Back in February I blogged about the when you go GF. When I went GF I knew of the Suffolk County Celiac support group, but never considered going since I’m up at school when many of the meetings take place. Hence why I turned to the Internet.
However, as time went on the more I thought about it, and the more I wanted to attend a meeting. Yet I was nervous, felt funny, and kept putting it off. However, after I read Erin Smith’s article that appeared in the Easy Eats magazine “Gluten-free Support Groups: Finding your Flock”, and talked to her about support groups when I met her at Food Fete, I told myself I was going to go to the next Suffolk Celiac meeting.
Leading up to the meeting I was nervous, but knew I needed to step “out of the box” and go. Not only would it be helpful for myself, but being that I am going to be a future counselor I wanted to be able to know how my clients may feel when they first attend a support group.
I was planning on attending the meeting on my own, but as I was about to leave my mom saw that I was nervous. I wanted to be able to do it on my own and show her that I would be fine, so I told her that she did not have to come. However deep down I knew that I would feel more comfortable if she came with me, since it was my first time going. I just did not want to admit it. Thankfully (I have the best mom in the world) and she came.
When we got to the meeting there was so many people there. At this point I was so relieved that I had my mom to lean on. Before the meeting started it was nice to see a familiar face. I bumped into Joan of Joan’s GF Great Bakes and she told me how wonderful the group was. During the meeting Everybody Eatswas at the meeting sampling and selling their products and Dr.Malahiasspoke about Celiac Disease and dental enamel. It was a really interesting discussion. Overall, I am really happy I attended and hope that I will be able to attend again when I am home from school.
So what did I learn from this experience? I learned that going to your first support group meeting can be a little intimidating, but if you ask someone to come with you, it can be a lot less overwhelming. I learned that support groups can be filled with valuable information and it is a great way for you to come together with people that have similar experiences.
I am sure if I was able to attend these support group meetings more frequently it would be a great benefit. It would also be another great way to strengthen my support system. If you have a local support group by you I would recommend checking it out.