*I mean, yes and no. My relationships usually don't last long. They start with brilliant bursts of bliss and swiftly plummet to the dark, tear-floaded basin of my being within 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months—pick your package. "How long will this one last?" my friends and family ask with each new suitor.
My relationships usually don't last long. And I'm wondering if having undiagnosed celiac disease is partly why.
Now, hear me out. In no way am I trying to blame every idiotic romantic decision on my disease. I use it as a scape goat for plenty, but in this realm I will woman-up—sometimes I'm a total asshat. And alternatively, I'm not totally letting these bros off the hook—I dated some total asshats. But, I just can't help but think that maybe things would have gone differently if I had been healthy in each of these tumultuous ties.
Most people are familiar with the digestive issues associated with celiac disease, but how much do we know about the pyschiatric affects? The affect on mood, anxiety, depression, level-headedness, patience, irritability?
I recently listened to this podcast which explained how the effect of gluten on the brain of someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance is similar to that of morphine.
So that's why I've been called "the crazy girl" for the past five years! My body has literally been reacting as if I were on morphine. And who takes morphine? Crazy people!
So listen, boys, not all of that d-r-a-m-a was 100% my conscious fault.
I've been called crazy and bipolar, been told I'm fine when I'm sober and a terror when I am not. I've spent countless nights bawling and screaming only to be riddled with self-doubt and paranoia in the morning. I've tried meditating, counseling, crying on a best friend's shoulder, watching "Eat. Pray. Love." more times in a week than is probably socially acceptable, but at the end of the day I always came back to the same thought: this is not me.
And it wasn't me. I just didn't know that until I was me again.
Looking back now, it's hard to know where to put the blame for my countless relationship mishaps. Was it him? Sometimes. Was it me? Sometimes. Was it my fault? Not always.
This disease literally took over my brain and affected every aspect of my being. Forget the toilet talk, the itchy skin, the sudden weight loss—I was depressed. I had anxiety. I had a panic attack every week for the last six months before I was diagnosed.
How can you positively and actively date in a situation like that?
You can't. Which is why I've had to let go of the blame. Let go of the finger-pointing and guilt that I walked out with in each relationship. It wasn't always his fault. It wasn't always mine. It's just how it was.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to date those men now. Sometimes I want to contact them and defend my being all over again: "You didn't know the real me!" "I'm better now!" But what good would that do? To them that's who I was, and to me I need to recognize that that's who I was, too.
I've been #blessed with the opportunity to have a future, even with this disease. I know what is wrong with me. I know how to protect my health. I know how to take care of myself so I can hopefully have a relationship that lasts at least two seasons.
Not everyone gets that closure.
So, ex-boyfriends, I'm kind of sorry. I was a mess, and we knew it. But now I at least know why.