Which side of the line do you sit on?

I am often surprised when I overhear another person in a restaurant or on the bus or anywhere for that matter talking about being Celiac. It's not that I think I'm the only one out there, goodness knows there's a ton of us. However I am always struck with mixed feelings when I overhear these types of conversations. I think it's partially because while I view myself as a strong advocate for my own needs and even for the needs of others (heck my "real" job is often directly associated with advocacy) I still find that there can be a fine line between advocating for ones needs to ensure safety & comfort and dominating the conversation with others to talk incessantly about oneself.

No doubt everyone has got crap in their lives to deal with. No doubt everyone needs an outlet to blow off steam. No doubt that people are entitled to rant and even dominate conversations on occasion. BUT...when the faces of the people listening gloss over and their eyes wander with seeming boredom, you've gotta wonder which side of that fine line is this individual sitting on?

Being that I spend the working part of my days listening to people and helping them with their issues, concerns, fears, etc. most often related to health I admit that maybe I'm overly sensitive to these types of conversations. I admit as well, that I can sometimes be hypersensitive to overhearing the conversations of others, when in fact those are private conversations not intended for the entire world to partake in. Let's just call it super sensitive hearing. But sheesh, sometimes it can be challenging. The desire to jump into the discussion and advocate for others is sometimes there. (I am no angel I promise) Similarly, the desire to jump into the discussion and show my frustration for the way in which the individual is going on an on and on is also there at times. As I said, I am no angel, that I can assure you of 100%.

None of us want to be viewed as a constant complainer. No one wants to have their friends/family gloss over when they start talking about...well anything. None of us wants to be thought of as "ugh that oh woes me person". But again we must always be certain to advocate for ourselves and ensure our own safety, health and wellbeing because afterall if you don't do it who will?

I discussed this with a friend of mine who made a really important point....she reminded me that culturally food is such a huge part of our lives and as such it really shouldn't be so surprising that we talk about it (food) all the time, particularly if there are foods which we cannot eat that everyone else can. I admit I did not think of it like that today.

I am certain some of our fellow Gluten Free Edmonton readers will likely want to bash me for my views and that's ok with me. I am sure that some of you have even felt the same way once or twice before. Either way this has been my experience today and maybe my next experience will be different.

So I am wondering...do you find that you tend to talk about your gluten free needs more often than not?

Photographer: renjith krishnan

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta