The social aspect of food intolerances (feelin' kind of low)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When you live with food intolerances, you can easily (albeit begrudgingly) control your kitchen at home. You can choose not to have things that upset your body's balance, and you can choose not to eat out unless you know it's safe. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's okay.  However, when you enter into a social setting and you're "that guy"- the one who can't eat anything- it's a real downer. Case in point: I went to a baby shower on Sunday for a very kind and wonderful mom-to-be. Her mother had done up a glorious spread of crackers, cheese, dips and pita, lots of yummy sweet stuff, even a chocolate fountain. So the only thing I could eat was veggies (plain of course) and plain fruit. Now, I know I should really be grateful. I mean, it was a very nice spread of both fruit and veg, and I should just be glad that I can eat them. Here it comes...BUT...these events are always about celebration, and for some reason, celebration so often brings the breaking of bread together and a lovely feast that everyone shares. It doesn't matter if not a single person notices—I still feel like an outcast when I am ostracised by what I can and cannot share. I'm "that guy"...the one who says no to all the hors d'oeuvres; the one who picks endlessly at the veggie tray because she's hungry (despite eating right before I left); and the one who —I gotta tell ya—is just a wee bit sad. So there I was, hungry, feeling sorry for myself, and I decided I'd indulge in some corn chips. I have kind of sworn off corn, but see, the thing is, when you have no official diagnosis of what you can and cannot eat, you are always thinking: "bah, can't be THAT...I'll just give it one more try". Then, invariably, you suffer the consequences (which, for the last three days has been a searing headache and the usual gut disturbances) and swear off that food again. All this in the name of wanting to feel normal- to feel like I fit in. I'll say it again: I really hate being "that guy". I wonder if the feeling of being "the outsider" will ever go away. I hope it does.


Alyson said... are just a cheap worries about feeding you ;)
love y'a.

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