Saturday, August 13, 2011

Emotions Of Food Allergies

Yesterday, I wrote about "Garlic Makes Me Sick" and today, I will expand upon the two items that really turn my body upside down. At one time in my life, I really loved onions and to a lesser degree garlic. In fact, I love the taste of them but the reactions I get from them are ones that I try to avoid at all costs.

Let's start out with onions because that is the one that will get my blood pumping quickly! Eating small quantities will make me sick or give me severe stomach discomfort. Just the smell or even the hint of an aroma will bring out a severe display of anger.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. I was laying down one afternoon enjoying a nap when someone in the house was microwaving some food that had onions in it. My nose picked the slight scent up all the way upstairs and the next thing I witnessed was not pretty. Keep in mind that I don't think I was fully conscious in this episode. I raced downstairs yelling and screaming, what in the blankety blank are you cooking!

Once I realized what I was doing and sort of came to, I felt very bad for screaming at someone for heating up their food. I could not really believe myself when it happened and the shame and guilt as a result eat me alive.

For me, that reaction is immediate because I don't even see it coming. It is like turning a light switch on and off. When you flip the switch, the light is either off or on. The light doesn't think about what it needs to do. It is instantaneous. The same goes for how I react to the smell of onions.

Garlic doesn't have the same reaction as onions do unless I can smell it on the breath of a person. Mostly though, when I eat garlic, that is when all hell breaks loose for me. Usually within 30 minutes, I am sick as a dog, with a headache the size of Mount Rushmore and longing for relief in any form (see yesterday's post for my relief therapy). My body and face usually feel like it is stuffed inside a 2000 degree enclosed box and I feel almost like I'm suffocating.

The thing I notice though with the garlic episode is that it takes at least a couple of days to recover. My abdominal muscles ache for at least a day and food is not desirable. When I get hungry and try to eat, everything hurts. The recovery is difficult.

In addition to the physical symptoms, the emotions from a garlic allergy episode really make me struggle. I am normally a highly sensitive person that cries easily but with the garlic episode, that gets magnified many times over. Imagine a guy being that sensitive - it just doesn't fit in our society. I find that I feel very depressed, withdrawn and as if I don't belong in this world. I feel very sad after a garlic episode and it is almost like the world I know is this upside down mess. It doesn't matter if this is reality or not but it is the result of the garlic episode. Fortunately, it doesn't last too long or at least not more than few days.

As I write this, I'm still recovering from it and I thought today was going to be much better. However, I'm struggling to function today and do what I need to do. Even though I rested yesterday, I may be back at that point today.

It sucks dealing with this because I have to be so careful in what I eat. It makes places that I love to eat undesirable because the anxiety of eating the wrong thing gets to be too much. Dealing with the bouncing emotions is draining and exhausting even though I know it will level out again. Trying to maintain a sense of balance through all of this and keeping in mind that not everything is as I currently see it, is a challenge! It is a big challenge.

I'm almost certain that the reactions I have to garlic and onions are much more than just a food allergy. There is most likely an emotional component that is connected to them. Knowing what I have been through in life, I would not doubt the existence of a traumatic connection to these foods. However, at this point in my life, it all remains a mystery and a challenge.

Further Reading:
1) Garlic Makes Me Sick (Blog Post Aug 12, 2011)
2) Living As A Highly Sensitive Person (Blog Post Jan 20, 2011)

Blog Post & Images (c) 8/8/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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