Really Need Assistance Please
Please bear with me. This incident just happened last night and I am still sort of reeling, still trying to process everything and clarify my thoughts vs. reactions and that sort of thing. But I feel utterly alone in my confusion, and would really appreciate some feedback.
In midst of a conversation with my sister, it came up that she is shocked and gravely concerned that I have such "a huge problem with food". I was attempting to explain to her (and my mom who happened to be listening from the other room) why I choose not to eat out at restaurants, why I choose carefully what food I eat.
I explained that often I notice reactions, negative reactions, in my mood, my thoughts, the way I feel physically (sluggish, foggy, tired etcetera) after eating 'typical' foods, cooked foods. I thought that my family understood and accepted my reasons for trying to eat all raw.
But my mother popped her head in and said how everything is behaviour. EVERYTHING. So even the biological, physiological reactions I felt after eating cooked foods are behaviours, which means I have choice. Ok, I gave her that one say yes sure, it is POSSIBLE to control the physiological functions of our bodies, but I think it is difficult to learn and maintain such control.
They think that the fact I choose not to go eat breakfast with them at some cafe is a huge problem. That food is controlling my life to such an extent that I "can't even share breakfast with my family" - I corrected my sister, it's not that I can't, it's that I choose not to because I do not want to feel the way I know I'll feel after eating cooked foods.
This brought up the issue of avoidance. And they think it is wrong to avoid a situation or behaviour to avoid the negative results. I think it is smart. Not in all circumstances maybe, I don't know, but I think that I am doing it for the benefit of my personal health and wellbeing and I would hope they would respect that. But no. I just thought well, if I know I will feel ______ and I do not like feeling _____ then I should be sure to avoid the causes which would bring about the effect of feeling _____. ?????
I know I could still go out with them, to use the example, and just not eat, and that's allright, I wouldn't mind at all. I'm dealing with some social anxieties and maybe have convinced myself I just prefer to stay home. Or maybe I really do. See I'm so confused! But this wasn't the real issue I don't think.
Ehh now I'm lost anyhow. It was horrible. I erupted into tears, because I was so dismayed that I could've been so wrong. I believed that my sister and my mother understood what I am trying to do, accepted it. And they don't. I wonder if they see everything about me through the lens of my "bipolar disorder" - which I personally think is for me controllable through lifestyle changes. I thought they understood I chose to make certain sacrifices so I could live without taking medications....
I think it gets really messy when the mental illness thing comes in. I never know if they believe me or think I'm so steeped in denial. Then last night I started thinking maybe I AM deep in denial and that dismayed me even more!
I realize this is a really major and multifaceted thing... I'm hoping to try and connect with a counsellor on Monday whom I know from a few years back and trust and respect. I think it will be useful for me to really dissect this because I had such an enormous reaction. (crying - attempted repression - more crying - nausea - major headache - major abdominal crampage - more crying) I tried to pay attention to my thoughts and my rationalizations and wrote some stuff down... I feel an urgency, like there is something here that I can really learn and grow from, and I'm terrified I'll miss the boat
I know just how you feel. Sometimes it is much easier just to avoid going out than going out and eating something substandard, and feeling bad afterward.
It would probably help both you and them, though, just to bite the bullet and join them for a meal at least so you can sit at the table with them and eat your own food.
What do you think?
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
Yes, I was going to say let's go, and when asked if I would be eating or just sitting there, I said well maybe they'll have fruit I could order. But it looks like they left this morning already and are just going without me.
I'm not sure which they think is worse : the "Huge Problem With Food" or the "Lack of Any Social Life Due To Huge Problem With Food".
I make an effort to remain engaged in social-food events like the occassional dinner or lunch out, often I've been just eating cooked to appease them, and now I'm trying to stop doing that and maybe took it to the extreme of just always saying no I don't want to go... I'll have to make an extra effort to happily agree to such outings and then just carefully find something raw to eat.
If I'm comfortable with how I'm living my life right now, why isn't that enough?
i know how you feel and understand how awful it is. I'm sorry you have to go through this, but I have found that trying to just brush it off your shoulder (hah ten thousand times easier said than done) and accepting what they say but just keep on doing what you are doing. About going out to breakfast. You could go with them and order a fruit platter, or some sort of fruit. :)
I hope everything gets better. How old are you by the way?
"Once we have reached our destiny we understand that it is different from the dearest wishes of the beginning, it is much deeper, broader, sometimes greater...either we understand or we sail on, and on, and on."
You're learning to let it be enough Jordann. And learning that it only has to be enough for you. It is a process and one of the greatest human lessons we can learn during this lifetime. Granting freedom. You have the freedom to choose what you do. They are also slowly trying to learn this same thing. We all are.
Just as you learn to grant yourself the freedom to be you, to make choices that you feel serve who you are right now, so to do you learn to grant others the freedom to do the same without judgement. Its a challenge but its the true nature of love.
It is difficult to develop the ability to view things beyond our own personal perspectives and beliefs and everybody struggles with this. Each time they react to your choices in this way they move a teensy step closer to this ability - and so do you. They are learning from you, and vice versa.
It never feels good to be judged, but if you realize they are being exposed to something out of their own personal experience, and are reacting to their own beliefs and perspectives - they are in fact "stretching" then maybe while in the midst of it you can see it in a new light. If they were truly comfortable and "were" their beliefes they wouldn't need to react to yours. So though their outer expression of this is uncomfortable and upsetting, they care enough to try to process it from their own view of things.
Maybe you could talk to them directly to let them know how they could better express their love and interest to you? Would you be able to do that?
Or, though I realize it is not desireable how they are expressing their love, maybe you can change your view of what they are offering you so it isnt hurtful to you.
Have faith in yourself and your inner direction. I am sorry you are hurting but also think it beautiful that you are looking for what you can learn in this situation. A miracle is a change in perspective!
what a wonderful response post, sweetgoddess.
my best to you jordann, my thoughts are with you during this challenging time, but it sounds like it could be a great growth experience as well.
Ohhhhh these people on this thread are so wonderful and full of love and spirit...
I'm sorry you're having a hard time with your family. I do understand social anxiety, I've been struggling with it for two years.
Cafes normally have a good selection of fresh fruits and veggies... you could always call ahead and see, or perhaps bring your own in a baggie. That way your family does see you eat, and it's not a "psychological" thing. You are simply eating for your health, the best way you know how, and a lot of people are misinformed about Raw.
Lots of luck, and all the best!
HW: 184 pounds
SW: 179.2 pounds on May 23rd
CW: 164.4 pounds (14.8 pounds released!)
GW1: 170 pounds MET! :p GW2: 160 pounds :cool: Final Goal: 130 pounds
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I used the avoidance technique and refused to go to social things that involved food. Not because I feared I might eat something I shouldn't. But because of the way I felt surrounded by people eating all this "normal" food that I couldn't. I felt anger. Anger that this food didn't make them sick like it did me. And by sick, I mean high blood sugar. I also felt angry with some of the "innocent" comments they made to me and the food pushing they often did. Stuff like, "Oh come on. ONE cookie won't kill you!". To that guy I snapped, "No. But does it have to KILL me? I already have neuropathy in my feet and legs. Would you like me to have them amputated as well?"
Now I am a rather sarcastic type. But it's really not my choice to say hurtful things to people and that was what was happening when I did go to parties and things. But after a couple of years of this, I decided I didn't want to live like a hermit any more. I just decided that food would have to be a non-issue for me. It was something I ate. I knew what I should eat and what i would eat. And if that wasn't going to be at the party, I'd either bring it myself or find some way to eat before or after the party.
As for restaurants, I can usually find something to eat there. I do have food allergies and that complicates things. Because of this people tend to be more understanding when I say I can't dine at a certain place. But even if all there is to eat is a green salad, I can still go to the place. I can pack some food in the car for me to eat. It's not a big deal.
What I won't do is discuss my diet with people unless they ask me about it. Then I'm willing to discuss. Otherwise it's a waste of my time. People don't want to hear. They really don't. And the more you try to make them listen, the more it will backfire against you.
I guess I am lucky in that my family always eats a lot of raw stuff to begin with. So they don't think the way I eat is strange at all.
>>I also felt angry with some of the "innocent" comments they made to me and the food pushing they often did. Stuff like, "Oh come on. ONE cookie won't kill you!". To that guy I snapped, "No. But does it have to KILL me? I already have neuropathy in my feet and legs. Would you like me to have them amputated as well?"<<
Julie that is just hilarious. I feel that way too, - I've had someone say to me, "you can't even have a piece of meat, on a special occassion?" why do people do that? I just don't understand this.
Jordann, I noticed that you seemed to converse with them about what you could eat when you go out with them. Now I used to do that, and let people in on the conversation on what I could eat. I always felt like I got myself cornered into an "oh, poor Sharon, what could she eat" kind of topic.
Then I realized, it is really none of their business or concern what I eat. It is my concern. Like, I don't have a conversation with them to make sure they have meat or cake available, for heaven's sake.
So now, when I go out, I just don't say anything. If they bring it up I'll just say not to worry about it, or that it doesn't concern me, or that I'll jsut get a salad, no big deal
It is just so much easier to "blend in", get the focus off yourself, even if you have to sit there with herbal tea or bottled water because there may not be a fresh thing in sight.
And try to remember you are there for the conversation and social part of it, not you struggling to find something to eat and wondering if all they serve is iceberg lettuce and white tomato salads.
Raw Step by Step
"We can do anything we want to do if we stick with it long enough." Helen Keller
Lunar*Fey : I'm 25, although sometimes I catch myself still interacting with my mother as though I'm 12 Thanks for your kind words. I try to remember, like water off a duck.
Carmel : Thank you so much. I've been getting SO much from all your posts lately. The idea of freedom is one I debated with my sister earlier. I'm not at a place of verbalizing an understanding yet, there is a lot to wrap the mind around, and my mind is feeling stretched!!!
I feel I'm getting much better at granting myself and others the freedom to be our respective selves. Last night emotion was running high, and I was became on the defensive, allowing other people's judgements to colour my own, and I became wrapped up in judging. Such a difficult habit to break.
You are right, they are expressing their love and concern for me, just in a way that I do not find helpful. I struggle with clarifying what I need from my family, I usually end up saying "I wish you would just leave me alone" and they don't like that response This is something I need to figure out.
adrienne and coriander : thank you both for you empathy and kind words.
juliebove and sharon : that is definitely something I am going to consider, try out... not talking about my diet or food at all. I think perhaps in my excitement with discovering the raw life I may wax on far too much, giving the possible impression that I am obsessed with food. If anything, raw has FREED me, but maybe I'll try keeping it to myself for awhile?
and you're right in that it ISN'T really anyone else's concern what or how I eat. I'm an adult for heaven's sake! Sometimes I still feel like a child because I still live with my mother, at 25, and have been quite dependent on her over the past 3 years because of depression. I'm beginning to lean on myself now, and the shifting of weight has perhaps left both of us a little off balance.
Thank you again all of you - I can't say enough how much it helps to get a broader view than my own narrow perspective! You are all wonderful
I have also had the frustration of wishing I could just eat what everyone else eats. Today I was having a great day. Then I put a canteloupe in the blender. Now I need to go lay down. My energy is gone, my vision is not so good and I'm a little nauseous. MENTALLY ILL? I don't know what it is but I will never let anyone call this reaction mentally ill to my face!
My response to family or loved ones is this .... I eat to live not live to eat. Then I say what I put in my body is my choice just the same as you. I end it with would you like to know about that cow you are eating? Or maybe you would like to see some photos of what's inside the typical americans gallbladder? If it doesn't stop there then I start picking on them andwhat they eat.
Ask my friend Jeff, once we were food shopping and he put Ritz crackers in his basket. I asked him if he was going to buy any real food. lol He flipped on me saying "Why are ritz crackers junk food, you're crazy." 3 months later he did a cleanse/fast with me and it changed his life. He now is more into it then I am and we often joke about ritz crackers.
Jordann - your post made me laugh as I'm 43 and my 63 yr old mother still makes me feel like a 10 yr old!