My goodness am I the only one that takes one step forward and then what feels like a million steps backward? It’s been a year since my diagnosis, and I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good at working on myself and my anxiety especially adjusting to the new rules in my life. We were invited to a cousin’s surprise 40th birthday party….at a brewery. At first, I thought a brewery eek…but I’m ready, oh I got this! I immediately clicked “going” on the Facebook invite. The event was going to be near my parent’s house, so it would be perfect for us to bring the boys to Grandma & Grandpa’s! Babysitters…check. Mike and I having adult time…check. The brewery has hard seltzer…check. We had the perfect plan set out.
When the day came and just hours before we needed to head to Grandma & Grandpa’s, panic set in. When do we leave? What do I eat? When do I eat? We need to get to my parents in time for me to eat…what if I get hungry while we’re at the brewery? I can’t eat ANYTHING they have. What if they run out of hard seltzer? I mean if you could think of any other ridiculous and unnecessary questions that would be running through my brain, chances are they did. You guys! Guess what I have realized for months and months now? I tend to overthink and add unnecessary worry and anxiety to my plate. Ha, I said it! I think too much. So, I recognized all the overthinking I was doing…took a breath…and compartmentalized it all, and only put the things that were the most important in my thought box.
My baby sister is getting married this Saturday, November 9th and I have to be honest, I’m having a little anxiety about being away from the comfort of my gluten-free kitchen. I am so grateful that my sister is one of my BIGGEST supporters. Her wedding is being catered by a restaurant that is not known for gluten free items. She has coordinated to have her future hubby and his best man (who are making the appetizers for the cocktail hour and have both been cooks at restaurants) to make me and a few other gluten free guests, our very own special dinner that is free from gluten and any cross contact. I mean my sister and future brother-in-law (in 4 days!) are so sweet to think of making me a special, safe meal while they plan and prepare for all the other stresses of the wedding. I am so excited to see what my dinner is, and I am equally excited that I do not have to carry around my, although stylish, LL Bean handbag cooler. Especially that I am the Matron of Honor who needs to concentrate on making sure the bride has touched up her lipstick as well as desperately remembering how to bustle her dress after the cocktail hour. The pressure is on! But I am so happy and honored to take on this role as her Matron of Honor and cannot wait for her wedding day to be here!
It sucks sometimes…it really does. Having to always think about where my food is coming from. How I’ll eat; where I’ll ate; what I’ll eat. I sure did take advantage, we all do, of the fact that we have food at our fingertips whenever we want. Hungry on a road trip? Stop at Jimmy Johns for an unwich and you are right back where you left off on your awesome road trip playlist and the wide-open road. Going to a major league baseball game? Keep that tradition and grab yourself a salty, hotdog topped with all the perfect accessories and pair it with Cracker Jacks and you are back singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Going to a 40th birthday party at a brewery? Buy some apps with a refreshing, cold brew and you’re golden.
I cannot do any of that. At times it gets to me. I think that’s where the “spiral” was coming from prior to the 40th surprise birthday party. I was spiraling into my typical overthinking and worrying about food and “fitting in.” When I took a breath, I could regroup and realize it’ll all work out. I can easily eat at my parents prior to leaving and I can bring my fav GoMacro bar or The GFB (my other favorite bar TheGlutenFreeBar) if I get hungry while we’re out. And if they’re out of hard seltzer, oh well. I can still enjoy the party. We can all still enjoy the party. This doesn’t define us. Our autoimmune does not define us. We can still go to that major league baseball game (where are my NY Yankees fans?? Whoop Whoop!), we can still go on that road trip living life to our fullest and we can still go to that 40th birthday party smiling and enjoying the company around us. Do not give excuses for your autoimmune. It is a part of us, but it does NOT have to prevent us from living our best life!
“Never allow anyone to take away your sparkle. Be kind and laugh and love often.”