Just so you know

Aldi is having a ‘special’ on Gluten Free food! How nice!

Except…erm…most of us have to eat every day. And, well, don’t choose to have an allergy/intolerance to Gluten or indeed have Celiac disease.

It is a lot better than it was. Asda, Tesco and Morrisons deserve hero status in my book. There are now lots of options, and even better, the prices have come down. I no longer have to pay £3.50 for a loaf that is smaller than a 400g normal loaf.

BUT…

There is something else that really, really irritates me. And I’m sorry if this applies to you. I am. But this is how I feel.

Shops, restaurants, cafes are going out of their way to prepare vegan food. It is everywhere. And that is not a bad thing, I guess, except for one detail. Gluten Free comes a miserly second to this approach. And why is this an issue?

Because, I would guess, the vast majority of Vegans choose to eat that way. Most Gluten Free eaters do not choose to be Gluten Free. (I know some people do as they think it is a weight loss tool. Words fail me).

Gluten makes me sick. Really sick. Between 20 minutes and an hour after eating it, I go quiet. I am dazed. My nose goes bright red. My head feels heavy. My breathing quickens. And then I just flop. And I can’t move. I’m drowsy, lethargic, can’t walk unaided. I will sleep for hours. Later, I will have crippling stomach ache and diarrhoea. And the shivers. For days my stomach will hurt me.

I don’t choose to be Gluten Free. Most Gluten Free substitutes taste awful, cost the earth and have more calories in them.

Just so you know. It is great that there are most vegan choices. Just don’t forget that Gluten Free is not a choice for most.

Birthday breakfast

I’m 41! Yay! Please feel all the sarcasm in that because believe me it is there.

I am in a good mood though. Last night’s bath, face mask and moisturise has made me feel fabulous this morning.

Of course, my morning hasn’t gone to plan but I am OK with that.

My ex said that he would come early for our youngest to allow me a sleep in. Although we have been divorced a year now and I have been with Wildcard for 17 months, I still get nervous when there is a chance Wildcard could call whilst my ex is in the house. But, as my ex was coming early to leave by 8.30, and Wildcard normally calls at 9.15, there was no issue.

Except Wildcard called at 8.10am. He had taken my ‘I want you’ as physically, which is not inaccurate, and had called for some sexy talk. We haven’t had any of this type of intimacy since Valentine’s Day, I think because of his Grandmother’s death. So I was happy with this. Until I heard my ex come up the stairs and go in to my son’s room which is next to mine.

Our conversation had just started so I buried my head under the duvet and whispered which works in this context. I couldn’t relax of course, fearful that someone would walk in at any point. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy hearing all the ways he wanted to love me physically, how he missed me and wanted to kiss and hug me. And that he was mine. So whilst I was unable to be physical in any way, mentally and in my heart I was happy.

Very shortly after the end of that call, my daughter shouted me. Today she has a trial shift as a kitchen porter in a Michelin started restaurant and hotel. She was nervous, unprepared and needed me. I got a belated happy birthday once she was sorted.

I got dressed and drove her to the beautiful Hall. She was in tears with nerves and I felt for her. A simple job but the first she had gone for. I’ve not stopped thinking about her since and she has only been there an hour.

Ironically, I came home and cleaned my own kitchen. Ironic because she had messed it up making my birthday cake and was too tired to clean up before bed. So, housework has been part of my birthday whether I wanted it to or not. So is life.

I have just had a delicious coffee and my Warburton’s Gluten Free sourdough loaf toasted, with egg and avocado. This is a treat as, at £3.40 a loaf, I refuse to buy it regularly. It is delicious though. I can’t remember the taste of real bread any more, but this is as close as I can remember.

What now?

Well, my house still needs a tidy and I need to make a fire as it is cold. I want to watch something but can’t relax as I keep thinking about my daughter.

I miss my mum and dad. Mum text this morning but hasn’t called. I’m half glad because I think I would cry.

And, whilst the phone intimacy was desired and appreciated, I want more from Wildcard. I need more. Not a gift or present. Him. I want him. I want to feel like I am his, and he is mine and that finally, I can have some security. I’m waiting for it. Not a proposal – now is not the time – but something. A declaration. I don’t know. We will see.

Just words

For the past month I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Work is hard but much better with the new Headteacher. I feel valued and I love my new job.

After a health scare and a series of tests, I’ve been told I have IBS and have discovered I have a gluten intolerance – much better then the pancreatic cancer that Google diagnosed. This has meant that I have cut out a large part of my previous diet. I’ve lost a stone and a half so far. I can see it, I can feel it.

Online dating has been beneficial too. With my more open mind and ‘modern’ dating theory, I enjoyed talking to different men even if the chats have subsequently drifted away. I’ve been complimented and that has helped me feel good. My perceptions of myself are changing.

So, all in all, there’s been a spring in my step.

Friday, I went Christmas shopping with my friend. We went to Manchester, a city I barely know. We went to the art gallery, shopped – tried to find coffee shops with gluten free food and failed – and generally had a good time.

We went to one place particularly as my friend loved it there. It was a market hall of alternative stalls – think piercings, incense and rock band t shirts. Not my thing, but she loved it. As she was browsing, I noticed the stall opposite was selling 50s style dresses.

Before I knew it, I was trying one on. The smaller size. And it looked good! The sweetheart neckline emphasised my full bust, the tight waist band and narrow belt cinched in my newly rediscovered waist. The skirt floated over my hips and covered the parts of me that I still want to hide. I felt beautiful.

I came out the changing room, and beckoned my friend over from the other stall.

Whilst I value the honesty of my friend normally, I did not expect the reaction I received. Frowning, she said, ‘you need to wear a cardigan with that’.

When I stated that I didn’t think I did (doubt already creeping in) she replied that the dress made my shoulders look wide.

I went back into the changing room and took off the dress. As I changed, I saw the loose skin that has appeared as I have lost weight. I saw the areas of my body that still need to lose more. I was deflated.

Is this what’s going to happen when I meet Second? Or Wild Card? I will dress up and feel good, only for them to see my faults??

Later, my friend tried to back-pedal but it was too late.

Just words.

Yesterday, I was not in a good place. My insecurities had all come back, the spring in my step had gone.

Wild Card had called me earlier in the day but I had been at my sister’s. Whilst still being very much covered up, he happened to see more of my body than he had previously. The video chat was brief because I said I was going home soon and then I would call him.

Half an hour later I tried but there was no answer. Hours passed and still no response. So I tried again – this time he was already on the phone. I left it for fifteen minutes and decided to try once more. If I got no response then I knew he’d disappeared. Clearly he hadn’t liked my body. Who could blame him?

I had spiralled in to a pit of self loathing and negativity.

I called. No answer.

I then may have sent a text stating that he had disappeared since he had seen my body. Yes I know, clingy move.

I deleted it hastily, before messenger claimed he had read it. But within seconds he had replied telling me he was driving and to wait.

Anxiety ripped through me. What had I been thinking? How stupid was I to believe the things he said? No doubt his previous video chat when I couldn’t get through was to another woman.

The vile and self depreciating thoughts spiraled out of my head and into the pit of my stomach.

Eventually he called. He was out with family and the call was brief. He said we would talk later.

I finished getting ready for the charity night I was attending with family. Nothing looked right, not even the dress I was now able to wear for the first time because I have lost weight. There were bags under my eyes and my skin tone was awful. My legs looked huge and my hair wouldn’t style.

My family commented on my silence as I drove them to the party. I was contemplative, internal. I considered the power of someone’s words, however innocently and sincerely meant, to change my thought processes. I thought about how I was pining for Wild Card’s attention when I feared he had disappeared. How strong my developig feelings for him were becoming … A man I had only dated on video chat.

I felt stupid, ridiculous. So what if I’ve lost weight, I’ve got so much more to lose! I haven’t even met either man, what was possessing me to think that either could work? I was just a flirty distraction to them, that’s all. There was no way that I was there only me in their lives, this is the modern world. And what a hypocrite I am to even want that, I am talking to two men, just to ‘hedge my bets’.

Just words.

The charity party was a great success and I did start to relax a little. During the night I had brief contact from Wild Card and more regular communication from Second. I perked up a little.

When I got home and crawled in to my lonely bed, I couldn’t help but message Wild Card. I told him I hoped he’d had a good night with his family and that I was looking forward to speaking with him soon.

To my surprise, considering the hour, he messaged back. He asked if I had missed him, and I replied that I had. I was honest about fearing he had disappeared. He told me what I knew all ready – he had been busy with family. It wasn’t the right time to go into how a text stating that, would have saved me an evening of anxiety, but I will at some point.

I’ve stopped going on to the dating apps and how allowed other connections to drift away. I would willingly date either man now, yes slowly, just because I want to know them more.

But my insecurities have now peaked. I’m questioning the logic in focusing my attention on two men in which any potential dating would be problematic. I’m just not sure I have the heart to start again. I know I don’t have the heart to say goodbye either.

And yet, what have I had?

Just words.