Please Don’t Make Me Feel Guilty for Having My Triggers

As I type this, my hidradenitis suppurativa is going haywire. After a few months of doing great, I now have multiple flares on my stomach, inner thigh, and near my butt/groin. It painful to walk, sit, and certain laying down positions.

Now why am I flaring this way?

There’s various reasons as to why that may be:

  1. The sky is too blue
  2. I’m due for my period today
  3. I ate some cheese
  4. I have been sweating
  5. Stress
  6. Anxiety
  7. I’ve been crying a lot (depression)

Okay, so it could literally be any of these things. But today, we are here to talk about reason number 3, the most likely culprit: I ate some cheese.

Identifying my triggers

You see, I don’t actually know if cheese is one of my triggers. I’ve been eating cheese my entire life and only up until recently, I think it might be an HS flare culprit. I always thought my triggers were alcohol, gluten, and sugar, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve been eating gluten and sugar recently and it has been okay afterwards. I’ve been having cheese, and things have not been okay. Well I think it’s the cheese? (Please see list above.) But because I’ve eaten cheese and have been flaring, I feel so horrible about myself and guilty anytime I eat the damn cheese now. I get all like “well you ate cheese so now you’re causing yourself flares so your disease is your fault” type of feelings.

But that’s not fair! People with diabetes can still have sugar. People that are lactose intolerant can take a pill and still have dairy. People with heartburn and acid reflux still have acidic food if they take medicine. But me with Hidradenitis should never have anything she loves to eat because there’s no treatment to prevent my flares?

I think not!

Sometimes having the trigger is just easier

Please don’t make me feel guilty if I indulge in my trigger. Sometimes I just want to feel normal and feel like everyone else. Sometimes it’s easier to just eat the trigger than to ask for a modification. In today’s economy, a lot of the time it’s also cheaper to just have the trigger. There’s so many reasons that I’m having a trigger (or potential trigger). But it’s also my choice and please don’t make me feel bad for doing so.

I understand that you’re trying to help and don’t want to see me flaring and in pain, but I’m already going through emotional gymnastics in my head right now and trying not to blame and hate myself. All while being in tremendous physical pain. I know you aren’t intending to, but please don’t make me feel any worse.

The problem is my disease, not the food

The problem shouldn’t be that I’m eating cheese. The problem should be that I have a disease that is physically torturing me for eating cheese. It’s very easy for someone without these problems to say “Oh, just avoid so and so for the rest of your life” as everyone else around you can have it. My disease already tends to make me feel alone sometimes. Having to avoid certain foods as everyone else around me is having them makes me feel even worse and more alone.

I truly appreciate your concern and your “help” but please keep comments and remarks about me having my triggers to yourself. I need love and support, not ridicule and judgment.

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