Most people are diagnosed with allergies at a very young age, but for some weird reason, my body decided to develop allergies at 16. I suddenly became anaphylactic to nuts and allergic to dairy and gluten. These were foods that I had eaten all my life and had never imagined I would be allergic to. Before I even had time to process this new change in my life, I was thrown into a world of EpiPens, reading food labels and everything else that comes along with having food allergies. Suddenly everyone else around me had finished handing round the share box of sweets before I had time to check if it contained my allergies, or as if the ‘lean in’ for a kiss isn’t awkward enough without me having to say, ‘sorry you haven’t eaten nuts in the lasts 4 hours have you?’ If you had told me a year before a kiss could kill me I would have laughed, suddenly this was my reality.
When starting the sixth form, I wasn’t interested in being different to my friends. I was in denial about having allergies and didn’t want to accept that I had to deal with it. I felt alone and didn’t realise that there were so many other people going through the same thing.