Reply To: Social relationships

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This is definitely a tough part of the process, I think perhaps especially for younger people. I’m 26, and a lot of my friends are really food-centric (lots of other vegans and foodies and food justice folks, etc). It’s sort of upsetting hearing about everyone going out for Indian or Thai, or having a homemade pizza night at someone’s house, or going to a potluck at one of the urban gardens/farms around town, or even just all deciding to go to a bar. My gluten allergy combined with my voluntary veganism has already made it tough to socialize around food, but I’ve figured out ways to make it work just fine over the past couple of years. Plus, with my friends being so food-minded, they mostly all understand gluten issues, and a lot of them are vegetarian or vegan anyway. But the restrictions involved in the candida diet are sort of baffling to people, and I think my current abstinence from things they deem healthy — fruit, tomatoes, mushrooms, whole grains, nuts, soy (f*** soy anyway!), beans, tea, etc — actually ruffles some feathers, at least on some level. Vegans especially are so accustomed to defending their food choices to everyone else, I think we tend to get upset when someone seems to cast one of the foods we eat regularly in a poor light. Obviously, that’s not what I’m doing, but I think it gets misinterpreted a bit, unless I go into excruciating detail explaining what the diet accomplishes (and since I’m overweight, people seem to often assume that I mean I’m on “a diet,” which is annoying, too). So, like most people who have friends and coworkers asking them, “Why aren’t you eating any cake/lasagna/roast? It’s so good!” I have friends asking me why I don’t eat fruit anymore, or what’s wrong with macadamia nuts, or what’s wrong with yams, or what’s wrong with kombucha, or insisting “NO, dates are GOOD sugar”…etc. The social aspect is no fun no matter what, apparently.

This is not even covering my more party-oriented friends (more like “friendly acquaintances,” maybe), who probably just think I’m being self-righteous for not drinking or going to parties. Whatever.

I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on my social life as it’s been, and sifting through the basis of a lot of relationships in my life. It’s a little depressing at times, but it’s also informative and helpful to take the time to see who’s willing to spend time with you despite mild inconvenience, or who can’t be bothered until you can go to a bar with them again someday; who’s supportive and who’s dismissive. I’ve also gotten some insight into my expectations of other people, and my expectations of myself as a friend.

This forum is definitely helpful. I read pretty much everything that’s posted, whether I comment or not, since it helps me stay in the right mindset to keep doing what I’m doing to read about so many other people doing it, too.