Trust. A five-letter word. Easy to spell. So hard to do.
Why do I have trust issues, you ask? I don't know. I was not abused as a child and, aside from the ordinary relationship skirmishes that are an important part of growing up, I have not experienced significant betrayal from anyone which would lead me to have a lack of trust in others. But, for whatever reason, I just...don't trust people.
What does this have to do with having Celiac Disease and being forced to go gluten free, you ask? Since changing my diet five months ago (yikes--can it really be five months?), I have been forced to trust people. And it's been an exceptional learning/growing experience for me. Allow me to share just a few of the many examples I've recognized over the past few months:
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A new friend who I hardly knew offered to make a gluten free apple crisp for snack at our book club. I had no reason to trust that this woman would do it right except for the fact that she seemed very sincere in her desire to do something nice for me. So, without asking for an ingredient list, I scooped up a spoonful and marveled in not only the delicious dessert, but the genuine extension of friendship which the dish represented.
For my birthday a few weeks ago my boss presented me with darling and delectable homemade gluten free cupcakes to celebrate. I could have questioned her but I opted to stuff one and then two cupcakes in my mouth and sing their praise. My boss doesn't know much about my health condition, but she did research and found something that I could eat and the whole office could enjoy.
I must exercise a whole different kind of trust when I eat out--which I do way too often. This kind of trust involves TOTAL STRANGERS! Before I eat in a restaurant, I research whether they have a gluten free menu or at least an ingredient list on their website. Then once I choose to sit my behind in their facility, I have to trust that the restaurant will actually prepare the food the way they say they will. I must trust that the server actually remembered "no croutons" from the inception of my salad and didn't just scrape them off at the last minute before arriving at my table.
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Many folks in the Celiac community would tell me I'm a fool for trusting as I do. They tell me I must be extremely cautious about what I do with my food and that I shouldn't trust anyone else to do it for me to ensure that I don't eat so much as a bread crumb of gluten which could cause more damage to my digestive system (not to mention make me sick & miserable again). While I believe in adhering to the science behind my disease, I also believe that the trust in humanity I have acquired is invaluable.
I'm grateful for the myriad of friends and family who have reached out to me by way of sharing recipes, baking and buying me special treats, giving me expensive flours, and offering their concern. At the onset of this experience I posted that I detest unsolicited medical advice; I can't say I love it now, but I better recognize that people are offering it because they care. They want to find a way to relate, and so they offer up whatever they can to relate to my experience. For that, I am grateful. And this new-found trust in my fellow man? I hope it's here to stay at least as long as the Celiac Disease is.