Gluten made me hate and fear my body; this is the naked truth of coeliac disease.
This is only a little post, but an important one.
I didn’t write a “new years post” this year because I figured your feed would be flooded with such anyway, and you probably didn’t need another one from me. However, I came across last years post by chance, and I found myself sucked in. I had forgotten all about it, and sometimes some things need to be remembered.
This isn’t just the mandatory “year in reprise” that so forgettably floods our communication channels on the first month of the year. Instead it’s the story of a coeliac; the freedom that we beg for, the light at the end of a very rough tunnel, and the dream of having our lives back. New Years Eve simply became a marker for my level of improvement, and a milestone by which I could measure the road I had walked.
I hope this post can remind you to remember how far you’ve come, or if you’re just starting your journey, to remember that others have walked this road before you. A proverb that used to get me through the roughest parts reads: “This too shall pass” and nothing could ever be more true than those 4 words.
The winds of change blow through our lives at such pace. It tugs on our hair and lures us along, only to watch us tumble as we try to hold on to what was. Even when it hurts, our past gets dragged along, and we hold on ever so tightly. I haven’t yet learnt how to truly let go of fear.
So much panic and angst built up in me after a very long time filled with agony and despair. Gluten made me hate and fear my body, and it’s hard to forgive your most dreaded enemy. How do you trust a friend who betrayed you over and over and over again, and how do you make friends with a monster? It’s as though I have a stamp on my forehead, burnt onto my skin the way they brand cattle, left there to remind me and the world forever that the pain is part of me and that I can run but not hide.
Which is why I believe in having a rearview mirror. It allows us to look back ever so briefly, just to see how far we’ve come and to remind us that we are still moving forward and further away from whatever we’ve chosen to leave behind. It also allows us to take a look and see if we are in fact dragging anything along with us. We have to keep moving forward, because you never know where the wind will take you, and where you will be a year from now.
And so it is; my words of New Years’ past:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language,
and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S Eliot
On New Year’s Eve 2011 I attended a masquerade in the snowy Norwegian town of Trondheim. I found myself surrounded by masked strangers and the sound of New Year’s cheer, amid a thousand years of history in the old viking capital. I was single, had a new and booming career, a new house.. Anything could happen.
New Year’s 2012 was a world away. We celebrated on the balcony of our London apartment, myself and my fairly new boyfriend, a glass of champagne for him and a bowl of mashed potatoes for me. All I could possibly stomach was mashed potatoes, and so it had been for most of the passing year. It’s quite remarkable how fast the tide can change.
That night we watched the fireworks flaming over the Thames and filling the wet London sky, thanked the passing year for bringing us together and toasted for health in the new year. We had survived a 6 month hell, I was chewing through what we (once again) presumed would be my last antibiotic treatment, and we were praying so hard for the winds to change.
As we filled our picnic basket last night, in the last hour of 2012, I paused a second to appreciate that it contained oysters and champagne, not potatoes. And on our blanket on the vast beaches of Australia, under an unfamiliar constellation and to the sounds of foreign voices, I thanked the world for putting me there.
2012 was such a full year. Full of everything good and bad. The weight of every year cannot be carried in full through the future, and so something’s gotta give. I think some people carry it all and break under the weight. Others must give up parts of the good to make room for the bad they cannot bear to let go of.
Last night we chose to keep only the good and let the bad depart along with the year that brought it. Everything has it’s time and everything ends. It is only the memories that live forever, and so we must choose if those should be the good ones or the bad. The body will only remember what your mind is holding on to.
I want to keep the progress, the strength, the lessons and the improvement, and I want to try hard every single day to leave the rest behind.
Every year is different. I wonder where I will be a year from now..
Happy happy New Year and thank you for reading my blog.
May 2013 be the year that says YES!
Actually; may 2014 be the year that says yes. At least, for me I know it will be, for I get to marry my best friend on May 16th. I am also leaving Australia for a new adventure in the UK, I’m launching The Gluten Free Lifesaver into Scandinavia, and I’m becoming an auntie for the first time. Good things are yet to come, and at the end of the day life always keeps moving forward no matter what we choose to make of it. We might as well enjoy the ride!
I appreciate each and every one of you. I wake up every single day excited to work on what has become my greatest challenge and motivation, and I am thankful to coeliac disease for bringing me here, odd as it may sound. There really is life after gluten!
Love from Kristine