When I tell you I have celiac disease, don’t stand there and stare at me like I just told you a joke. As far as some individuals know; celiac disease is something a lot of people made up and are using as a scapegoat to squeak by in life. The big joke, the big cosmic joke is that celiac disease exists. I don’t have a serious or deadly peanut allergy or an urgent shellfish allergy and so, I don’t look sick or like I’m dying when I ingest gluten. But rest assured, my disease is potentially just as serious.
I don’t look sick because I eat properly. I eat 100% gluten-free. It’s the only way to keep my diagnosed celiac disease, and every other person diagnosed, in check.
I AM sick, I do have celiac disease, it’s just all in order now. I was only diagnosed in 2008 and was eating all the WRONG food. I don’t eat the wrong food anymore and I check/watch/read every label and after years of maintaining a proper gluten-free diet, I am a lot healthier.
For a diagnosed celiac; celiac disease isn’t just about one month of awareness (which is MAY of every year), it’s a daily defending of a disease that not a lot of people take seriously. Celiac disease isn’t just a conference at the end of the week or every month, it’s a gathering of like-minded and like-bodied people sharing new ideas and new discoveries with a lifestyle the general public sometimes views as inferior. It’s a not a disease that was created by pesticides or GMO’s, it’s been around since long before you or I were born.
It’s not about throwing it in everyones face, its just about positive reinforcement that celiacs are normal, happy and amazing people, regardless of what the media or popular culture says.
Celiac is an invisible disease and those people with it have to constantly defend it. Almost constantly having to point out the reasons they need to maintain a gluten-free diet. It’s a bout health, not fad diets or food ridicule. Media stars are out there telling an audience that it’s trendy to have celiac, making it harder and harder to for us to have said celiac. We have to stand on the highest rooftop and own celiac like a boss and tell them all the deal, the real deal. Celiac disease affects every gender and can possibly affect anyone without them knowing it.
No, having celiac disease isn’t just about food, but it’s a big part of who we are as individuals and a big part of how we try to be accepted as regular people attempting to adapt into regular food-type situations: parties, restaurants and dinners are all the same public missions that celiacs handle weekly and internalize privately. Celiac disease is an every day thing that can be a hard struggle for those who don’t have those around them who support them. That’s why celiac disease is an everyday thing, celiac advocacy is an everyday thing.
Celiac disease is misunderstood at the best of times and only through constant promotion of how normal we are and how unusual our disease is can we create the kind of positive awareness that ALL celiacs deserve. Yes we need to eat 100% gluten-free, but we can also be 100% fun and normal, the only thing different about a celiac is that gluten is a poison to our bodies and we need to stick to a specific kind of diet to stay healthy.
If every 1 out of 133 people has celiac disease, then the understanding of this disease could probably be just a little better and more accepted. Support for it could stretch past those who already have it and those who are directly affected by it, like family and friends, so take the awareness seriously. It’s not about throwing it in everyones face, its just about positive reinforcement that celiacs are normal, happy and amazing people, regardless of what the media or popular culture says.
Celiac disease is going to be around a lot longer than you or I; as much as it’s been around before you or I. So lets say ‘hello’ to celiac and give it a high five. And we’ll use everyday of EVERY month to celebrate our celiac awareness.
I have celiac disease, ask me about it. You might just learn something.