I was recently interviewed by Food Allergy Canada about Food Allergy Support Groups and it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the impact that the people in my support group have made in my life.
Similar to most parents of children with food allergies, I was completely unprepared for the very scary world of food allergies when my son was diagnosed at 5 months old. No one else in my family lived with food allergies and none of the new parents in my social circle had children with food allergies. I felt isolated for the first few years of my child’s life. Friends and family did their best to empathize with me, but they really could not relate to the stresses of living with food allergies.
After a couple of years of feeling like we were the only family struggling with food allergies, I finally decided to attend a local allergy parent meet up. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous, but I knew it was time to do something about my isolation. Our allergy support group meets in coffee shops and restaurants, and I’ve met some amazing people that I can talk to and ask questions to without a filter. I can talk to them about my food allergy experiences without feeling like an educator, or like I’m being judged or pitied.
If you’re feeling isolated or just want to interact with people living similar experiences, I highly recommend attending a local food allergy support group meeting or joining a food allergy group on social media. A food allergy support group can help you get through some difficult times and also give you a chance to provide support to someone else.