#45: Keep that Isolation in Check on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity
Ever just wish you could be alone? Of course you do. Probably everyone does here and there. But…… what if it is more often than one thinks is normal? “Maintaining a strictly gluten-free diet can cause feelings of isolation” according to an article about Gluten Free Online Social Communities by Marissa Carter (Sept. 29, 2009). She writes,
“It is hard for these people to adjust to the food culture in America, knowing that every bite of food they eat may cause them to get sick. Ordering at restaurants becomes a chore and attending dinner parties becomes a major challenge. Often, they begin feeling like they are a burden to others. Even people who have very supportive parents, spouses and friends feel the need to reach out to others who will really understand them.” Read More.
All I can say directly to her opinion is, “I heard that!!!” This is one good reason for my present posting. Watch out for that tendency to isolate. Yes, some isolation is probably very good for the soul. But, too much can be dangerous. And do I isolate on purpose when I do isolate? No…. not always…
But I do (I really really do) sometimes feel like I am a lone bump on a far away planet. Once in a while, I get a feeling that I am all alone. The metamessages at almost any social meal time, grocery trip, and other times and places are often seeming to beckon me into an isolative state where it no longer feels strange or hurtful to have to be so different when it comes to one of almost every human being’s most basic functions — eating.
The problem though… isolation can lead to lots of other problems. (eg., depression, feeling left out, getting behind etc…). Just think about it this way… If a person is isolated then they can begin to think things and form habits that are all wrong. The reality checks inherent in social interaction can often be very healing. Like if I am feeling really down on myself for something that I did and I am wondering if I did THE WRONG THING…. I can often turn to a trusted friend or colleague and ask for their take on it. It is soooooo wonderful for me when I do so after wringing my hands for hours… only to find that I actually did the right thing afterall.
Also… there can be lots of good healing energy out there in public with loved ones, friends, family and colleagues for those of us with Celiac Disease. NOT ALWAYS… of course… there are unfortunately times when either due to one of their comments or one of my inferences, I feel like being alone instead. But still in all, yes, sometimes, it just feels so good to be alive and around good people.
So if you are one of us who is often finding yourself alone and feeling lonely… do something about it! Here are a few ideas:
- Go online as Carter suggests and seek out information or just chat.
- Try to prepare a Gluten-Free recipe, then offer a review to the author.
- Take a walk and make a point to say hello to a person.
- Call an old friend or family member and ask them how they are doing.
- Stop by a restaurant, health food or grocery store and politely ask responsive staff members about their Gluten-Free selection.
- Write a letter to a manufacturer, a publication or a friend about something that you feel passionate about (i.e., Celiac Disease or Gluten-Free Living).
I am sure you can probably come up with even better ideas. Go ahead and do something. And just so I don’t get too lonely, Please let me know how it turns out.