Gluten Grief

Right now, I am considering the five stages of grief. No one is dead. I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and I’m grieving the loss of gluten in my diet. Gluten grief. I have gluten grief. I would say I am in the first three stages. 

DENIAL. I can’t really be gluten intolerant. Can’t there be another explanation? I don’t want to be that person at the dinner party talking about what they can’t eat and why. So annoying. But here I am writing about it. So, now, I guess I am that person…which brings me to ANGER. Man, I’m pissed off. Pissed off because it’s an issue. Pissed off because I love pizza. Pissed off because I want a chocolate glazed donut. Pissed off because I want to indulge in the bread basket at the restaurant. Pissed off because I know I don’t really need any of these foods and will be healthier without them. 

BARGAINING. Maybe I can have gluten some of the time? I’d say I’ve been ninety percent gluten free since July. Which I know is NOT gluten free. It’s like being pregnant. You are gluten free or you are not. However, gluten slips in here and there. It’s amazing how it sneaks into foods—soy sauce, gravy, beer, fast food French fries. Even shampoo. So far, the gluten-light program seems to be working. 

How annoying is it to write about this and then submit it to Life in 10 Minutes? Someone might actually read it. Then, I’m that person talking about their special dietary needs. Back to ANGER. 

Maybe soon I will move on to the DEPRESSION and ACCEPTANCE stages. I’d just as soon skip the depression stage – that’s no fun. 

Here’s to ACCEPTANCE of less gluten. Good bye crusty French bread, sugary donuts and yummy pizza. Hello quinoa pasta, rice crackers and chocolate pudding.


After years of writing for others, Karen Kay now writes for herself. She has enjoyed Valley’s weekly creative non-fiction classes since 2012.