Monday, February 6, 2012

The 5 Stages of Grief

Every so often we run into a problem that leads to grief.  Death is the most common scenario where we hear about the 5 stages of grief.  Grief may be due to  the loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet or a particular diagnosis.  For me it was my diagnosis of Celiac Disease.

I still find myself cycling through these stages and thought about the Kubler-Ross model one day while in the Supermarket of all places.   I found myself angry while walking down the aisles because there were so many things I can not eat anymore.

For those of you that don't know Dr. Kubler-Ross wrote a book "On Death and Dying" that was published in 1969.  She was a Swiss Psychiatrist that passed in 2004 and was most well known for this model of the 5 Stages of Grief.  She found that most people when faced with death go through these phases but not in any particular order.

I found that I was going through these same phases.

Phase one is Denial.  This was a short phase for me after hearing about my biopsy results.  I thought "Can't be, must be a lab error."  Occasionally I think maybe this is not real and I can eat whatever I want but then reality sets in.  I remember the symptoms I had when I was eating gluten and I don't want to revisit them.

Phase two is Anger.  This I get from time to time and the supermarket experience was one of them.  "What did I do to deserve this?"  I was angry at the liquor store the other day because to get to my GF beer (New Planet Off Grid Ale) I had to walk past all of the chips, Doritos (which I used to love) and beer (I was a huge fan of Fat Tire) that I used to enjoy before my diagnosis.  "Why can't they put my beer right by the front?" I thought.

Phase three is Bargaining.  I'm sure we all have done this.  Can't I have just one day to have that favorite pizza or pasta or cake?

Phase four is Depression. It is a symptom that we have all had from time to time when looking at the difficulties of dealing with the disease.  For me, it is the difficulties that I now have in traveling abroad.  I have been to Spain and Italy but had visions of traveling everywhere.  "How am I going to safely travel to foreign countries without risking contamination?"  I know it will be hard by I'll figure it out.

Phase five is Acceptance.  I have come to this phase but cycle back to the other ones from time to time.  I have directed more of my energy to other things, like this blog.  I want to get more restaurants in San Diego aware of the disease and the NFCA is a great way to do this.  Our house is now 95% GF and I have figured out how to eat at work throughout the day by doing a lot of cooking and preparing at home.

Hope this helps by letting you know that you are not alone.  Everyone goes through this, no matter what 'thing' you are dealing with.

The Un-Gluten Guy

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