It happens. It’s an inevitable truth that the ever invasive wheat/gluten is going to get passed the bulldog guards we try and live with. Today’s still in the first 24 hours of my wheated 3-day cycle.
Phase 1 lasts about 24 hours. This includes digestive upset, unladylike flatulence, shakiness and a ‘hangover headache’. This isn’t the worst for me, though. It’s the mood intensity and swings. Let’s take PMS and give it a stage and a Masters in Stage Dramatics. It’s not that I make up issues. It takes whatever I am normally feeling and gives it a megaphone. Happy is manic, angry is enraged, and sad is despondent. These can spin on a dime and in a 20 minute period, I can cover all three of these emotions. It means I can see myself being overly dramatic but struggle to rein it back to a level where I can trust t myself.
Phase 2 is approx another 24 hours of self-doubt, self-condemnation, and self-slander. A general flu-like system ache that flares other medical baggage makes it hard to “walk it off”.
Stage 3 is the last 24 hours. This is pure exhaustion and apathy. I just literally don’t care. I hate this phase. I hate the dead feeling as I thrive on color and connection. To not care about those in my tribe and world? This is my evil twin and I think I have used “hate” enough for you to get the picture.
So what do I do when I become aware I have been nailed.
1) Don’t Hide It!
Telling those you are going to be in contact with, and reminding them that emotional responses aren’t false but may be overinflated, helps to allow others to understand. Assume people will be there to support you and give them and yourself that gift of trust.
2) Be kind to yourself!
Knowing you are going to go through the stages means you know they are just that… stages. They aren’t who your heart is or what defines you as a worthy human being deserving of love. They are similar to the stages of a cold- stages of your body’s battle against a foreign toxin. Treat yourself with firm boundaries and a gentle hand. Give yourself time alone. Grab a movie partner and allow yourself to expel the emotions towards some solid tear-jerker movies or comedy laughs and allow the directors to reap the rewards of your theatrically hungry system.
3) Allow the contrast!
The state of feeling disconnected from your own compassion is a great reminder of how integral and powerful a force that gift is. Like a diet detox, allow your heart the space to disconnect for a day and just be in quiet. Perhaps today is the day to call in sick and heal.
All in all, the message is ” don’t judge yourself for this!” Help your body battle this invasion with kindness towards yourself and a focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. The awareness that you have found a way to not have to live this way day in and day out for the duration of your life.
That is the gift of being Gluten Free to myself and those who love me – an amazing version of ME!