Food allergies are something that people have to deal with. It may change your life in some ways but it doesn’t take away a lot of the things that you enjoy.
Being someone that grew into my various food allergies I have had to deal with a lot of the emotions that go with this change in my life. I was the girl that didn’t know anyone until I was working that had food allergies so I really didn’t understand what it was like to have to avoid something as it could result in a life-threatening reaction. My first exposure to food allergies was when I head about a girl I worked with having a reaction at a Christmas party after eating some soup that had anchovies in it. She ended up in emergency because of her food allergy.
The next time I encountered food allergies was when I was sitting in an allergists office and I was explaining how my face would swell up when I ate certain foods. Now this is when things changed for me in some ways. The result of this explanation was me being handed an auto-injector and being told that I had food allergies. Yes, food allergies to things that I normally ate but after that day had to change how I handled food.
Food allergies don’t rule my life, they have just changed some of the experiences in my life but it still means that I can enjoy a lot of things in my life. I had gone through the guilt of feeling different than others because I have to mention the allergies when I am in restaurants or visiting friends. I don’t look any different than anyone else I just have to avoid certain foods so that I don’t have a reaction.
So many times I have heard people say to me that I don’t look like I have food allergies but there isn’t an appearance for someone like me. Food allergies are an invisible condition until we have the reaction so it can be a challenge. Having food allergies doesn’t make me any different than anyone else. Sure it means that I have to talk about it to try and educate people but that’s it. I have had to deal with the emotional impact of having food allergies but it will never define who I am. I am not weak or defective because I have food allergies and I have had to realize this.
Food allergies are something that so many people are dealing with now and being able to stand tall and say yes I have food allergies but I am still like everyone else is very important. Sure, I may feel guilty when things have to be modified for me but I have come to realize that no matter what I didn’t ask to have food allergies and I didn’t end up with food allergies because of choices that I made. I have food allergies because that is how my body has decided it will handle things and not because I choice to have them.
Food allergies yes are part of my life and will be for the rest of my life but I am not ruled by my food allergies and will never see myself as weak or defective because of them.