Celiac Counsellor’s Corner – Sherry Scheideman, RCC

  • To the celiac who sometimes can’t stand herself because she gets so irritable when her pain and other symptoms worsen and she finds that she is not the positive person she used to be

Celiac Counsellor’s Corner* is a place where Sherry Scheideman, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor, responds to your questions about the emotional and social issues that celiacs face. Diagnosed with celiac disease herself in 2001 in Victoria, BC, Sherry draws upon personal experiences and a Master’s Degree in Counseling to support you in transcending this ‘life transition’ and turning it into an opportunity to live your best life – ever.

Sherry Scheideman Counselour

Sherry Scheideman, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor

Sherry’s Response:

To the celiac who sometimes can’t stand herself  because she gets so irritable when her pain and other symptoms worsen and she finds that she is not the positive person she used to be…It is very understandable that you are irritable. You’re in pain, your iron is low – you are struggling. This is a very challenging situation!

On top of all this pain and physical illness, you can’t stand yourself for not being the positive person you used to be. Here’s where we can do some work to find you some relief. Let’s do it.

Ask yourself: Is it true that you can only love yourself if you’re managing to be a positive person? To answer this, it might help to think of puppies and children: Is the puppy who keeps chasing the squirrel while you’re calling him back still worthy of your love? Is the toddler having a temper tantrum on the floor at the grocery store still worthy of your love? Of course they are, right?! They are wonderful creatures, learning how to conduct themselves in the world. You, too, are a wonderful creature, learning how to conduct yourself as you face new challenges in your life. As you are learning to deal with your celiac issues, you will sometimes chase squirrels and you will occasionally throw yourself down onto the floor of the grocery store and howl.

But don’t forget, you are adorable. You are that frisky puppy, learning to sit and stay. You are that beautiful toddler, learning to deal with disappointment and frustration. Treat yourself like your best self would treat them. Scoop yourself up and hold yourself close. Kiss your nose! Open your heart and hold yourself inside its warmth and security. Let yourself know that you love yourself unconditionally, and that when you’re done chasing the squirrel or screaming on the floor, you will still be there with yourself, ready to laugh and love with you.

By accepting yourself like this, and being gentle with yourself even when you’re having a hard time, you develop compassion. This compassion starts with yourself, and then extends to others. When you see others being irritable, you have more love and understanding of them because of the work you do on yourself. And why do you do this vitally important, life-changing, rippling-out-and-helping-everyone work? Because the celiac disease make you suffer too much without it.

So, this disease comes with great gifts, for you and for all of us. And yes, they are very difficult gifts to open.

Thank you for sharing. We all learn from your experience.


  • View previous Celiac Counsellor Corners enter ‘Sherry’ into the search field at the top right of this page

“Life happens! Why not love it?”

“Being diagnosed with celiac disease and going gluten-free has challenged me to develop inner resources that I never knew I had, and I’m grateful for that. As a counsellor, I love to help other celiacs find their own gifts within the challenges of the disease, and to facilitate healing. Why not let your celiac disease motivate you to be your best self?”

Sherry writes about the issues that we as celiacs face in Celiac Counsellor’s Corner. The following topics – and more – will be addressed:

  • blaming ourselves or feeling guilty for having the disease
  • feeling frustrated and sad about all the food we can’t have anymore
  • facing social, familial, and workplace difficulties because we can’t eat what everyone else is having
  • being afraid we might not be able to get anything safe to eat when we’re out
  • having to ask endless questions about food to make sure we can eat it
  • having to endlessly refuse offerings of food in order to stay safe
  • occasionally getting “glutened” and then enduring not only the illness but possibly also the blame from ourselves
  • how to handle gluten-free shaming

sherry.scheideman MC, RCCIn her articles, Sherry will examine how we can feel like victims as we face the issues that celiac disease presents — and then will explore how these issues give us the opportunity to become our best selves as we rise to meet their challenges. We may find that we can even be grateful to celiac disease for giving us the challenges we need.

  • As Pema Chodron notes, “When we reach our limit, a hardness in us will dissolve. We will be softened by the sheer force of whatever energy arises – the energy of anger, the energy of disappointment, the energy of fear. That very energy pierces us to the heart, and it opens us. Reaching our limit is like finding a doorway to sanity and the unconditional goodness of humanity.”

  • *Information and perspectives provided in Celiac Counsellor’s Corner are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene of the accuracy of the information provided to it, and the information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. You should always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. The Celiac Counsellor’s Corner does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.