The only person that can make Celiac Disease a negative is you.
If you’re the person going around being sad about being diagnosed with Celiac, then guess what. You’re gonna have a bad day.
What you need to do is just take a step back and pretend you don’t have Celiac and look around. There is that chair you always trip over. There is that pair of pants you never pick up. Now, you’re the same person, only you don’t have Celiac Disease. Put Celiac back into the equation: YOU’RE STILL THE SAME PERSON. Don’t worry about it. Everyone has good days and bad days. Having Celiac doesn’t change that.
If anything, let Celiac Disease change you.
Be the greatest person in any room you’re in. Walk through the door and size up everything. You. Are. Better. Than. Everything. Celiac Disease doesn’t change that. All it does is change that you can’t have gluten. Someone without Celiac might feel sad for you, you don’t have to. I have Celiac and there is no one around to stop me.
Celiac Disease helped to define me as a person. It helped set me on a path that would make my twenty year old version shake his head in disbelief.
When I eventually decided to become King Gluten Free and throw my hair and my unique perspective on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free lifestyle in 2013, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew I had something to offer that no one else was. Now, that choice to become a blogger has propelled me in different directions I had only ever dreamed of.
I was once a calendar model (cross that off my bucket list) Gluten Free Gal had put together a 12 months of gluten-free men and I was right there. If I was never diagnosed with Celiac, I never would have became who I am and never had this amazing opportunity.
I always wanted to be on TV. Then out of the blue a local show Mommy Talk asked me to come on and discuss my gluten-free life and Celiac and how it (if any affects my daughter). Never in a thousand years did I think I would be a guest on TV. What a rush.
All because of Celiac Disease was I able to climb out of my little shell and stand in the room and just own everything a round me. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was different. I dealt with anxiety issues, slight depression and a general distaste for people in general. It wasn’t until I was properly diagnosed with Celiac that my life would forever change and the true ‘Jordan’ could come out.
After, my initial guest spot on television, another show called Georgina Life wanted me to come on for a seven minute segment and talk about Celiac Disease and promote my blog kingglutenfree.com. How cool is that? All of a sudden I have had two television appearances in the same year (2015). All because I was diagnosed with Celiac and just wanted to tell my story.
It took a while for me to find a real groove with being King Gluten Free and what it meant to me. I tired my had at reviews and columns like ‘celiac woes/pros’ but they were never really me. Telling my stories about family issues and work issues and the triumphs of Celiac Disease and connecting to my readers and the community and letting every single one of them that THEY AREN’T ALONE is where I found my real purpose as King Gluten Free. True I am still Jordan Middlebrook, but as an personality like the King, I get to be two people doing the same thing.
Creating awareness for Celiac Disease is important to me. It’s often misunderstood and filled with stigma. I was super duper excited to be asked to speak at a show in August 2015 to talk about being a man with Celiac and attempting to knock down some of those walls and create a little more awareness that men don’t have to be worried about having it. Because I had Celiac, I was able to cross another thing off my list and speaking at a event about something I was passion about was high.
Then television came knocking again.
2015 turned out to be an incredible year for me. I was speaking at shows, I was on TV I was having an amazing time just talking about what was important to me. Helping others who had Celiac and giving them someone to look up to. I’ve never had the chance to let Celiac Disease get me down. It’s a part of me and it’s something you have to live with and roll with. The first little while after being diagnosed was hard: it changes your life. Looking back at June 2008, I wish I had someone like me on TV and on the internet doing what I am doing. Just talking about it.
Because of my gluten-free lifestyle I was able to be a guest on two cooking shows (could you picture me on a cooking show?). On both shows I was able to talk about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet and knock down walls about what it was and why it wasn’t as bad as people assume. That was more of a jumping off point for me at the end of 2015.
Now, after all the amazing things I had done in 2015. 2016 started off with a huge bang and I was now a co-host of a television show. I was living my dream. The very same show, Georgina Life that I was being a guest on in 2015, I was now a television co-host. WOW!
Looking at my list of things to do before I die ‘having my own TV show’ is right there. Now, in 2016, I get to do just that. Looking back at how this happened to a 35 year old man, I see that it all started with Celiac Disease. I started blogging to make a difference in some way, and now, weekly, a televise co-host like me gets to sit in the host chair and talk about Celiac Disease and create more awareness and destroy stereotypes. I’m not a woman with Celiac, I’m a man. I can be that figurehead for men who are embarrassed to admit they have it or to scared to get checked out. I get to talk about Celiac Awareness Month on every show through out the course of May. I get to take the passion for Celiac awareness to another platform and break the walls of stigma.
Yes. Initially being diagnosed with Celiac is hard. Your life kind of has this hazy cartoon moment. But, step back and see what I have a accomplished because I have Celiac Disease. Aim for the stars. I did it and I made it, and you can too. Celiac Disease isn’t a buzz kill. If anything its a jet engine, driving you to be different for everyone, BECAUSE YOU ARE DIFFERENT. You’re better than everyone because you’re self aware in the fact that Celiac Disease makes you a better person, better than the one you were before you were diagnosed. I can attest to that.
I have Celiac Disease and I reached my dreams. You can too.
Special thank you to Ronnilyn Pustil of the Gluten Free Garage.