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Feeling like a failure

702 Views 17 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Douglas
I've just made the very painful decision to put on hold a university course I was studying. Although it was with the open university which meant I studied at home I am just not coping with the course load on top of looking after my two children (i'm a single mum), the house and working part time. It's not the first time I have had to put my degree on hold, but I just feel that this diease is progressing really fast and now I have probably missed my chance to ever compleate the course. On top of this I have just had to make another painful decision. i have been a veggi for over 14yrs and have never considered eating meat in all this time. Unfortuantly my allergies and intolerances have become so intense that i am now unable to eat, gluton, lactose, corn, rice, pototoes, tapioca, nuts and seeds, eggs, soya, to name a few. my rummy has just told me that I need to start eating meat or i'm going to become malnurished, and I am devasted. i just feel like I have no control over anything I want to do anymore. And to top it off I have just been called a hypocrite from a work collegue for abanding my principles and eating meat.
I feel so angry with myself at the moment for not coping with it all, but i'm just in tears all the time.
Sorry for the rant

Elle x
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Hi Elle and (((((((hugs))))))) to you,

It must be so disappointing to have to put that course on hold. I'm so sorry you have had to make that decision. Sometimes, unfortunately we do have to put things on hold, and sometimes we do feel like life itself is on hold which can get us very down.

All I can really do is send you loads of positive vibes and assure you that you are not a failure, you are looking out for yourself and your family. You are somebody who is very important to your family and kids and for that reason you have to look after yourself. No-one who is working, a mum and trying to do a uni course could ever be considered a failure, never mind when living with a chronic disease!

As for stupid comments from colleagues. I'd say most of the time they should just be ignored but sometimes you can just turn it around and say "right, let's say we're not talking about me here. Let's imagine that your 15 year old daughter had a chronic, life threatening disease and that, under doctors orders, she was told to abandon that principal which was dear to her, would you suggest that she put herslef at risk for that principal?"

That might just shut her up. If it doesn't she really isn't worth talking to.

I hope that this rest from uni will be positive, some time for yourself to try and get back on your feet,


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Lost my 1st message, so hear goes again!

Elle, things sound tough at present, I do hope things do get better!

Do you get gluten/lactose free items on prescription?

Legummes are an excellent source of protein e.g. kidney beans, chick peas, harricot beans and lentils - are you allergic to these!

Milk/soya milk - there are substitues that are made of vegetable products, not sure how they taste! My youngest child had prescription formula vegetable milk of all things (it did smell like potatoe peelings though - and I never tasted it!!!)

Eggs - you can buy a powdered vegan substitute which is good for baking!

There are any alternative food products, but I guess you need to do some research and then find some tasty recipes to make!

The Vegan Society and Coeliacs web sites may have receipes and alternative product suggestions!

Anyway, best of luck and I really hope you will do the OU course some day!

Love Lesley
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Dear Elle,

I can empathize with how you are feeling as going through low stage at the moment myself. But you don't want to hear that.
I understand about food intolerances as myself am intolerant to wheat, gluten, dairy and foods high in certain fats. I have bought and borrowed some really good recipe books on wheat, gluten and dairy free foods. It is quite fun challenging myself to find different and interesting meals with the overall nutrition I need. There are some good internet sites that have sample recipies on and some of the recipies I have experimented with even my family have enjoyed and didn't realise they were 'my foods', as they call them. The most recent recipe that went down really well - as a treat - was mocha choca brownies, there were most, yummy and gave me the chocolate fix I need now and then.

Explore and experiment and instead of feeling that you have lost control of your life, take the control back by choosing your own menus from your experiments and research into different recipies.

Hope that helps and makes sense. Big hugs and love being sent your way

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I think its fantastic that you've been a vegetarian for any length of time whatsoever. I thought about it many times over my life but I hate all forms of beans and most vetables and just figured I could never do it. Then to add all those allergies would be terrible.

How dare someone at work criticize your principles. It doesn't matter if she's calling you a hypocrit or not for having to make changes, what she did was terrible and a perfect example of someone who is ignorant in her thought and actions. For that matter, if she was at my company I could call HR on her for making a derogatory comment about my personal beliefs.

All I can say is that you do what you have to for your body. Its all any of us can do with this disease. I have to admit, changing my diet has never been all that successful, although if I had only eaten when I was younger what I eat now, I would be a lot healthier. :hehe:

You must feel very disappointed. But remember -- tomorrow is just one day. There are so many days after that. Perhaps you will have to eat meat and delay your education for a time. But the future is wide open. Anything is possible, and I believe in hoping for good. I believe it's also important to remember that you didn't choose to eat meat or to delay your education. These are adjustments forced on you by current reality. "Conditions on the ground," I believe is the term. You are still the strong, ambitious and principled person you always have been. Your children know this. Sometimes you have to veer from course for a time. It's usually considered a detour, not a change in destination.

Remember that you have friends here who support you and want the best for you.

That has to be very tough to go back to eating meat after so many years! If you have difficulty eating meat, and really don't want to do it, then please see a registered dietician to see if there are other ways you can eat a balanced diet and stay away from all the allergy inducing foods. I would trust a registered dietician's advice more than anyone else's on this issue!

Good luck to you, I'm sorry you had to endure comments by a coworker on an already sensitive issue for you. Some people just never think sometimes it seems before they open their mouth... You are just doing what your doctor advises - that's all there is to it.
Hi Elle sorry you have had to put your uni course on hold is there no one that can give you a hand.It must be hard looking after your children and trying to get on with your studying.Do you not have any body to give you a hand with things i know it is hard to ask for help but there are times when we have to i do hope you get some help and dont appologise for the rant we all do it my Best Wishes to you and your Children Elisabeth
Hi Elle,
sorry to hear yr having such a rough time....but in yr post u said you had put yr course 'on hold'.. that doesnt sound like a failure to me, you've not stopped..just on have enough on yr plate as it one thing at a time.
AS for your so called friend...well take the 'r' out and you can see what she support at all.
I remember once reading an article on the Dalai Lama...who after watching a chicken have it's neck rung decieded to become a vegetarian...after a while his Dr.s advised him to stop and go back to meat eating as the metabolism of Tibetens just couldn't live without meat and dairy products. In a perfect world we would all be vegetarians...but this world is far from
you have yourself to look you can look after your two you can finish your degree.....your a failure if you don't look afteryourself..and you seem tobe doing a fine job to me..
keep it up...
Love Marika:):):)
Dear Elle,

I am very glad you are putting your family first. You won't regret it, they are not young for long.
I wish you all the best with the eating problem and can see just how hard it must be.
Well done for all the years you were veggie.
x Lola
First I want to say I am sorry you had to put your course on hold, it is hard when you are working toward somethign so hard and it is delayed. Second, I would try and see if you can maybe work with a dietician to help you find a way to get enough protein without sacrificing your principles, It may not work out but it is worth a try. I have a good friend who is a vegan, but she can eat things you aren't able to. Take care of your body and know that there is a time when things will fall into place. To those who criticize you, they need to apologize or get out. That is just too cruel to question and accuse someone who is trying to help stay healthy. Many hugs,:there:
Dear Elle,

When Lupus is out of control in our bodies life can seem very grim. Even though I have been living with it for many years I can still get thrown for a loop when it flares up on me. Sometimes it takes our doctors awhile to find the right medications at the right dose to get the Lupus back under control.

I think you used some very positive words as was pointed out by someone else. You have put University classes on hold for now which means you plan on getting back to them in the future. Taking care of little ones is very tiring even for a "normal healthy adult". You also showed that your children are your priority which to me means you are focused where you should be. Some people would neglect, to one degree or another, their children in order to stay on track with University courses.

If you stay focused on today and look for joy and beauty it will make it easier to get through today. I do something I call looking for rainbows, which means I specifically make myself look for something of beauty. I do this mostly when I am down. When I am in a good mood I seem to do it almost automatically. There is great hope for us lupies. There are several medications in the pipeline and other significant research is happening all over the world. We may even see a cure for lupus in our lifetime.

Take care,
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I am feeling so much more positive today and I just want to say thank you to everyone for your support. I took sometime out for myself whilst the kids were at school and spent the day relaxing at the gym in the hot tub. I can honestly say I haven't felt this relaxed for a long time. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted so I know that I have made the right choices.

I have seen a dietican in the past but I have developed more intolerances since so I am going to ask my doctor to arrange another appointment so i can discuss things further.
Thanks again to everyone, It's so good to talk to people who understand and won't judge.

Love and hugs from an very relaxed Elle x

When it rains it pours. Right now you have to put yourself and your kids first.

While I understand the being a veggan and your strong principles behind your choice, unfortunately just like in nature, things happen beyond our control. For the person in your office that is giving you a hard time, it is probably because they have been a hypocrite and don't want to admit it so it is easier to blame someone else.

Now, as for the university thing. You are never too old to go after or complete your education. I was in my early 30's when I graduated from college and went started my new career. I was derailed later because of my Lupus, but I do not regret my time in school and waiting until when I did. I was able to spend time with my kids and be home with them when it was important. Take this time for you and do not stress over the drama that is going on around you. Sometimes the changes makes our life even better.

Hi elle-co... So glad you took some time to pamper and relax. I hope all goes well with your new dietician.:)
Hi Elle
Your health comes first. I to have defferd from university THREE times due to CNS lupus. I also have two young boys who constantly need my attention. Take this time to get better and relax an while. Your studies will still be there when you are ready.:hehe:

I wish you well
Hi Elle

I'm so sorry that you have been advised to eat meat again. I have been veggie for more than 13 years and would hate to put meat in my mouth BUT if my health demanded it I would do it. At the very least you can console yourself that you will no doubt continue to eat far less meat than the average westerner so you are still helping a little.

I know what you mean about feeling like a failure as well. All my life I have been successful, winning prizes at school, I got an honours degree from a good university, got a job in a coveted profession (publishing) but now I am back at the bottom of the job ladder because I need a stress-free job that doesn't demand overtime because of my health. I am earning peanuts and my boyfriend has been saving for years for us to buy a house and I can't contribute a penny because my health hasn't allowed me to move up in the world the way I always thought I would. I hate that so much.

The only thing to do is remember that we can't help having this disease and there are good times as well as bad. Maybe when you're feeling better you can pick up the OU course again. If you're worried about the time limit running out, you can probably get special dispension because of your health.

Much love, xx
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"Ironic" seems a good word

Howdy Elle,
I haven't been able to eat meat for about 25 years. I simply cannot digest it. Then, as auto-immunity went on, I could no longer eat poultry, oily fish, shellfish and now find myself limited to grains, vegetables, dairy products light whitefish and a wholelot of vitamin pills.
Being a vegetarian by choice is one thing; having it forced on one is another.
I only mention this ridiculous personal history to add another perspective. I hope that if you must start eating meat that you are able to digest it and maybe eventually either enjoy it or be able to return to your prefered vegetarian lifestyle.
I have found protein bars and the related protein supplements to be very good in the place of meat.
All the best however this goes for you.
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