baths, smooth jazz, and other substitutes for the pleasures you used to get from dining out. Dining out was a "hobby" of sorts for me and my family and friends, so I have had to compensate by doing more artwork and reading, etc. Maybe you could get into cooking & baking. I've been doing that too. I think you are having panic-type feelings like I had when my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age nine. I had so much fear and panic that for YEARS I would wake up and feel so scared and angry for his illness. He's 21 and I still get the panics from that. This is rough, but it will get better. If you are a religious person, pray for peace and find some solace there. It sure helps me. Love & Hugs

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I agree with Robin...If you are religious, which I think you might be due to your signature (Jeremiah), I would pray for the strength to get through this, pray for the peace you need, and pray for God to help you see the blessings that you have. I know that praying in this way will help. I had a horrible year last year......it was one of those where you finally reach the point where you say NO MORE.....But that's another topic!

I hope some of this will help!

-Lollie

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Heather, I know how you feel, too. I have had major back problems and fibromyalgia and now this, and I feel overwhelmed sometimes too and just need to vent. I have always had to be the strong one too and it came to major depression some years ago when I had to be in the hospital. I had a sick husband, sick kid, and trying to battle my own illness was just too much. Not many close to you will understand, I know, but we do and you can safely vent here I've found. Hardship makes you more sympathetic to others, so there are a lot of sympathetic people here. I know what helps for me is to just go to a park or when I lived on the shore, sit on the beach. Nature somehow grounds me and helps me get my emotions/thoughts under control. I recommend a really good gripe session with a friend (like us), warm bubble baths, smooth jazz, and other substitutes for the pleasures you used to get from dining out. Dining out was a "hobby" of sorts for me and my family and friends, so I have had to compensate by doing more artwork and reading, etc. Maybe you could get into cooking & baking. I've been doing that too. I think you are having panic-type feelings like I had when my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age nine. I had so much fear and panic that for YEARS I would wake up and feel so scared and angry for his illness. He's 21 and I still get the panics from that. This is rough, but it will get better. If you are a religious person, pray for peace and find some solace there. It sure helps me. Love & Hugs

Aww...thank you SO much for your quick and kind responses (everyone!).

I honestly have been trying to do this all on my own and have been ashamed to mention this to anyone. I guess I felt safe on here that ya'll wouldn't judge me and that someone would be able to relate. I am feeling better just knowing you guys are out there reading this and responding to me. It helps to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I am, in fact, a Christian and through all of this one thing has remained and that is my faith in God. I am ashamed for seeming so hopeless in my original message. It gets really hard for me some days, but I believe wholeheartedly that He will bring me through this and it will all be for His glory in the end. I am trying to "praise Him in this storm" (Casting Crowns song) and I feel like He is leading me to find the help that I need to get through this I just needed some direction to know where to start looking. My favorite Bible verse is the one on my signature (Jer. 29:11) and I believe that God is working for the good in my life...it's just hard waiting to get to that point where you understand the reason behind things like this, ya know? The here and now seems so glim sometimes and the devil wants us to believe that all hope is lost, but I know I must keep pushing on with hope and faith and I pray that somewhere along the way that God brings me the peace that only He can give.

Anyone who reads this....if you don't have anything to say (or even if you do)...please just keep me in your prayers right now. I appreciate that more than anything!

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I know exactly how you feel! Most days I feel isolated, alone, no energy... and maybe even chemically imbalanced. There's a lot of interesting articles on celiac.com about depression and celiac. I guess my trick is to take a B6 vitamin every day, although I'm not sure if it helps as much as it could. Most days I wish I could put a sticker on my forhead saying, "don't offer me donuts or pizza". Anyway, I've got some advice... this Friday night, plan a gluten-free fun food night. Go to the nearest Whole foods (gluten free bakery section with great banana bread and sandwich bread and muffins), Wild oats, or just order some food online. Sure, it's expensive, but you deserve to treat yourself at least once a week for making it through! Bake some gluten free brownies... make your own chicken parmesan (gluten free breadcrumbs)... bake an Amy's rice pizza with your favorite toppings and just pig out! Pamper yourself because you deserve it. Then next week at work you'll have leftovers to bring in for lunch and they'll smell so good to everyone else that they'll be jealous of your food! This is a lifestyle change and it's a HUGE deal... don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Food is the staple of our culture and if you can't participate, you're bound to feel left out! You just have to make a way to make your situation special. If you had a child with the disease, you'd make him gluten-free cookies with extra chocolate chips so that everyone else thought he was special... now pretend you're a child... you're only 1 year old in gluten-free age... and you're allowed to feel that way!

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I know exactly how you feel! Most days I feel isolated, alone, no energy... and maybe even chemically imbalanced. There's a lot of interesting articles on celiac.com about depression and celiac. I guess my trick is to take a B6 vitamin every day, although I'm not sure if it helps as much as it could. Most days I wish I could put a sticker on my forhead saying, "don't offer me donuts or pizza". Anyway, I've got some advice... this Friday night, plan a gluten-free fun food night. Go to the nearest Whole foods (gluten free bakery section with great banana bread and sandwich bread and muffins), Wild oats, or just order some food online. Sure, it's expensive, but you deserve to treat yourself at least once a week for making it through! Bake some gluten free brownies... make your own chicken parmesan (gluten free breadcrumbs)... bake an Amy's rice pizza with your favorite toppings and just pig out! Pamper yourself because you deserve it. Then next week at work you'll have leftovers to bring in for lunch and they'll smell so good to everyone else that they'll be jealous of your food! This is a lifestyle change and it's a HUGE deal... don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Food is the staple of our culture and if you can't participate, you're bound to feel left out! You just have to make a way to make your situation special. If you had a child with the disease, you'd make him gluten-free cookies with extra chocolate chips so that everyone else thought he was special... now pretend you're a child... you're only 1 year old in gluten-free age... and you're allowed to feel that way!

:D I like your perspective!

I think I'll order some Chebe' bread and make me a nice big "meatlovers" pizza this weekend. That's one thing I neglect to do....order specialty gluten-free foods that I can't get locally. I usually try to just make it off of the few things that I can buy in town which leads to a lot of repetition of meals. I know that not having many options probably only adds to the depression.

I used to bake for my co-workers every once in a while as a morale booster...maybe I should bake some gluten free cupcakes or brownies and share.

Good ideas...thanks!

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I used to bake for my co-workers every once in a while as a moral booster...maybe I should bake some gluten free cupcakes or brownies and share.

I think that's an *excellent* idea. I cook (Gluten-free Casein-free) for people all the time - sometimes large groups of people, sometimes people with other restrictions (no MSG, vegetarian, soy restrictions, picky, etc.), sometimes on very short notice, or a combination of the above, and pretty much everyone has loved the stuff I've made. (Aside from the few screwups - they happen gluten-free or not.) When you realize that you're not eating that oddly - and that other people CAN join in eating your food - you feel less isolated. I've taken stuff in to work too (brownies, banana bread, chicken soup, cookies) and they've also been a hit.

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Maybe Heather you should look at gluten in a more positve way. You keep saying "poison". Look at products that contain gluten as junk food not poison. You keep this poison thinking in your head you will never get through the day. Every single person here gets frustrated from time to time but we all have to get through it. Just think of waking up and not having to worry about stomache pain, abdominal pain or any other symptoms and feeling great. The hardest part of this disease is explaining it to every darn person every single day and then to top it off they think it is just stomache aches you get and thats it! So no more poison!

James

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I found an excellent and EASY rice pizza recipe on-line: I think it was 2 cups of cooked rice mixed with one egg and one cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar), mixed, spread out on a pizza pan, and baked for 12-16 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, fill with your favorite toppings (but be careful of tomato sauce, many contain wheat)--you can just puree a drained can or two of chopped tomatoes), bake again, and enjoy! My kids gobbled this one up. You can monkey around with spinach-and-ricotta-filled calzone recipes, too--make 2 rice crusts, add spinach and ricotta filling and fold them over like calzonesbefore you bake. Yum!

Heather, is there a celiac support group near you? I'm thinking celiac parties with FOOD and recipes and other people who are going through the same difficulties (but mostly I'm thinking FOOD)

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Heather -- I think it's pretty normal to feel this way. I was sent (by my doctor), to a counselor to work through the issues that I had surrounding new disability, adjusting to being in a wheelchair, family issues, etc. We talked a LOT, though, about the new diet. She recommended pretty much ALL of what these guys have posted. My husband and I have gluten-free shopping nights, we scour restaurants for gluten-free menus, it's become kind of a game for us! Still have issues with some family things - like birthday cake and non gluten-free ice cream, but still can come out laughing because of my husband. It's not that I don't have my days, though -- and I've only been gluten-free since October!! I'm so ENCOURAGED that you've been gluten-free for a year!

I think the analogy to your "first year birthday" is a great idea. AA, NA, etc. uses that model, as well. It really works in those cases, and I think that, given this is a totally new lifestyle, it's appropriate here, too.

Good luck to you . . . I'll be thinking of you and sending "good vibes" your way! . . . Lynne

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Guest BERNESES

Heather- First of all a hug! Don't be ashamed in anyway about your first post- that's what this board is for- a good vent. We are in a similar situation- I've been gluten-free for a year, have had clinical depression inthe past and i also have (or was diagnosed with before going gluten-free) degenerative discs in my back and neck (and all sorts of other bizarre spinal abnormalities like a cervical rib- yep, a rib in my neck!!!! :blink:

Anyway, my take on this whole thing is that going gluten-free is a lot like the grieving process. You go through a huge range of emotions and different things set them off. All of these emotions are totally normal and part of the process. It's when you get "stuck" in grieving (and only you can decide when that is- for me, it's when it starts to significantly interfere with your daily life and you don't notice little improvements here and there) that there's a problem. Celiac's gives us a lot to cope with physically, emotionally and socially. So hang in there.

I would definitely recommend talking to someone. For me, it has been the best thing I ever did. It helps me see where I am starting to heal and what parts still hurt. Hang tough, Beverly

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Aww...thank you SO much for your quick and kind responses (everyone!).

I honestly have been trying to do this all on my own and have been ashamed to mention this to anyone. I guess I felt safe on here that ya'll wouldn't judge me and that someone would be able to relate. I am feeling better just knowing you guys are out there reading this and responding to me. It helps to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I am, in fact, a Christian and through all of this one thing has remained and that is my faith in God. I am ashamed for seeming so hopeless in my original message. It gets really hard for me some days, but I believe wholeheartedly that He will bring me through this and it will all be for His glory in the end. I am trying to "praise Him in this storm" (Casting Crowns song) and I feel like He is leading me to find the help that I need to get through this I just needed some direction to know where to start looking. My favorite Bible verse is the one on my signature (Jer. 29:11) and I believe that God is working for the good in my life...it's just hard waiting to get to that point where you understand the reason behind things like this, ya know? The here and now seems so glim sometimes and the devil wants us to believe that all hope is lost, but I know I must keep pushing on with hope and faith and I pray that somewhere along the way that God brings me the peace that only He can give.

Anyone who reads this....if you don't have anything to say (or even if you do)...please just keep me in your prayers right now. I appreciate that more than anything!

Heather, it will get better, really it will. Just focus on the positives, and there are a lot of them. My mom was dx in 1969 after 7 years of truly debiliting illness and she was 80 lbs. when finally diagnosed. For 7 years doctors told her it was all in her head, an emotional thing that was making her sick. When a smart, informed doctor finally figured it out, she was handed a typed sheet of paper listing foods she could eat. It was a short list. There were no books out, no cookbooks, no speciality foods like there are today, no support groups, NOTHING. She was all alone in dealing with her diagnosis and in figuring out what to eat. She was depressed, but she overcame it and looked at eating as a challenge to eat as normally as possible. I asked her recently if she missed the things she can't eat, and she said "not really"....because she gets so sick if she gets glutened, these foods lost their appeal. The one thing she wishes she could eat is oatmeal! For those of us who don't get as violently ill when we eat gluten, it's harder, there's a weaker motivation to be strict. But eventually you'll get it, and it will not be such a glaring factor in your life.

Also....with regard to how others react...WHO CARES? You explain it and go on from there. Who cares what strangers think or say? People are insensitive and cruel sometimes, but who cares?? You'll adopt this attitude one of these days and will no longer be bothered by it. Hang in there and look for the positives!

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can concur that there can be up and down bouts of depression even after diagnosis. Especially since you have other health issues. The depression can be intense and then lighten up. Situations can contribute to it and sometimes when several issues gang up on you, you feel broken. So it's not unusual.

But you're in good company and those who have been through it will be your best guides.

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Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, prayers, and positivity...you have truly been a blessing to me this week and I greatly appreciate it!

I just wanted to share a happy thing with you....after your suggestions that I really celebrate the accomplishment of being gluten free for one year I ordered myself some Chebe' Bread from the Gluten Free Mall online. It was supposed to take 3-7 business days so didn't expect it until next week but it came TODAY.....HOORAY!!! I'm so excited b/c I was REALLY hoping to be able to celebrate tonight with gluten-free pizza and now I will!

God is so good!

I hope you will all have a blessed weekend....and thank you again for lending a shoulder! I'm definately going to start getting on the gluten free forum regularly now b/c knowing I'm not alone in how I'm feeling has helped me so much. Thanks again and God bless!

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Hi Heather, I haven't been on here for awhile, but i just wanted to let you know when I read your letter, I felt like I was reading about me. I have been gluten free for a year now, and I have felt ALL of those things you do. I have had melt downs with my boyfriend and what I thought to be "inconsideration" turned out to be "just not understanding". Now this man will be my voice when we go to restaurants, and will tell them everything they need to do....and why. His son gets embarrased and then he tells him too bad if it embarrasses him, this is my life and what I need to be healthy.

About depression, I have MS also, and Celiac was DX the same time the MS struck. I am the face of depression. I have taken 4 different meds in the last year and have NO LUCK with any of them. So I went to see a counselor, who did nothing for me. All she wanted to discuss was abuse in my past, etc, and was not helping me with my illnesses. So I went back to my family doctor and said I need a psychologist who specializes in seeing people with chronic illness. BINGO! I was sent right to someone who is the best thing to ever happen to me. We do not go in there an discuss much about my past, we focus on coping with what is now and just touch on the other things. My self esteem has been brought up to new heights it hasn't been to .....EVER! She gives me "homework" every week which is usually reading about other people and how they act and how they end up coping.

This will help you very much, believe me.

Also, as a teenager I used to write poetry at times, nothing real good, but just things to get my feelings out. So I sit down when I am depressed and write down my feelings. This has really helped me. I feel a sense of relief when I am done, and it changes my mood. The things that have come out of me are unbelievable, and I think when I am to the point where I am totally accepting of my life, I will have these poems published in a book for people with Chronic illness.

See, a few months ago, I was on here crying about my life and this disease, and I still do, don't get me wrong, but that psychologist has done wonders for me, and this is something you should look into.

There is no shame in asking for help! You need it, and it is NORMAL!!!!!

I have every faith that your husband will come around.

And yes, I sometimes go through a period where I run off a list of what I will eat if ever I had the chance again. Big Macs, pizza, donuts, white bread, KFC, it's all on the list. : )

Hang in there.

Denise

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