So today I had a pretty fab day.
I’m not gonna lie, I find social situations quite difficult, I always have for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been quite shy or worried about what people think of me, so being myself is difficult. So adding an allergy to that can always be quite unhelpful. You feel like such a pain when people want to go somewhere to eat, or do some sort of event, and they can’t go because you’re there. I can’t help it, that’s just how it feels. I know in reality that most people wouldn’t think twice about it and would be more than happy to go or do something else, but I still find it hard to carry.
So this makes me very nervous about eating out with people I don’t know too well yet, and today I went into Digbeth with four of my university friends and two guys who were mutual friends of theirs. I was so worried because we were going to a food market, and my mum has always warned me to be careful around street food because obviously it’s such a different environment to a restaurant. But today I reminded myself of something, that I am in control.
It’s an easy thing to forget, I often feel like my allergy is something that takes over my life and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. It stops me from doing things that everyone else does, and sometimes stops other people from doing what they normally do. But today I realised that by being careful (chasing food you know to be safe, which for me was italian food), always double checking (asking the chef if the dish had any nuts in), some handy EU legislation (the law that all food companies have to have a list of which allergens are present in their dishes) and some wonderful and caring friends my allergy doesn’t have to be some dark shadow preventing me from doing things and making me a pain to be around. I can be in control. Today was one of the most fun days of my life, because I knew I was in control and because I had good and caring people around me. I felt part of something and like things were progressing in my life (because honestly, the past few months have been tough), and THIS is the most important thing. Don’t let your allergy stop you from doing the things you want to do and pursuing the life you want to have, because at the end of the day it’s called your allergy for a reason – you own the allergy, it doesn’t own you.