Years ago, when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease and was making a lot of mistakes with the gluten-free diet, I used to hide my digestive distress from everyone at work. The work scene, I thought, required me to be perfect. Being sick wasn’t perfect!
- 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.
How hiding inevitable mistakes can harm us.
I was a teacher of adult international students, and when I would get glutened at an end-of-course celebration dinner, I would hide it and carry on as best I could, dutifully smiling on stage while handing out certificates to graduating students, even though my gut was churning in ominous turmoil and my abdomen was bloating up several sizes. I did not admit that everything was not perfect with me.
Being debilitated with this disease felt like a weakness or a flaw. It did not feel perfect.
Being normal was the only way to be perfect – and the symptoms of celiac disease were not normal.
But now I ask, what is “normal”? If we have to be perfect to be normal, then no one can be normal. Everyone has some kind of flaw.
So… it is normal to be flawed.
I am learning now that it is kinder to myself and to everyone else to let my flaws show.
As Byron Katie says in her book Question Your Thinking, Change the World, “Give us permission, through you, to have a flaw, because flaws are the norm. When you hide your flaws, you teach us to do that. We are all waiting for one teacher, just one, to give us permission to be who we are now. That’s such a gift to give. The pain is in withholding it. Who else is going to give us permission to be free, if not you? Do it for your own sake, and we’ll follow.”
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“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?”
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- *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 for the accuracy of the information provided to it. 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.