I hope the Easter break is treating you well and you haven’t made yourself physically sick with overindulgence on chocolate.
I’m writing a different type of blog post today, one that touches on a subject close to my heart – Mental Health. Not only because I studied Psychology at university but as someone who has suffered from a few issues with my own mental health over the years. This may come as a shock to some people who don’t know me that well as outwardly I portray quite a happy person but I have suffered with depression and anxiety on and off for many years. I am in a much better place at the moment, without the aid of medication, but I know that this can change and I have accepted that.
However, this weekend, I found myself in a situation all too familiar to me that made my anxiety levels hit the roof – a sit down meal with family friends that was a surprise and of which I had no clue what might be on the menu.
You might think to look at me, given my size and weight, that I will eat pretty much anything that’s put in front of me but since a young age I have been one of the fussiest eaters I know. Things that seem like something everyone likes, such as ketchup, I can’t stand, even the smell turns my stomach over. I once had a truly awful experience where a bottle of said red evil fell out of the fridge and proceeded to break and go all over my foot. Being so disgusted by the smell, a dear friend of mine had to rescue me and I think I probably still owe him for that.
Because of my aforementioned fussiness, whenever I go out for a meal anywhere I like to check the menu first to ensure that I can find something on the menu that I like and will happily eat. So when we arrived at the venue this weekend to discover it was a sit down meal I knew nothing about, I panicked. When this situation arises, not only do I have the worry that I won’t eat anything and I will be hungry, I also have the anxiety associated with how to get rid of any food on my plate that I don’t like or how to explain to a waiter who comes to collect the plates that I don’t like the food. This is worse when sitting with strangers who don’t know how fussy I am. They can sometimes add even more stress and anxiety to the situation by asking why I am not eating it or why I won’t just give it a go.
Thankfully, this weekend’s story has a happy ending (mostly) as the food was nearly all things I like. Apart from the starter – which seems to be a common issue I have even with my own wedding catering!
The reason I am writing this post really is to let anyone else who feels this way that you are not alone. I suffer terribly with anxiety surrounding food. It’s one reason that when I go to a place and find something on the menu that I like, I tend to always order the same thing just to be on the safe side. I panic a bit at set menu’s for things like Christmas meals where you have limited options. I enjoy eating out with my friends and they understand how fussy I am so we always check the menu before we make a decision.
I am also writing this for anyone organising an event where there is a set menu such as a wedding or other such celebration. You probably don’t worry about things like food but spare a thought for those of us who do and please include a menu so we know what to expect. This means we can not worry that we will have to hide food in our bags or shoes and if we really need to, we can pack an emergency sandwich.
I hope this post helps anyone out there feeling stressed or alone with their food related anxiety. Know you are not on your own.
I don’t intend to make a series about mental health but if things come up that I think are relevant I might share some words here.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the Easter weekend and I will catch up with you all soon!
As always if you want to ask anything or discuss anything I’ve spoken about please feel free.
Stay Safe and Wonderful