SOME DAYS ALLERGIC LIVING IS TOO MUCH
by Aleasa Word
Living with life-threatening food allergies, venom allergies or latex allergies is not an easy task. Though it's obvious many embrace their conditions and learn to factor in all the workarounds necessary to be safe, nothing says that it easy. In fact, there are days when I just feel like I'm so over it because there's always something to consider.
Unfortunately, we can't just simply proclaim ourselves over it because our lives depend on us paying attention and ensuring we are safe because of this condition. So what should a person do when they are having one of those days when they are just tired of it and frustrated? To be honest, the best thing to do is to simply BE HONEST with yourself. Be willing to be open about the fact that you're having a day. And by doing so, you acknowledge your feelings. If you don't acknowledge your feelings, you stifle them and you run the risk of them resurfacing later in other ways anyhow. Once you've acknowledged you feel this way, give yourself permission to simply have a moment! Don't beat yourself up. Don't judge your feelings, just have your moment. Once you've done that it will feel like a release. From that point on you can begin to move forward. Think of the situation in small chunks. What is it about TODAY that makes this get to you? ARe you having issues with someone? Is there a financial problem today that you didn't have yesterday? Did you or one of the kids have a meltdown? Did you forget to do something? There are a number of reasons we can begin to feel overwhelmed. However, if we identify the trigger, it's easier to deal with the feelings that follow the trigger.
Finally, though you or your child may have this allergy, there are so many other things to be happy for. At least you KNOW what your allergy is. Hopefully, you aren't being blindsided like some who may not have been diagnosed before. You know what it is you have to do. You have the tools to prepare yourself and that's a big plus. Hopefully, you have support as well. So take a moment, lean into your feelings, pause, breathe and then move forward one step at a time. Show yourself compassion and practice self-care to allow yourself to simply have a moment to breathe.
As you were perusing through the internet today I'd bet you didn't expect to find a reference to APSS aka Allergic Parent Stress Syndrome. Obviously this is a term we made up here at C4A; however, that doesn't take away from the reality that it really exists. Parents of severely allergic children often experience high levels of stress as they try to navigate the landscape of allergic living. This includes children with food allergies as well as those with severe allergies to things like latex, bee stings and venom allergies.
We know that any allergic reaction can be scary for us and this is especially true for those of us who have experienced or witnessed anaphylaxis. We also know the dangers and how quickly a reaction can escalate. We also know a lot more than we think we do and that same knowledge is what can help us get through the daily issues we often face. Here are some tips you may find helpful :
Heart of an advocate
Have you ever asked yourself why is your heart this way? Why do you feel so strongly about sharing your story and helping others share theirs? Why do you wake up asking yourself how can you help people navigate the journey just a little easier?
You my friend have the heart of an advocate. This heart aches with others. It jumps for joy with others and it also has the passion to fight the good fight with other. No need to fight your calling because fighting it won't help. It will call to you even when you are doing other things. It will remind you that injustices for others are opportunities for you to do more to help. You are what advocates are made of. You are the helpers mentioned the famous Mr. Rogers when he spoke of conversations with his mother. B
You are a special breed. And the world simply needs more like you.