For those of us who found out we are allergic to gluten after years of eating chocolate chip cookies and pancakes and bagels and literally all gluten-containing foods, it was a memorable experience discovering this newfound allergy. No longer can we grab a slice of pizza or make a sandwich to go without studying the nutritional facts of every single ingredient, which likely contain gluten. Here are the eight stages you go through after finding out you can’t eat gluten anymore.
Stage 1: Discovery
After months of terrible stomach aches, headaches, fatigue and whatever other symptoms gluten has inflicted upon your body, you finally know why you’ve been feeling this way. It wasn’t dairy or nuts or any other common allergy. It was gluten that has put your body through this hell.
Stage 2: Denial
You never thought this would happen to you. Cutting gluten out of your diet was reserved for “The Real Housewives” and wine moms. You did not truly believed gluten was the source of your stomach pains and headaches, secretly thinking that you knew more than some person in a white lab coat with a clipboard (and maybe a PhD, but whatever…).
Stage 3: Self-pity
After a few more times of eating foods with gluten and getting a terrible stomachache, you finally realize you should probably start eating foods without gluten. You think of all your favorite foods and realize they all have gluten in them. You over-dramatically think your life is over and want to drown in a pit of sorrow.
Stage 4: Informing Those Around You
Eventually your friends start noticing that you don’t eat when you go out for pizza and that you look up menus’ nutritional facts before going to a restaurant. You have to start telling everyone around you that you’re allergic to gluten to make them stop asking dumb questions like “Why don’t you take a free piece of bread?” Maybe because bread is the absolute worst.
Stage 5: Lack of Understanding
Your friends try and pretend like they know what you’re going through. You suddenly find yourself hearing random people tell you about that one time they ate that appetizer on their 2012 Florida vacation and got a really bad stomachache so they definitely can relate to your gluten allergy. You smile and nod while they order literally anything off of the restaurant’s menu while you order a salad solely consisting of lettuce and your tears.
Stage 6: Finding the Positivity
After complaining about your new allergy for way too long, you finally realize it’s not worth it. You become grateful to know what’s causing your health problems. And you find out that most chocolate is gluten free.
Stage 7: Going to a Restaurant
For a while you just stopped eating out because you thought it would be too hard for any restaurant to accommodate your annoying AF allergy. But then you realize that there are so many restaurants that do have gluten-free options. This excites you so much that you shamelessly request a special order of gluten-free table bread, even though your waiter is like…
Stage 8: Acceptance
After all of the denial and the drama and the self-pity, you finally come to terms with your allergy. You accept the fact that you can’t eat at your favorite pizza joint anymore and many desserts are off limits. But you have replaced all of your old food favorites with new, gluten friendly options and you embrace this new gluten-free life.