It started small.
An ex used to call me on her breaks at work and ask me what I had for lunch. For some reason (or reasons) that I’m still not 100% clear on, this annoyed me.
Same, when I’d be scanning a restaurant menu. In my early 20s especially, the question “What are you getting?” from anyone but a server would instigate my irritation.
Why? I didn’t know why. Just one of my quirks, I guessed.
Behind the scenes in life, I’ve ever had the shifty relationship with food, so it makes a basic degree of sense that the shiftiness would somehow manifest above the surface with my peculiar agitations.
I might have expected to outgrow this, but instead the problem has grown with me.
Presently, these agitations persist and no longer qualify as quirky pet peeves. What used to be mild irritation has transmuted to enormous frustration and anger.
Because where does the guy who has always been irritated by being talked to about food end up in his 30s?
Living with his grandma, of course.
One of her long ago established nicknames? F.P.
That stands for food pusher.
It’s sort of wired into her to talk about food. Almost everything reminds her of it.
And somehow it’s sort of wired into my to avoid talking about food.
This makes for a precarious blend.
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that my initial reaction to receiving an unexpected gift of food should be gratitude.
But instead, I usually get frustrated.
Why? What’s the problem here?
Well, I am what society calls a binge-eater. I also aspire to be what society calls a vegan.
Like cold and hot air colliding, this mixture sometimes causes tornadoes.
Some people have been extremely respectful supportive of my vegan aspirations, at times respecting my preferences even when I am willing to compromise.
My journey to veganism has been difficult and fraught with setbacks, and more times than I know, I have made choices that undermine my own aspirations.
Some people, when they see that I am undermining myself, I guess decide to support what I am doing rather than what I want to do.
And a deep, but very egoic aspect of me, becomes furious, because it believes that people who love me should help me towards my heart-cherished goals rather than encourage me to stay stuck.
My mind gets vile about it.
Do they WANT me to stay stuck and miserable just because they are?
Why am I the ONLY damn one I know who cares about transformation and personal evolution?
I’m surrounded by complacent dick-rags.
Yeah, that kind of stuff.
It’s not right for me to think that way, but that’s what it gets to when I reach a certain point in the frustration spectrum.
And then those types of thoughts manifest in my behavior towards others.
Which then makes me feel like an interpersonal failure, full of guilt and shame and resentment for myself and others.
Guess how I deal with that.
Downward spiral, viscous cycle, blah blah.
Eat more crap. Dilute my standards even more, get more worn out, crankier, feistier.
It sounds like I am blaming other people for this, for not being supportive enough.
But deep down, I know better.
I know that I go through cycles where I have total control over my lifestyle, and when that happens temptation is not even a thing. In my upswing, you can talk to me about food all day and offer me all the addictive crap in the world and I’ll pass without a second thought or a morsel of resentment.
And in the downswing, people can be completely supportive of my “big picture” preferences, and I’ll still find a way to cause a cheese shortage in Wisconsin.
So yes, I know I can be ridiculous. Which makes me down on myself. Which leads to… more binge eating.
GAH! What a bizarre creature I tend to act as.
Also published on Medium.