The capacity to turn up in the multitude of roles we do these days can feel overwhelming to say the least.
Add our “hards” to the equation and it’s almost enough to take us over the edge.
The “hard” in this instance – managing the risks of allergies and anaphylaxis for ourselves or kidlets. Advocating, educating and empowering along the way.
On any given day there is daycare, school, camps, canteens, special food events like harmony days or bbq fundraisers, parties, play dates, sports and music classes. Travel and breaks to routines. Events at restaurants, parks, theatres and other people’s homes and everything in between.
Navigating through each of these a feat on its own. No two exactly alike.
Then there are the times when anaphylaxis is right in our faces. The times when the unexpected happens. All our training kicks into automatic responses and we do what needs to be done.
It’s not until later we seem to process and in my case at least, cry it all out. The what ifs and what could have happened and what could happen in the future swim around in our thoughts. We remember all the stories of those times when things didn’t go well for others. We feel them to the core because we have experienced them in our thoughts at some stage and shivered.
Being there to support the emotional whirlwind each of these situations brings not only for our kids but for ourselves too. The times they feel excluded from the “fun” that food can bring. Radical acceptance of their “what is” and how we can help them adjust and navigate the situations for them to feel included.
It’s tough. The tough everyone experiences dealing with “their hard”.
Why I am in absolute awe of those humans out there that extend themselves seemingly beyond superhuman levels and take action to help facilitate change, not only to their worlds but to the worlds of others too.
In the allergy world those people whose paths I’ve crossed and had the honour to watch their journeys unfold on differing levels.
People like Elizabeth who created Lizzy’s from her journey to find allergy friendly food with the health of both the planet and people in mind. Which she does with her magic muffin mixes and future plans for more product lines coming very soon.
And Sharon and Charlie who created Charlie’s Safe Treat Box together from the dream for a better tomorrow for those living with food allergies. Bringing treats together for us that are free from the top 10 food allergens that have been sourced from manufacturers both locally and globally.
And Jackie, who single-handedly visits schools and daycares Australia wide and online to deliver allergy education to young children, teachers, parents, carers and classmates with My Food Allergy Friends alongside Thai and Rabbi who are inspired from her son’s journey with allergies.
And Grace from Allergy Life Australia who shows up as a shining support and wise voice of experience on group meetings that are sanity savers for so many of us allergy parents and individuals living with allergies.
And Emma, Monique and Bethany bringing their personal connection to allergies to the Allergy Support Hub . A fabulous place that supports local families with counselling services, workshops and safe events and playgroups where they can interact and gain tools to help navigate the physical and emotional rollercoaster ride.
And Simone Albert who understands personally and professionally how living with allergies affects the whole family and offers Food Allergy Counselling to support individuals and families living with allergies.
And Diana who honestly and openly shares her daughter’s journey with TIP visually through her Instagram account anaphylactic_kid who shares her family’s journey with TIP.
And…. the list goes on and on.
Everyone who bravely shares their story to one person or many. Advocating. Empowering. Educating along the way. Helping to process all the struggles, wins and tears that brings – together.
I tip my hat in admiration to you all and extend nothing but gratitude to each of you for all you do.
All of us bring our hearts and experiences to the allergy community to help each of us along the way. No matter where we are on the journey or how seemingly big or small the contribution, it is all planting seeds for change.
And – what an amazing gift it is to see the seeds flourish in our children (and our own) as they bloom with resiliency, empathy and self awareness that supports each of us to grow and thrive no matter our “hard”. To seek and be the change we want to see in the world, whatever that maybe – because as we well know, there is no simple one case fits with life – including allergies and the journey it forces us on.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for being you.