You do you, I’ll do me: a rant

Soooo….

You can’t eat X, but then WHY can you have Z?

I thought you said (insert random food here) makes you sick?

Isn’t (insert other random food here) the same?

How come you can have that?

Are you just following a trend?

Can’t you eat anything?

You seem to be making this up as you go along.

No.

No, I’m not.

I have IBS.

It is complicated.

Depressing.

Stressful.

At times, confidence-destroying.

It is managed through diet.

A diet tailored to each single person who is on it.

It has called me to spend many months testing and learning.

It has seen me consult with doctors and dieticians.

It has driven me to lean on support groups.

It has led me to pour over documentation from research teams.

It has resulted in me sitting on my kitchen floor, balling my eyes out in frustration.

It has caused my stomach to tighten at eye rolls and exasperated sighs.

It has embarrassed me, in public and in private.

I am still learning, still refining.

I face new challenges most days.

But, I understand what I can and cannot put in my own body.

Just because you do not, does not invalidate my journey.

I seem unable to explain it?

Why, forgive me.

For not wanting to spend hours explaining my personal choices.

To someone who doesn’t want to understand.

Who wants to argue, to poke holes.

Who wants to ‘win’.

Yes sometimes I stuff up.

I eat the wrong thing.

Sometimes by choice. Sometimes by accident.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously.

It doesn’t mean I am faking.

Or just being dramatic.

It just means I am human.

Sometimes I make bad choices.

Sometimes I make honest mistakes.

But believe me…

When I say that will make me sick. It will.

Some days I can eat something, and other days I can’t.

This is a complicated day-by-day management process.

Fine-tuned by how I am feeling, what I have eaten the past few days, what I have coming up, my hormones, my stress levels, and so much more – even the bloody heat.

You will not make me feel bad for managing my health how I (and my doctor) see fit.

If you feel the need to judge, I ask you – when was the last time what I put in my mouth affected you?

I do all I can not to inconvenience the people I love.

I apologise over and over, often unnecessarily.

To be honest, the people that I love and who love me, can’t be inconvenienced.

In this regard, I am blessed.

I know this is not true for all.

This is truly unfortunate.

For those judging people they don’t even know, why?

Does it impact you AT ALL?

I think not.

For those who overwhelm me with questions…

Maybe you are just curious.

Maybe you just want to learn more.

Maybe your intention is to be supportive.

If so, that’s great.

But how about some tact?

Some compassion?

Some empathy?

Or even just silence.

Didn’t you ever hear – if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all?

Yes I agree, it does seem more and more people are intolerant these days.

I hear you when you say, either to me or behind my back, that years ago we didn’t even know what gluten was.

Bingo. We didn’t know.

We know so much more now.

Why not use that knowledge to strive for better health?

If you don’t agree with it, don’t believe in it, don’t think it should be done… that’s your choice, and that’s fine.

Do you know why?

Because really, who gives a flying fuck what I think or what you think or what any of us think of anyone else’s personal choices.

If it isn’t hurting you or someone you love, then just let it go.

You do you. I’ll do me. Let’s just get on with it.

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