Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Conclusion - the Addict and the Allergeniac

taro, looking hopeful
Taro, Looking Hopeful by Taro the Shibu Inu on Flickr

What would I like you to take away from this? There's always HOPE. Even when the situation seems the darkest, there's hope that you can make things happen for yourself, get out of a bad situation, or make a move to value yourself more. You can find resources locally, or internationally via the Internet. You can find connections that can grow into something more on Facebook, Twitter, or other sites.

In the end, sometimes it seems like there's nothing you can do but get out of a situation. It's sad, you're going to grieve for the lost friendship or family relationship, but given the chance to grieve vs. endangering myself, I would rather work my way through the grieving process than spend more time doing damage to myself. I think that's the major thing I have learned over the past years of dealing with trying to figure out what I was allergic to, what I am sensitive to, and what I need to remove from my life in order to make life better.

But at the same time, working to move your outlook over to being positive and keeping your resolve is key. It helps to focus on what you do have, versus what you don't have. Nothing will ever take the place of the original memories in your brain (I am dang happy that I got to do trips to Italy pre-gluten free and China as well!) but the connection will fade (wheat pasta = sick, headache, issues rather than wheat pasta = healthy and happy) so that it can make room for new equations (Schar pasta = healthy and happy). The same thing happens for addicts, from what I'm told, but the original memories make the connection more persistent.

Some days you will fail. Its inevitable. Some days you will want to explode in anger. Some days you will weep in frustration. That is why it is so important to find your people. Your people (friends, family, neighbors, avatars on a screen) can help you get through the bad moments and come out the other side. They can help give you the strength you need in a moment of doubt.

What stunned me the most about learning about addiction and supporting people with addiction is that so many of the issues they face are the same as folks with allergies, yet the addicts and alcoholics have many more resources built up around them that aren't necessarily available for people with allergies, intolerances, and dietary conditions. We need to focus on building up resources so that 20 years from now, the allergeniac diagnosis process includes help from the very start with a built in network of resources and rich knowledge base that doesn't rely on fraud science to help them. Do we need a 12 step program for allergeniacs? Maybe not, but I could easily see a regimen being created to help people get through the beginning of the diagnosis process, and ongoing support for issues along the way.
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