Doing the gluten free diet on your own is a difficult thing. Alone is difficult, period. That's why I think there are so many support groups when people are overcoming something difficult: alcoholism, medical treatments, etc. The list could go on forever. I never got into a support group after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I'd feel somewhat silly, seeing as how I refuse to wear most of my emotions on my grubby sleeve.
But I do have a support group, in a way. A one on one counselling service. My boyfriend. I figured there were three phases (generally) when it came to how he dealt with my Celiac Disease, so I'll outline them here...
The First Date (Introduction of the Topic)
Our first date was mini golfing at the old people mall in town, and we spent the first fifteen minutes texting each other and going "Where the heck are you?".
I never really wanted to tell him that I have Celiac Disease on our first date. But conversations are weird that way. Suddenly he's talking about wanting to try different ways of eating food, and I'm mentioning how I can't eat gluten because I have Celiac Disease. And it didn't phase him. He was genuinedly interested in the whole thing. He asked lots of questions, and I gave him lots of answers.
Good things I told him on the first date too, because he suggested we make supper together for our second date. We arranged it for New Years Eve. I had plans to go to a house party. He had no plans for the evening. On a side note: our anniversary is December 31/January 1... Somewhere in there. Needless to say, our second date went well.
The Honeymoon Stage (Going Overboard)
You have to admit, there's a honeymoon stage for new relationships. Your partner is perfection; you're crazy for each other; everything is blown out of proportion. The same applies to food allergies and how my then-new boyfriend reacted to my Celiac Disease.
He learned everything he could about what I was allergic to and what ingredients to avoid. He hunted out new restaurants to take me to (some of which I hadn't even ventured to try!). And then he decided to try the motherload of commitment: his own gluten free diet. He wanted to do it for 2 weeks to see if he felt any better without gluten, because that's about how long I was told it was going to take for the gluten to 'flush' out of my system.
He lasted a decently long time. I had to help him out with labels, ingredients he questioned, etc. And then he broke down and had a beer and some fast food when he was working out of town in the boonies. And he felt horrible about it. At that point, we struck up an agreement: he only needs to be gluten free when we're together. When we cook or when we go to a restaurant, we order gluten free so we can share. He stopped feeling horrible and guilty, and I stopped feeling like an unwitting task master.
Achieving Normality (Stability)
These days are pretty uncomplicated when it comes to Celiac Disease. He doesn't make a big fanfare about it, but he knows my needs without me having to remind him. He phones ahead at restaurants (because I'm a chickenshit when it comes to phoning restaurants about gluten free options). He keeps gluten free items in his cupboards and a loaf of gf bread in his freezer. We share meals.
He keeps me eating three meals a day, even if it means waking up early to make me eggs and pack me a lunch. I swear that I can cook, but I think he likes mothering me in the mornings. He also keeps me gluten free because I know he cares about me. Just knowing is enough to make me do my best. Now that he's off to England for 2.5 weeks, I miss him and his influence. Who's going to force me to eat breakfast now?